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"
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.
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
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