Watercolor painting of a group of faceless people, with orange, green, and blue backgrounds and black hair.

Resilient Voices: Highlighting the Stories of Survivors of Torture .

In Mexico, we are supporting a creative transformation process to empower and support victims of torture.

The International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, commemorated on June 26, aims to raise awareness about the crime of torture, advocate for its eradication, and support victims. It promotes international laws against torture, honors victims and survivors, and underscores the importance of human rights and dignity. June 26, 2024 also marks seven years since the General Law against Torture came into force in Mexico. Despite this legislation, torture remains a widespread practice, often perpetrated by security forces under a veil of secrecy. Such acts typically occur during arrests and in the early stages of detention, primarily to extract confessions.

In response to this ongoing issue, USAID’s Promoviendo la Rendicion de Cuentas por los Derechos Humanos (RED-DH) Activity is working to enhance the capacity and commitment of the Government of Mexico to address grave human rights violations, including forced disappearances and torture. This initiative focuses on strengthening national oversight mechanisms, improving inter-governmental coordination, and supporting the implementation of laws and safeguards at the state level to prevent and respond to human rights abuses. Moreover, the Activity is tailored to meet the needs of victims of human rights violations, particularly those who have suffered from torture.


Since July 2021, the RED-DH Activity implemented by Chemonics and the civil society organization CEPAD (Centro de Justicia para la Paz y el Desarrollo) have collaborated to raise awareness and provide crucial support to survivors. The “Voces Resilientes” (Resilient Voices) campaign aims to empower and support victims of torture. The campaign prioritizes a creative transformation process, enabling survivors to process their experiences and amplify their  voices.

Poster from the Resilient Voices Campaign.

Using digital platforms such as social media and video, as well as posters, drawings, stickers, stories, bookmarks, poems, and songs, the campaign highlights the voices of eleven torture survivors who shared their stories and aspirations. Reaching over 25,000 people through social media, the campaign fostered empathy and understanding among the audience. By sharing these stories, “Voces Resilientes” ultimately aims to educate people about the severe consequences of this human rights violation, break down stigmas, and drive social change to end the practice of torture.

Beyond producing and promoting creative materials, CEPAD also promoted a National Encounter of Victims of Torture on May 4-5, 2024, bringing together 28 survivors from various Mexican states, as well as representatives from local and international civil society organizations, to share their stories and strategies, creating a collective vision for future actions focused on justice and reparation.

To learn more about the campaign and RED-DH’s work on this critical issue, click on the links below:

Posts on the blog represent the views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Chemonics.