Manuel Manriquez

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Date: 1990

Region: Central America and the Caribbean

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Music

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