Woman in Mexican torture video in prison on weapons charge

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A woman seen being tortured by two soldiers and a federal police officer in a widely circulated video has been in prison for more than a year on weapons charges, two federal security officials said Friday.

The officials who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the case said her case was ongoing and could be affected by Thursday’s release of the video.

In it, a female military police officer is seen interrogating the woman. She pulls the woman’s hair and puts the muzzle of a rifle against her head. Later, a blue-uniformed federal police officer puts the woman’s head inside a plastic bag until she almost passes out.

The video spurred public outrage for its graphic depiction of well-known investigative tactics.

It was announced Friday that Mexico’s defense secretary on Saturday would urge troops to respect human rights.

The female soldier and army captain shown in the video are being held in a military prison. The female federal police officer was located Friday and is being held in a federal police installation, one of the sources said. She had not been charged.

The army had confirmed the authenticity of the video and said Thursday that the incident occurred Feb. 5, 2015, in Ajuchitlan del Progreso in the southern state of Guerrero, where there has been a massive deployment of soldiers and federal police to combat drug cartels.

The attorney general’s office said Thursday it had opened a torture investigation.

Human rights defender Amnesty International said Thursday that the video illustrates the techniques used by security forces and should bolster arguments that the armed forces should not be handling public safety.

In the past, some suspects have been freed after it was proven they were tortured. Human rights organizations have also documented cases where innocent people were tortured into making confessions.

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