Further information on UA 294/90 (AMR 34/43/90, 10 July; and follow-ups AMR 34/45/90, 26 July; AMR 34/12/91, 27 March; and AMR 34/39/91, 22 August) - Guatemala: beatings and threats against street children: Two street children
EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 34/21/92
5 May 1992
Further information on UA 294/90 (AMR 34/43/90, 10 July 1990) - and follow-ups:
AMR 34/45/90, 26 July 1990; AMR 34/12/91, 27 March 1991 and AMR 34/39/91, 22
August 1991 - Beatings and threats against street children
GUATEMALA: Two street children
Thirteen-year-old street child Nahamán Carmona López was attacked by four
policemen on 4 March 1990 and died as a result. In March 1991, the four policemen
were found guilty and sentenced for the murder of Nahamán Carmona López.
However, the sentence was later overturned and a retrial ordered which was
reopened before the Juzgado Quinto de Primera Instancia Penal de Sentencia
(Fifth Criminal Sentencing Court of the 1st Instance), and new evidence
On 28 April 1992, the four Guatemalan police officers were found guilty of
homicide by the Fifth Criminal Sentencing Court of the 1st Instance, and
sentenced to terms of between 12 and 18 years imprisonment. Three of the four
policemen were sentenced to 12 years and 6 months and the fourth to 18 years
and 3 months. According to the information we have received, the sentence
also bans the policemen from holding a public post. The policemen are currently
appealing the sentence.
At least two key witnesses on the case have been systemtically intimidated
since the killing of Nahamán Carmona, and one is now in exile.
In March 1991, four Guatemalan police officers who were accused of the killing
of Nahamán Carmona López, were brought to trial and sentenced to prison terms
of between 10 and 15 years. However, on 19 July 1991, the sentences were
overturned by the Third Chamber of the Appeals Court (Sala Tercera de la Corte
de Apelaciones) on technical grounds.
A transcript of the sentence made available to Amnesty International indicated
that the annulment of the sentences was due to "the violation of ... essential
formalities in the proceedings" ("la violación de ... formalidades esenciales
del proceso") which, in the Court's view, gave grounds for the annulment of
the sentences. The transcript stated that in the order initiating criminal
procedures, the hour indicated for the killing of Nahamán was at 2.30 am, while
it had been established that the killing took place a 0.20 am on 4 March 1990.
A fine of 20 Quetzales (US$4.00) was imposed on the sentencing judge.
According to the information made available to AI, the charges against the
policemen still applied, and a retrial was ordered by the Appeals Court. The
policemen remained in jail, pending the re-trial.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please make telephone calls and send
telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters
- welcoming the recent convictions on re-trial of four policemen for the murder
of Nahamán Carmona López;
- expressing your hope that these convictions signal the determination of the
Guatemalan government not to tolerate any further human rights abuses, no matter
who the perpetrators, and that they represent merely a first step in a
concentrated program of government action intended to return Guatemala to the
rule of law;
page 2 of 4FU UA 294/90...
- asking for guarantees for the physical safety of those who have been
threatened and intimidated after giving evidence in the trial against the four
policemen for the murder of Nahamán Carmona López;
- urging that these acts of intimidation be investigated and those responsible
be brought to justice.
1. President of the Republic
S.E. Jorge Serrano Elías
Presidente de la República
Telephone: + 502 2 21212; + 502 2 22266
Faxes: + 502 2 537472; + 502 2 519702
Telexes: 5331 CAPRES GU
[Salutation: Excelentísimo Sr. Presidente / Dear President]
2. Director General of the National Police
Lic. Carlos Enrique Samayoa Cifuentes
Director General de la
6 Avenida 13-71 Zona 1,
Telephone: + 502 2 20221; + 502 2 515158
[Salutation: Señor Director General / Dear Director General]
3. President of the Supreme Court
Lic. Juan José Rodil Peralta
Presidente de la Corte Suprema de Justicia
21a Calle y 7a Avenida
Telephone: + 502 2 84323; + 502 2 843203-08
[Salutation: Sr. Presidente de la Corte Suprema / Dear President of the Supreme
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Human Rights Procurator
Lic. Ramiro de León Carpio
Procurador de Derechos Humanos
Avenida Simeón Cañas 10-60 Zona 2,
Apartado Postal 2704,
Diario Prensa Libre
13 Calle 9-31, 50 Nivel
Edificio Prensa Libre
Zona 1, Guatemala
and to diplomatic representatives of Guatemala in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 15 June 1992.