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Guatemala: fear for safety: Julio Morales Reyes, community activist, and other workers at the Coordinadora Cakchiquel de Desarrollo Integral (COCADI)

, N° d'index: AMR 34/005/1995

Julio Morales Reyes, a community activist particularly known for his work with COCADI, which promotes development projects amongst the Cakchiquel and other indigenous communities in Chimaltenango department, is recovering in hospital after an attempt on his life. He was shot by two men on 28 February 1995. He has been threatened several times in the past because of his work. On 2 February 1995, two other COCADI activists were beaten up. This pattern of attacks heightens fears for the safety of Julio Morales Reyes and his co-workers at COCADI.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 34/05/95
Distr: UA/SC
UA 56/95 Fear for safety 3 March 1995
GUATEMALAJulio Morales Reyes, community activist
and other workers at the Coordinadora Cakchiquel de Desarrollo Integral
(COCADI), Cakchiquel Coordinator for Holistic Development
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Julio Morales Reyes, who
is currently recovering in hospital after an attempt on his life. He is a
community activist, particularly known for his work with COCADI which promotes
development projects amongst the Cakchiquel and other indigenous communities
of Chimaltenango department.
On 28 February 1995, as he was leaving COCADI's offices in Chimaltenango, the
capital of the department, Julio Morales was intercepted by two men who asked
for his papers and then shot him. They then fled on a motorcycle which was
parked nearby.
Julio Morales has been threatened several times in the past because of his
work. Many of his co-workers have also been threatened over the years. In
another incident, on 2 February, two other COCADI activists were stopped and
beaten up by heavily-armed men in civilian clothes. The attackers did not
take any of the activists' possessions, suggesting that the motive was not
robbery. This pattern of attacks, and the fact that in the past, persons wounded
in apparently politically-motivated attacks have been snatched from their
hospitals beds and "disappeared", heightens fears for the safety of Julio
Morales Reyes and his co-workers at COCADI.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Since former Human Rights Procurator, Ramiro de León Carpio, took over the
presidency of Guatemala in May 1993, human rights violations including
extrajudicial executions, "disappearances," arbitrary arrests, torture, and
an increasing incidence of harassment and death threats have continued. This
is despite the government's purported commitment to respect and promote human
rights and to take firm action against impunity, as affirmed in a human rights
accord agreed by the government and the armed opposition in March 1994. Victims
have included women and children, indigenous leaders and activists, human rights
monitors, journalists, students, trade unionists, jurists and politicians.
Those responsible remain largely unpunished and there has been no evidence
of any genuine efforts to investigate the vast majority of violations that
occurred under previous administrations.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express and airmail letters
either in Spanish or in your own language:
- expressing concern at the attack on Julio Morales Reyes and the beating
suffered by two other COCADI workers on 2 February;
- asking that investigations be immediately launched to establish those
responsible for these incidents, that its results be made public and that those
found responsible be brought to justice;
- urging that all possible measures be taken to protect the life of Julio Morales
Reyes and his colleagues at COCADI, so that they continue their important
development and educational work in safety.
APPEALS TO
2
1) President of the Republic:
S.E. Ramiro de León Carpio
Presidente de la República de Guatemala
Palacio Nacional, Guatemala, GUATEMALA
Telegrams: Presidente de León Carpio, Guatemala, Guatemala
Faxes: + 502 2 515667
Salutation: Excelentísimo Sr. Presidente /Dear President
2) Minister of Interior:
Lic. Carlos Enrique Reynoso
Ministro de Gobernación,
Ministerio de Gobernación
Despacho Ministerial, Of. No. 8
Palacio Nacional, Guatemala, GUATEMALA
Telegrams: Ministro de Gobernación, Guatemala, Guatemala
Salutation: Sr. Ministro / Dear Minister
3) Minister of Defence:
Gral. Mario Enríquez Morales
Ministro de Defensa
Ministerio de Defensa
Palacio Nacional, Guatemala, GUATEMALA
Telegrams: Ministro de Defensa, Guatemala, Guatemala
Faxes: + 502 2 537472
Salutation: Sr. Ministro / Dear Minister
4) Head of the National Police
Lic. Angel Antonio Conte Cajulún
Director General de la Policía Nacional
6 Avenida 13-71, Zona 1
Guatemala, GUATEMALA
Telegrams: Director General Policia Nacional, Guatemala
Salutation: Sr. Director General / Dear Director General
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Fiscal General
Lic. Ramses Cuestas Gómez
Fiscal General de la Nación
Ministerio Público
18 Calle 10-36, Zona 1
Guatemala, GUATEMALA
Faxes: + 502 2 530482
Human Rights Procurator
Lic. Jorge García Laguardia
Procurador de los Derechos Humanos
12 Avenida 12-72
Zona 1, Guatemala
GUATEMALA
COCADI: Development organization in Chimaltenango
FAX: + 502 9 391 473 (Salutation: Señores)
COINDE National development organisation to which COCADI is affiliated
Consejo de Instituciones de Desarrollo (COINDE)
3
40 Avenida y 2a. Calle, Zona 7
Edificio Atanacio Tzul, 3er. Nivel
Residenciales Valle del Sol
01007 Guatemala, GUATEMALA
(or Apartado Postal 590 - I, Guatemala, Guatemala)
Tel: +502 2 934 007 / 914 654 / 914 655 / 914 657
Fax: +502 2 934 009 (Salutation: Señores)
and to diplomatic representatives of GUATEMALA accredited to your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 20 April 1995.

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