Crafting peace and building a safer world

Leveraging Visual and Statistical Argument to Combat Torture

World Justice Project
Central America

The World Justice Project (WJP), through its Mexico branch, proposes a three-year project to end the use of torture as an investigative tool, by using a novel approach that relies on statistical and visual arguments to motivate new effective torture prevention measures. Torture remains a persistent feature of many criminal justice systems and serves as a source of radicalization and instability threatening peace and security around the world. Until now, inadequate quantitative evidence of the problem has allowed states to deny systematic torture and its corrosive effects. Mexico epitomizes this challenge, and in response, WJP, together with the Mexican government’s statistical bureau, has developed methodologies to quantify abuse in custody by systematically surveying the incarcerated population. The resulting unprecedented dataset confirms the scope and nature of the torture problem and provides the irrefutable evidence that, coupled with storytelling, documentary filmmaking, and a coalition building strategy, can finally compel meaningful reforms. The Paris Peace Forum provides an unparalleled opportunity to showcase this work and to garner support for its continuation and expansion in Mexico at a critical moment of political transition in the country. In addition, WJP will use the Forum to raise awareness of this new data-driven approach to combating torture and promote its use in other jurisdictions and in the context of states' effort to meet their SDG16 commitments.