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Mexico: Further information on fear for safety / death threats / possible "disappearances" / ill-treatment: Members of CONPAZ, human rights organization

, Index number: AMR 41/030/1997

Dr Gerardo Gonzalez Figueroa and his family: On 7 May 1997 Dr Gerardo Gonzalez Figueroa, chairperson of the Coordinacion de Organismos No Gubernamentales por la Paz (CONPAZ), based in San Cristobal de las Casas, state of Chiapas, received a series of anonymous phoned death threats against himself and his family. There is concern for their safety.

EXTERNAL AI Index: AMR 41/30/97
8 May 1997
Further information on UA 255/96 (AMR 41/70/96, 5 November 1996) and follow-ups
(AMR 41/71/96, 6 November, AMR 41/73/96, 12 November, and AMR 41/08/97, 13
February 1997) - Fear for safety / Death threats / Possible "disappearances"
/ Ill-treatment
MEXICOMembers of CONPAZ, human rights organization
Dr Gerardo González Figueroa and his family
On the morning of 7 May 1997, Dr Gerardo González Figueroa, chairperson of
the Coordinación de Organismos No Gubernamentales por la Paz (CONPAZ),
Coordination of Non-Governmental Organizations for Peace, based in San
Cristóbal de las Casas, state of Chiapas, received a series of anonymous death
threats by phone. The threats came a few minutes after a statement by CONPAZ
against the expulsion of international human rights monitors had been read
in a radio news program.
During the first call, a man spoke to one of Gerardo González’s daughters and
asked for her father. When he answered, the caller said “what are you going
to do when something happens to the one who answered the phone?” (¿Qué va a
hacer cuando le pase algo a la que me contestó?), meaning his daughter. The
caller continued: “You thought it was a joke, now you will see when something
happens to your daughters, you’ll see we’re being serious” (“Creyeron que era
broma, ahora van a ver cuando a sus hijas les pase algo, ya van a ver es en
serio”). Gerardo González did not answer and hung up. Two minutes later,
the phone rang again and the caller said “Let’s see if the bloody foreigners
will defend your daughters when something happens to them” (“A ver si los pinches
extranjeros van a defender a tus hijas cuando les pase algo”). Two minutes
after that, there was another call, which Gerardo González was able to record
on tape. The caller said: “What’s more important: your children’s safety or
your bloody principles” (“Que será más importante: la seguridad de tus hijos
o tus ideales tan pendejos”).
Dr Gerardo González believes that the caller is the same person who threatened
him by phone in several occasions during November 1996 (see updates AMR 41/71/96,
6 November 1996 and AMR 41/73/96, 12 November)
A number of international human rights monitors have had their visas withdrawn
by Mexican immigration officials and expelled or asked to leave Mexico in the
last three weeks (See EXTRA 54/97, AMR 41/20/97, 18 April 1997, and follow
ups AMR 41/21/97, 21 April; AMR 41/23/97, 22 April; and AMR 41/27/97, 25 April).
National and international human rights non-governmental organizations have
energetically condemned the expulsion of international human rights monitors
by the Mexican authorities (see also News Service 70/97, AMR 41/22/97, 21 April
As far as Amnesty International is aware, no one has been brought to justice
for any of the previous attacks and harassment against members of CONPAZ.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in Spanish or in your own language:
- expressing concern at the anonymous death threats received by Dr Gerardo
González Figueroa against him and his family, following a statement by CONPAZ
on a radio program on 7 May 1997;
- calling for effective and immediate measures to ensure their safety and to
stop any further threats and attacks against them and other members of CONPAZ;
- urging that full and impartial investigations be opened into these death
threats and that those responsible be brought to justice;
- requesting to be kept informed about measures adopted to prevent future
attacks, and about the investigations carried out into these and previous
1) Governor of the State of Chiapas
Lic. Julio César Ruiz Ferro
Gobernador del estado de Chiapas
Palacio de Gobierno
Av. Central y Primera Oriente
Colonia Centro, 29009 Tuxtla Gutiérrez
Estado de Chiapas, MEXICO
Telegrams: Gobernador Ruiz Ferro, Chiapas, México
Fax: +52 961 20917 (if voice, ask "me puede dar tono de fax, por favor)
Salutation; Sr. Gobernador / Dear Governor
2) Attorney General of the Republic
Lic. Jorge Madrazo Cuéllar
Procurador General de la República
Procuraduría General de la República
Paseo de la Reforma y Violeta
Col. Guerrero
06300 México D.F., MEXICO
Telegrams: Sr. Procurador de la República, México D.F.
Fax: +52 5 626 4419
Salutation: Sr. Procurador de la República / Dear Attorney General
Human rights NGO
Apartado Postal 41
San Cristóbal de las Casas
29200 Chiapas
Fax: +52 967 83868
Sr. Director
Avenida Mexico Coyoacán 40
Colonia Santa Cruz Atoyac
Benito Juárez
03310 México D.F.
Fax: +52 5 628 7189
and to diplomatic representatives of Mexico accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 30 June 1997.

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