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Chile: Death threats

, Index number: AMR 22/003/1997

Sola Sierra Henriquez (f), Viviana Diaz Caro (f), Mariana Guzman Nunez (f): There is grave concern for the safety of the above members of the non-governmental Agrupacion de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos, Association of Relatives of "Disappeared" Prisoners, who have reportedly been subject to recent anonymous death threats and harassment. It is believed the threats are directly linked to their public human rights work on behalf of the "disappeared". Lawyers representing the three women have lodged a legal writ (Recurso de Proteccion) before the Appeals Court in Santiago.

EXTERNAL AI Index: AMR 22/03/97
UA 174/97 Death Threats 13 June 1997
CHILE Sola SIERRA HENRIQUEZ (f)
Viviana DIAZ CARO (f)
Mariana GUZMAN NUÑEZ (f) -members of the Agrupación de Familiares de Detenidos
Desaparecidos, Association of
Relatives of "Disappeared"
Prisoners
Three members of the non-governmental Agrupación de Familiares de Detenidos
Desaparecidos, Association of Relatives of "Disappeared" Prisoners, are
reported to have been subjected to anonymous death threats and harassment.
Amnesty International is seriously concerned for the safety of the three women
and their families.
According to reports, on 7 June 1997, two men wearing civilian clothes, who
identified themselves as members of the Investigation Police (Policía de
Investigaciones), came to the home of Mariana Guzmán Nuñez. As she was away,
the men indicated to her son that they would return in the evening. That night
Mariana Guzmán’s son received two anonymous telephone calls insulting his mother
and threatening that "we are going to kill that communist so-and-so ("a esa
comunista tal por cual la vamos a matar").
A similar message was conveyed to Sola Sierra, President of the Agrupación,
on the evening of 7 June when an anonymous caller told her "now, we are going
to kill you, you communist so-and-so" (“comunista tal por cual ahora sí que
te vamos a matar”). The following day, 8 June, an unidentified vehicle with
two passengers was parked opposite her house for most of the evening.
Viviana Díaz Caro was also threatened by an anonymous caller who insulted her
and said "your days are numbered because we are going to kill you" (“te queda
poco porque te vamos a matar”).
Amnesty International believes that the threats against the women are directly
linked to their public human rights work on behalf of the "disappeared".
Lawyers representing the three have lodged a legal writ (Recurso de Protección)
before the Appeals Court in Santiago.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The Agrupación de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos was set up in the early
years of the military government of General Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) by
relatives of the "disappeared". Over the years they have campaigned for
information from the authorities about the whereabouts and fate of their
relatives. Since the return of civilian government, governmental agencies have
been created to gather information to establish the truth on the "disappeared"
cases. Over 1,000 cases of "disappearances" have been officially recognized.
However legal efforts to investigate the fate and whereabouts of the
"disappeared" have been hampered by the closure of cases by military and civilian
courts applying the Amnesty Law of 1978. The Agrupación have continued to pursue
their goal through national and international legal avenues and peaceful public
activities.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail
letters in Spanish or your own language:
2
- expressing concern at the deaths threats against the three members of the
Agrupación de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos;
- calling for an immediate investigation into these threats, for the findings
to be made public and for those responsible to be brought to justice;
- urging that immediate, adequate and appropriate protection be provided to
the three women and their families.
APPEALS TO:
President of the Republic
Señor Presidente de la República de Chile
Señor Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle
Palacio de la Moneda
Santiago, Chile
Fax: +562 694 5080
Telegrams: Presidente, Santiago, Chile
Salutation: Sr. Presidente / Dear President
Minister of Interior
Sr. Ministro del Interior
Sr. Carlos Figueroa Serrano
Ministerio del Interior
Palacio de la Moneda
Santiago, Chile
Fax: +562 696 8740
Telegrams: Ministro Interior, Santiago, Chile
Salutation: Sr. Ministro / Dear Minister
Minister of Justice
Sra. Maria Soledad Alvear
Ministra de Justicia
Ministerio de Justicia
Morandé 107
Santiago, Chile
Fax: +562 695 4558
Telegrams: Ministra de Justicia, Santiago, Chile
Salutation: Sra. Ministra / Dear Minister
COPIES TO:
Newspaper
La Nación
Agustinas 1269
Santiago, Chile
Fax +562 698 1059
Human Rights Organization
Agrupación de Familiares de Deenidos Desaparecidos
Manuel Rodriguez 33
Santiago, Chile
Fax: +562 698 8609
and to diplomatic representatives of CHILE accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 30 July 1997.

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