EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 34/24/93
UA 143/93 Threats/Intimidation 6 May 1993
GUATEMALA: Members of La Asociación Indígena para el Desarrollo
Integral (COINDI), Indigenous Association for Integral
Victor SALOJ POZ
Martín PILO HOM
Emilio SALOJ POZ
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of members of La Asociación
Indígena para el Desarrollo Integral (COINDI), Indigenous Association for
Integral Development, who have recently had death threats made against them.
On 28 April 1993 an unsigned letter arrived at the offices of COINDI containing
death threats against a number of its members, including those named above.
The letter stated that the threats would be carried out 72 hours later, as
a punishment for their supposed links to guerrilla organizations. COINDI is
a civil, non-political organization working to promote better living conditions
for indigenous people living in rural areas.
Trade unionists, student leaders, journalists and those working with
non-governmental organizations, particularly those attempting to investigate
and protect human rights, have been long-term targets of abuses in Guatemala,
including threats, harassment, torture, "disappearances", and extrajudicial
executions. Such abuses have sometimes been preceded by anonymous death threats,
such as in this instance. On other occasions, government officials, including
President Jorge Serrano Elías himself, have made unsubstantiated public
accusations that human rights defenders were linked to the armed opposition
in Guatemala. In many cases, serious human rights violations have followed
such statements from the authorities.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in Spanish, English or in your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of members of COINDI, including those named
above, whose lives were recently threatened in an anonymous letter;
- urging that measures be taken to protect the security, personal integrity
and freedom of expression of members of COINDI;