EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 34/29/93
UA 171/93 Possible Extrajudicial Execution 6 February 2015
GUATEMALA: Mario José COLINDRES, student leader
Amnesty International is deeply concerned at the apparent extrajudicial
execution of Mario José Colindres on 23 May 1993 in the department of Santa
Mario José Colindres was a member of the Asociación de Estudiantes
Universitarios, Association of University Students, leader of the Asociación
de Ciencias Económicas, Association of Economic Science, as well as a member
of a theatre group from that faculty. He was also a leader of Jornadas Populares,
a group organizing medical assistance and consultancies.
According to information received by Amnesty International, on 23 May Mario
José Colindres and other members of Jornadas Populares went to the village
of Gabita in the municipality of Pueblo Nuevo, Viñas, Santa Rosa department,
in order to carry out a medical consultancy, distribute medicines and present
a theatrical work. That evening, on their way home, their van was intercepted
by two men in a pick-up truck, who shot dead Mario José Colindres.
Amnesty International is concerned at the recent increase in human rights
violations against targeted groups, including trade unionists, student leaders,
journalists and those working with non-governmental organizations,
particularly those attempting to investigate and protect human rights. These
groups have been long-term targets of abuses in Guatemala, including harassment,
threats, torture, "disappearances", and extrajudicial executions. Such abuses
have sometimes been preceded by acts of intimidation and surveillance, such
as in this instance.
The announcement by President Jorge Serrano Elías on the morning of 25 May
1993 that he was partially suspending the Constitution, dissolving Congress
and the Supreme Court, as well as reports of the arrest of certain government
human rights officials, gives further cause for concern about possible human
rights violations against the above mentioned targeted groups. As the measures
announced by President Serrano came in the wake of large scale demonstrations
by students, it is feared that students may now be even more vulnerable to
human rights violations.
For information about other students who have recently received threats in
the context of student disturbances please see UA 153/93, AMR 34/26/93, 13
May 1993 and UA 169/93, AMR 34/28/93, 25 May 1993.
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