PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 41/18/99
28 July 1999
Further information on UA 144/99 (AMR 41/12/99, 25 June 1999) - Fear for safety
/ Ill-treatment / Torture and new concern: health concern
MEXICORodolfo Montiel Flores - tortured
Teodoro Cabrera García - tortured
Amnesty International is very concerned for the health and safety of
environmental activists Rodolfo Montiel Flores and Teodoro Cabrera García,
who were detained by soldiers on 2 May 1999, in Pizotla, Guerrero State. Both
have reportedly been beaten by soldiers and Rodolfo Montiel Flores is apparently
in poor health after reportedly being severely tortured in detention.
Rodolfo Montiel was apparently tortured with electric shocks to his genitals
and is now suffering from inflamed testicles. He needs urgent medical treatment
for this, which Amnesty International believes the prison medical facilities
Rodolfo Montiel told a representative of the official Comision Nacional de
Derechos Humanos (CNDH), National Commission for Human Rights, who visited
him in detention on 4 June, that soldiers had beaten him and Teodoro García
to force them to confess to being members of an armed opposition group and
to possession of drugs. He also said he was made to pose for photographs holding
a rifle and dressed in military clothes. The CNDH have opened an investigation
into these allegations.
Both men are presently detained in prison in Iguala, Guerrero State.
The arrest and torture of Rodolfo Montiel Flores and Teodoro Cabrera García
comes at a time of increased military activity in the state of Guerrero. Amnesty
International has recently documented various allegations of human rights
violations, including extrajudicial executions, torture, rape and arbitrary
arrests, by the military against members of the indigenous community in the
region as part of counter-insurgency operations (see UA 111/99, AMR 41/08/99,
17 May 1999).
In a 1998 report on the human rights situation in Mexico, the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights concluded that “the emergence of new dissident armed
groups of various types has led not only to a resumption of measures of control
by the security forces but also to the indiscriminate repression of social
organizations and leaders”.
In addition, Amnesty International has long documented the use of torture to
extract confessions, especially as part of counter-insurgency operations.
Torture extracted confessions, while illegal under the terms of the Federal
Law to Prevent and Punish Torture, continue to be accepted by trial judges
as admissible evidence.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail
letters in Spanish or in your own language:
- expressing concern for Rodolfo Montiel Flores who is apparently in poor health
after being severely tortured in detention;
- expressing concern at reports that Rodolfo Montiel Flores and Teodoro Cabrera
García have been beaten up by soldiers to extract confessions from them;