A case of police abuse of protesters in Mexico has been sent to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the government announced. A statement issued late Saturday said the government itself asked to have the Costa Rica-based international court deal with the case to consider how to deal with reparations.
Mexico’s Supreme Court and National Human Rights Commission have already found grave abuses were committed with security forces cracked down on a 2006 protest against a planned new Mexico City airport that was to be in San Salvador Atenco in Mexico State, where President Enrique Pena Nieto was governor at the time. Two people died, more than 200 were detained and 198 were injured, and the Rights Commission found that 23 women suffered sexual aggression by police after the arrests. Seven said they were raped.
The government said 30 people now face criminal charges for the abuses against the protesters, though the Supreme Court found no responsibility by senior officials. Immediately after the protests, local judges convicted 12 activists of kidnapping or attacking police and sentenced some to more than 30 years in prison. The sentences were later thrown out by the Supreme Court.
The protests eventually led to scrapping of the airport plan. A redesigned project is being constructed in an area that officials say will not affect the Atenco farmers.