UA 436/90 - Guatemala: possible extrajudicial execution: Hugo Rene Lopez Rivera, aged 8
EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 34/67/90
UA 436/90 Possible Extrajudicial Execution 30 October 1990
GUATEMALA: Hugo René LÓPEZ RIVERA, aged 8
Amnesty International is concerned at the circumstances surrounding the killing of
eight-year-old child, Hugo René López Rivera on 24 October in Guatemala City.
Hugo René López was a member of a street gang ("mara") called "Los Cochinitos",
made up of young children. According to the child's mother, Hugo René López left
home on the afternoon of 24 October, but did not return home. His body was found
in the early morning of 25 October with signs of having been brutally beaten, with
severe blows to his chest, back, arms and face, and signs of haemorrhaging from the
nose and mouth. There were also signs of strangulation.
Members of the street group "Los Cochinitos" have been reportedly questioned and
followed by both uniformed and undercover policemen, since the attack on street child
Nahamán Carmona López, aged 13, who was attacked on the street in Guatemala City
on 4 March 1990 and died as a result. It is reported that members of "Los Cochinitos"
discovered him unconscious and thinking he was dead put some white crepe paper over
the unconscious boy. (See UA 294/90, AMR 34/43/90, 10 July and follow-up, AMR
34/45/90, 26 July). That same night members of "Los Cochinitos" were reportedly stopped
and questioned by police asking if they had seen the attack on Nahamán Carmona.
Four policemen were subsequently arrested in connection with the killing of Nahamán
Carmona, but all deny involvement. (See also Guatemala: Extrajudicial Executions
and Human Rights Violations against Street Children, AI Index: AMR 34/37/90, July
Since the death of Nahamán Carmona, a number of his friends and witnesses to the
attack have reportedly been subjected to threats, intimidation and beatings. Amnesty
International is therefore concerned that members of the security forces may have
been involved in the killing of Hugo René López Rivera.
In recent months, Amnesty International has been deeply disturbed at reports of human
rights abuses, including harassment, threats, attacks and beatings, torture and
apparent human rights violations carried out against street children by Guatemala
City police, acting sometimes in uniform and sometimes in plain clothes. According
to non-governmental sources in Guatemala there are some 5,000 children, aged five
to 18 years, living on the streets of Guatemala City. Many are orphaned, abandoned
or handicapped; they search for food among the garbage and sleep under parked cars
or on sidewalks. Some were displaced by the army counter-insurgency campaigns of
the early 1980's; others were forced onto the streets for other reasons. Most
reportedly survive by stealing, begging and prostitution.Some of the young victims
of human rights violations have been involved in street crime. However, crime control
can never be used as an excuse for violating the basic human rights of children,
including the right to life.
Investigations into a number of the reported abuses appear to have stopped. Amnesty
International is concerned that failure by the authorities to determine the
perpetrators and bring them to justice could serve to encourage further such abuses.
It is also concerned that witnesses to violations, or those who press for inquiries
into them, appear to be in danger of reprisals.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- expressing concern about the killing of Hugo René López Rivera in circumstances
suggesting security force involvement;
- asking for an immediate investigation into the killing and that those found to
be responsible be brought to justice;
- asking for guarantees for his friends and other street children, who have suffered
abuses in connection with the killing of Nahamán Carmona López.
S.E. Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo Tel: +502 22 1212,
Presidente de la República +502 22 2266
de Guatemala Fax: +502 253 7472
Palacio Nacional Telex: 5331 CAPRES GU
Gautemala, Guatemala Telegrams: Presidente Cerezo,
Gen. Carlos Augusto Morales Tel: 502 2 21212/19, ext 500;
Ministro de Gobernación Fax: + 502 2 518105
Despacho Ministerial Telex: 5085 MINGOB GU
Oficina No. 8, Primer Nivel Telegrams: Ministro Gobernación,
Palacio Nacional Guatemala, Guatemala
Cnel. Julio Enrique Caballeros Seigné
Director General de la Policía Nacional
6 Avenida 13-71 Telegrams: Director Policia,
Zona 1, Guatemala Guatemala, Guatemala
Guatemala Tel: + 502 (2) 20221, 515158
Lic. Héctor Raúl Orellana Alarcón
Jefe de la Sección de Menores,
Ministerio Público Telegrams: Jefe Seccion Menores,
8 Calle 7-73, Zona 1 Ministerio Publico, Guatemala,
Guatemala, Guatemala Guatemala
Lic. Ramiro de León Carpio CASA ALIANZA
Procurador de Derechos Humanos Apartado 400
Avenida Simeón Cañas 10-61 Antigua, Guatemala
Lic Ileana de Rosario Acuña Ordóñez Diario Siglo XXI
Coordinadora 7a Avenida 11-79
Comisión Presidencial Asesora Edificio Galerias España,
de Derechos Humanos (COPADEH) 6o, Piso
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores Zona 9
Palacio Nacional Gautemala, 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 11 December 1990.