Mexican Jesuit University System has awarded the XIII Tata Vasco Award to the Colectivo contra la Tortura y la Impunidad, CCTI. The award, which recognizes commitment and sustained work in the field of human rights, will be delivered during a ceremony in the Museum of Memory and Tolerance on 18 October 2018, in the framework of the XIII Human Rights Forum of the Jesuit University System.
The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) warmly congratulates its Mexican member, the Colectivo contra la Tortura y la Impunidad (CCTI, Collective against torture and impunity) for having received the XIII Tata Vasco Award. CCTI has 14 years of experience accompanying victims of torture, from a comprehensive perspective that considers both the medical and psychological aspects of care.
In addition to supporting torture victims to rebuild their lives, CCTI’s health-based knowledge about torture and its impact on victims has contributed significantly to the adoption of a comprehensive legal framework for the eradication of torture in Mexico and globally. At home, CCTI worked closely with their civil society partners to lobby for the adoption of the General Law on Victims (2013) and the General Law to Prevent, Investigate and Punish Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (2017). Internationally, CCTI contributed its experience to the IRCT’s successful endeavor to establish progressive standards for support and protection of torture victims at the United Nations. Finally, CCTI’s national work to promote to use of the Istanbul Protocol, a torture investigation tool, has been a source of inspiration for IRCT members around the world.
Given the human rights situation in Mexico, and the recurrent use of torture as a method for obtaining confessions by the security forces within the framework of law enforcement activities, the work of CCTI becomes not only relevant, but critical.
"For us this award represents a recognition of the importance of work on the problem of torture, work we have tried to feed on knowledge and tools, with great effort" said Javier Enríquez Sam, Director of the CCTI, upon hearing the decision of the Board of Rectors. He added that "they will give the recognition to the torture survivors who fight for justice, comprehensive reparation and non-repetition."
In 2016, CCTI co-hosted the X Scientific Symposium and V General Assembly of the IRCT, an event that reunited the global rehabilitation movement around the idea of delivering on the promise of the right to rehabilitation. Speaking at the award ceremony, IRCT Executive Committee member, Kathi Anderson, congratulated CCTI on behalf of colleagues from than 70 countries: “We know CCTI’s work from many angles. We know them as exceptional health professionals, providing rehabilitation and treatment to hundreds of torture victims. We know them as determined human rights advocates, as attested by their accompaniment of cases such as that of Yecenia Armentia Graciano, who was acquitted after spending four years in prison based on evidence obtained through torture. And we know them as frontline defenders who have oftentimes put their integrity and life on the line.”
All of this is testimony to the great impact that CCTI has had on Mexican society and in particular those who are the most vulnerable. The IRCT looks forward to working with CCTI to ensure that in the future all torture survivors have access to rehabilitation and adequate support hold perpetrators accountable.
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Learn more about CCTI's work to support torture victims in Mexico