Region: Central America and the Caribbean
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Artist: Manuel Manriquez San Agustin
Confronting Bodies: Federal District's judicial police
Dates of Action: June 20, 1990
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Description of Artwork: Manriquez is a musician and a member of the Otomi indigenous community of Rancheria Piedra Blanca.
The Incident: On June 2, 1990, Manriquez - who spoke no Spanish - was arrested without warrant by the Federal District's judicial police in Mexico City. He remained incommunicado for four days under police custody where he was tortured and forced to sign papers he could not understand. Despite the illegality of his detention, the clear signs of torture, and the lack of evidence other than his signed statements without an interpreter, Manriquez was charged with murder. In July 1991, he was sentenced to 24 years in prison
Results of Incident: Since his arrest, Manriquez has learned to speak Spanish, and in September 1991, co-founded a human rights organization with other indigenous prisoners: The Comision de Defensa Campesina e Indigena del Comite Ricardo Lopez Juarez, campaigning on behalf of the rights of Indians and peasants imprisoned in Mexico.
Source: Amnesty International