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Mexico: fear for safety: Rodolfo Izal Erloz, Spanish national, Loren Rieve Estrella, US national, Jorge Baron Gutlein, Argentine national - all Roman Catholic parish priests

, رقم الوثيقة: AMR 41/012/1995

On 22 June 1995, the three priests named above were reportedly arrested without warrant, by members of the Republic Attorney General's Office. Their whereabouts are not known at present. Concern for their safety has been heightened by reports that two of them have received death threats in the past, apparently for advocacy of human rights for the local indigenous population.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 41/12/95
Distr: UA/SC
UA 148/95 Fear for safety 23 June 1995
MEXICORodolfo Izal Erloz, Spanish national, Roman Catholic parish priest
Loren Rieve Estrella, US national, Roman Catholic parish priest
Jorge Barón Gutlein, Argentine national, Roman Catholic parish priest
On 22 June 1995, the three Roman Catholic priests named above were reportedly
arrested, without warrant, by members of the Republic Attorney General's Office,
Procuraduría General de la República (PGR). Their whereabouts currently remain
unknown. Concern for their safety has been heightened by reports that Rodolfo
Izal Erloz and Loren Rieve Estrella have received death threats in the recent
past, apparently for their advocacy of human rights for the local indigenous
population.
According to reports Father Rodolfo Izal was detained at 3.30pm on 22 June
in a PGR road block between his parish in Sabanilla and the town of Yajalón,
Chiapas. Hours later Father Loren Rieve was arrested in the same place when
he enquired about the whereabouts of his colleague. Father Jorge Barón Gutlein
was also arrested by members of the PGR in a road block near his parish in
Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas.
The Republic Attorney General's Office acknowledged the detentions on the same
day, alleging the priests were arrested following unspecified complaints from
neighbours and for infringing migration laws, without giving any details about
the specific causes for the arrests, nor the whereabouts of the detainees.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The arrests of the three priests appears to be the latest in a series of threats
and attacks against the Roman Catholic Church and human rights activists
monitoring the human rights situation in Chiapas, following the 1 January 1994
indigenous uprising. Members of the Catholic Church and other grassroot
organizations have been active in promoting and protecting the rights of the
indigenous population of Chiapas and other states with large indigenous
minorities, for many decades. They have frequently encountered opposition from
the local authorities and large landowners.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in Spanish or in your own language:
- expressing serious concern about the reportedly illegal arrests of Fathers
Rodolfo Izal Erloz, Loren Rieve Estrella and Jorge Barón Gutlein on 22 June
1995;
- calling for their whereabouts to be made known and seeking assurances that
they are being treated in accordance with international standards;
- seeking full clarification of the reasons for their arrests, and urging that
they be charged with recognizably criminal offences or immediately released.
APPEALS TO
1) President of the Republic
Lic. Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León
Presidente de la República
Palacio National
06067 México D.F., México
Telegrams Presidente Zedillo, Mexico D.F, México
2
Faxes: +52 5 271 1764
Salutation: Sr. Presidente/Dear President
2) Interior Minister
Lic. Esteban Moctezuma Barragán
Secretario de Gobernación
Secretaría de Gobernación
Bucareli 99, 1er piso
Col. Juárez
06699 México DF, MÉXICO
Telegrams: Secretario de Gobernación, México D.F., México
Faxes: +52 5 592 0014
Salutation: Sr. Secretario de Gobernación/Dear Minister
COPIES TO:
Human Rights Organization
Sres.
Centro de Derechos Humanos
San Bartolomé de las Casas
5 de Febrero No. 6
San Cristóbal de las Casas
29200 Chiapas, México
Faxes +52 967 83551
and to diplomatic representatives of Mexico accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your Section office, if sending appeals after 8 August 1995.

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