• Campaigns

UA 422/93 - Ecuador: fear of "disappearance": Clever Leonel Mendoza, Pedro Pablo Izurieta, Samuel Zacarias Figueroa Pico, Ulbio Zacarias Figueroa Villamar, Saul Fermin Figueroa Villamar, Pedro Antonio Figueroa Villamar, Jose Gregorio Figueroa Villamar, Jo

, Index number: AMR 28/012/1993

The nine men named above and three others, unnamed, were reportedly detained by the military in three different operations on 18, 20 and 27 November 1993 in or near Manta, province of Manabi. The detentions, all of which were witnessed, were carried out by hooded men, heavily armed, and dressed in military clothing, apparently as part of a campaign initiated by the government to control organized crime. On 20 November the three unidentified men were released. They claim to have been questioned on the whereabouts of "La Rana", "The Frog", a well-known alleged criminal. Relatives of the above nine men have failed to obtain information on their whereabouts from the authorities.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index:AMR 28/12/93
Distr: UA/SC
UA 422/93 Fear of "Disappearance" 1 December 1993
ECUADOR Clever Leonel MENDOZA
Pedro Pablo IZURIETA
Samuel Zacarías FIGUEROA PICO
Ulbio Zacarías FIGUEROA VILLAMAR
Saúl Fermín FIGUEROA VILLAMAR
Pedro Antonio FIGUERA VILLAMAR
José Gregorio FIGUEROA VILLAMAR
José Efraín BEDOYA
Carlos Cedeño MENENDEZ
Amnesty International is concerned by the reported "disappearance" of the above
nine men, all from or near the town of Manta, province of Manabí.
The nine were reportedly detained by the military in three different operations
on 18, 20 and 27 November 1993. The detentions, all of which were witnessed,
were carried out by hooded men, heavily armed and dressed in military clothing.
The operations were apparently linked to a campaign initiated by the government
to control organized crime.
On 18 November, Clever Leonel Mendoza, Pedro Pablo Izurieta and three other
unnamed people, were reportedly detained in Jaramijó, a small town some 10
kilometres from Manta. On 20 November the three unidentified men were released
on the highway to Guayaquil. They were reported to have been kept blindfolded,
with their hands tied, in a tent, possibly inside a military camp. During their
detention they claim to have been questioned on the whereabouts of "La Rana",
"The Frog", a well-known alleged criminal. The whereabouts of Clever Leonel
Mendoza and Pedro Pablo Izurieta remain unknown.
On 20 November in Manta, Samuel Zacarías Figueroa Pico and his four sons, Ulbio
Zacarías, Saúl Fermín, Pedro Antonio and José Gregorio Figueroa Villamar, were
all taken away from their homes in a military operation conducted by scores
of heavily armed and hooded men. The five were taken away in a vehicle that
witnesses believe belongs to the navy. The Figueroa family are thought to be
friends of Clever Leonardo Mendoza and Pedro Pablo Izurieta.
On 27 November José Efraín Bedoya was taken away from his home in Manta, at
about 9 pm. One hour later, Carlos Cedeño Menendez was detained in the Malecón,
a parade in Manta. Witnesses claim the detentions were carried out by men
similar to those described in the two previous cases.
Relatives of the nine men have approached the police and the military authorities
in Manta but have failed to obtain information on their whereabouts. The cases
have also been denounced by the relatives to the Police Commander of the Province
of Manabí, and to the Minister of Government and Police.
BACKGROUND
Common and organized crime is reported to have increased in Ecuador during
the past two years. In September 1992, soon after taking over the presidency
of the Republic, President Sixto Durán Ballén issued Decree Law 86. The decree
outlines in its preamble the circumstances which justify the introduction of
special measures to control a level of crime which has given rise to "un grave
2
estado de conmoción interna", "a serious state of internal unrest". The decree,
in its first article, makes provision for the armed forces to be deployed
throughout the country, as a precautionary measure, for the security of the
population and property. In November 1992, the Government initiated special
anti-crime raids by the military and police, and which took place in Guayaquil
and other main cities.
Amnesty International recognizes the right of the authorities to control crime.
However, the organization has noted the numerous criticisms directed at the
government and security forces for having used excessive force during these
operations. (See Ecuador: Allegations of Extrajudicial Executions, AMR
28/04/93, April 1993)
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes and airmail letters
either in Spanish or in your own language:
- expressing concern at the reported "disappearance" of the nine people named
above following their detention apparently by members of the armed forces in
and around the town of Manta on 18, 20 and 27 November 1993;
- urging that their whereabouts be immediately clarified;
- asking that their detention be recognised and they be promptly brought before
a judge and that they either be charged with a recognizable criminal offence,
or released;
- urging that while in detention they be humanely treated and given access
to a lawyer, doctor and relatives.
APPEALS TO
1) President of Ecuador
Sr. Sixto Durán Ballén
Presidente de la República del Ecuador
Palacio de Gobierno
García Moreno 1043
Quito, ECUADOR
Telegrams: Presidente Ballén, Quito, Ecuador
Telexes: 22375/22201 prerep ed
Salutation: Sr. Presidente / Dear Mr President
2) Minister of Government and Police
Sr. Ministro Marcelo Santos
Ministerio de Gobierno y Policía
Espejo y Benalcázar
Quito, ECUADOR
Telegrams: Ministro Santos, Quito, Ecuador
Telexes: 22354 mingob ed
Salutation: Sr. Ministro / Dear Minister
3) Minister of Defence
General José Gallardo Román
Ministro de Defensa Nacional
Ministerio de Defensa Nacional
La Recoleta
Quito, ECUADOR
Telegrams: Ministro Román, Quito, Ecuador
Salutation: Sr. Ministro / Dear Minister
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
3
(Human rights Organization)
Asamblea Permanente de Derechos Humanos
Quintiliano Sánchez 143 y Yaguachi, El Dorado
Quito, ECUADOR
and to diplomatic representatives of Ecuador accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 11 January 1994.

Choose a language to view report