UN panel urges Mexico congress pass general law on torture

The head of a United Nations delegation investigating torture in Mexico says diverse definitions of the practice continue creating loopholes that lead to impunity.

In a Thursday statement from the U.N. Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture, delegation leader Felipe Villavicencio urged Mexico to pass a proposed general law on torture. The legislation passed the Mexican Senate in April, but awaits a vote in the lower chamber.

Members of the U.N. delegation visited 32 detention facilities where they interviewed detainees during the 10-day visit. They also met with Mexican authorities, including representatives of the armed forces. The U.N. entity previously visited in 2008.

There are more than 4,700 open torture investigations at the federal level. The Associated Press reported in November that only 13 police and soldiers have been sentenced.