EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 34/16/94
UA 116/94 Death threats/Harassment 23 March 1994
GUATEMALA Gustavo Eduardo LAPOLA
Víctor Hugo GUDIEL
and other members of the Asociación de Estudiantes
Universitarios (AEU), Association of University Students
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of members of the Asociación
de Estudiantes Universitarios (AEU), Association of University Students, based
at the University of San Carlos (USAC) in Guatemala City, following a recent
series of threats and harassment of members of the organization's leadership.
According to reports, on 10 March 1994 Gustavo Eduardo Lapola, who is a member
of the AEU's Executive Committee and coordinator of the Comisión Multisectorial
de Reforma Universitaria, Multisectorial Commission of University Reform, was
subjected to an attack by unknown men. The men, who were reportedly driving
a car with tinted windows, tried to intercept Gustavo Lapola's vehicle and
then followed him to his home and fired upon it. The manner of the operation
suggests possible involvement of the security forces or people acting with
On 13 March another AEU leader was intercepted by two men on a motorcycle whose
faces were covered. They reportedly told him to tell Gustavo Eduardo Lapola
that he had 24 hours in which to leave the country and to inform Víctor Hugo
Gudiel to stop meddling or else he would risk the same fate.
According to repots, various members of the AEU leadership have recently
received several anonymous telephoned death threats and have been photographed
by unknown people.
USAC has been targetted on several occasions in the past and members of the
AEU in particular have been subjected to human rights violations. In May 1993
AEU member Mario José Colindres was killed in circumstances suggesting a
possible extrajudicial execution (see UA 171/93, AMR 34/29/93, 26 May 1993).
In January and October 1992 bombs exploded outside the offices of the AEU at
the University of San Carlos in Guatemala City (see UA 41/92, AMR 34/08/92,
5 February 1992 and UA 313/92, AMR 34/43/92, 8 October 1992). The October bombing
followed a series of death threats received by AEU members, including Víctor
Hugo Gudiel, and students, involved in a legal action against Hunapú, the
Guatemalan special security force unit. Hunapú were responsible for the killing
in April 1992 of teacher-training student Julio Cuc Quim (see UA 123/92, AMR
34/16/92, 15 April and follow-ups AMR 34/16/92, 28 April 1992, AMR 34/64/93,
16 September 1993).
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in Spanish, English or in your own language:
- expressing concern at the threats and harassment to which AEU members,
including Gustavo Eduardo Lapola and Víctor Hugo Gudiel, have recently been