EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 34/13/93
UA 94/93 Fear of extrajudicial execution 1 April 1993
GUATEMALA: Efraín Bámaca Velásquez ("Comandante Everardo"), Anastacia López Calvo
("Karina"), Martín Pérez Cabrera, Antonio Lorenzo, César Augusto Cabrera Hernández, Aníbal
Cabrera López, Carlos López, Reginaldo de Jesús Pérez Llama, ("Gara") Estrada and 29 others
identified only by pseudonyms
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of the above-mentioned people whom it
fears may be in danger of extrajudicial execution. They are at risk because two combatants
of the armed opposition group, the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca, (URNG),
Guatemala National Revolutionary Unity, have alleged that they are being held in secret
detention at a number of Guatemalan military installations.
The two combatants, Santiago Cabrera López and Jaime Adalberto Agustín Recinos, claim to
have recently escaped from unacknowledged detention by the Guatemalan military. Following
their alleged escape, they have made detailed allegations that while in secret detention
at a number of military installations throughout Guatemala, they saw or heard of other
unacknowledged prisoners, including both non-combatants and hor de combat combatants (that
is, combatants detained after being wounded or after they had already laid down their arms).
According to their testimonies, both they and the other unacknowledged prisoners were
subjected to torture and death threats to themselves and their families, to force them
to collaborate with the military in identifying and apprehending suspected members or
supporters of the armed opposition. Now that the testimonies of the two former combatants
have been made public, it is feared that the unacknowledged prisoners whom they named in
their statements may be in danger of extrajudicial execution.
In response to writs of habeas corpus presented recently to the Guatemalan courts by the
Comisión de Derechos Humanos de Guatemala (CDHG), Guatemalan Human Rights Commission, on
behalf of those named in the testimonies, the Guatemalan Minister of Defense, General José
Domingo García Samayoa, stated that three of those named, Anastacia López Calvo, Reginaldo
de Pérez Llama and Martín Pérez Cabrera were voluntarily cooperating with the military.
Particularly in the case of Anastacia López, the declarants state that apparent cooperation
with the military has only come about because of army pressure, including death threats,
maltreatment and torture.
President Jorge Serrano Elías came to power in January 1991. On a number of occasions both
during his administration and that of President Jorge Serrano Elías, and previously,
individuals accused of being members or supporters of the armed opposition initially reported
as "disappeared" were later presented to the media by the military to make "confessions"
of their own involvement in the armed opposition or to make denunciations about alleged
opposition activities or supporters. On some occasions, those giving testimonies had
allegedly turned themselves over to the military of their own free will. Others whose
abductions were reported were later released, on condition that they were to work with
the army or act as informants. Amnesty International learned of at least four such cases
in 1992; three eventually left the country. However, this has been the first occasion on