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Guatemala: Further information on fear for safety: Debora Guzman Chupen, trade unionist

, N° d'index: AMR 34/022/1995

AI is concerned for the safety Debora Guzman Chupen, who is pregnant, following the latest in a series of death threats against her. The threats are related to her husband's activities as a trade union leader, specifically in relation to his involvement in a protest against the closure of the Lunafil textile factory.

EXTERNAL AI Index: AMR 34/22/95
29 August 1995
Further information on UA 395/94 (AMR 34/43/94, 3 November 1994) and follow-ups
(AMR 34/06/95, 9 March 1995, AMR 34/14/95, 25 May) - Fear for safety
GUATEMALADébora GUZMÁN CHUPÉN (f), trade unionist, aged 23, wife of Félix
González, trade union leader
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Débora Guzmán Chupén,
following the latest in a series of death threats against her.
On 21 August 1995, Débora Guzmán, who is pregnant, left the M y J Modas factory
to do some shopping. According to reports, she noticed a black car with tinted
glass near the factory. A few minutes later a child handed her an anonymous
letter he had been given by the occupants of the car. The note said,
"Remember that you have had a long time and that we have left you alone. If
you love your baby, convince your husband since neither of you has taken any
notice. But if he loves his baby, he will have to decide now: either leave
the union or his wife and child will pay the consequences. Remember what we
say. Urge him to resign and if he doesn't he will know who we are. If the
last time, we didn't do anything, this time everyone will pay, even the baby.
Ask your husband what he prefers: to have you alive or dead".
("Acuérdese que lleva mucho tiempo y la hemos dejado estar. Si quiere usted
a su bébé exígale a su marido ya que ninguno de los dos hace caso. Pero si
él quiere a su bébé tendrá que decidirse ahora: o deja el sindicato o pagarán
las consecuencias su mujer y su hijo. Acuérdese lo que le decimos. Exígale
que renuncie y si no ya saberá quienes somos nosostros. Si la vez pasada no
se le hizo nada, esta vez pagará todo y hasta su bébé. Dígale a su marido
que prefiere: tenerla viva o muerta.")
Débora Guzmán's husband, Félix González, is a leading trade unionist at the
Lunafil S. A. textile factory in Amatitlán, Department of Guatemala. He and
a group of 49 workers have suffered a series of threats and other acts of
intimidation as a result of a protest they began in May 1994 against what they
perceived to be the illegal and unjustified closure of the textile factory.
Débora Guzmán herself has received several death threats and was abducted
in February 1995 when she was told that she would be killed if she failed to
convince her husband to relinquish his trade union activities. She was
subsequently threatened in May.
An Amnesty International delegation visited Guatemala earlier this year and
met with Débora Guzmán, Félix González and the workers at Lunafil to obtain
first-hand testimonies regarding the harassment they had been suffering. It
would appear that, despite the threats against Débora Guzmán and her abduction
in February, the authorities have not initiated any inquiries. It is believed
that, as occurred in the context of previous labour disputes at Lunafil in
1987 and 1988, private security guards hired by the Lunafil management and
acting with the acquiescence or complicity of the Guatemalan security forces
may be responsible for the abuses against Débora Guzmán and other recent
violations against unionists in the textile sector.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in Spanish or in your own language:
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- expressing serious concern at the continuing death threats against Débora
Guzmán and Félix González;
- calling on the authorities to take immediate measures to guarantee their
safety and that of their family;
- urging the authorities to instigate full and prompt investigations into the
reported abuses and that those responsible be brought to justice.
APPEALS TO:
AI Sections in a position to promote appeals by prominent people in the clothing
or fashion industries are encouraged to do so. Please warn those sympathizers
not to make statements about the company which could lead to libel action and
to use the UA text only.
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 537472/515667
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
Faxes: + 502 2 518 105; 537 472
Salutation: Sr. Ministro / Dear Minister
3) Minister of Labour and Social Welfare:
Sra. Gladys Morfin
Ministro de Trabajo y Previsión Social
Ministerio de Trabajo y Previsión Social
Palacio Nacional, Guatemala, GUATEMALA
Telegrams: Ministra de Trabajo y Previsión Social Guatemala, Guatemala
Faxes: + 502 2 513 559; 532 345
Salutation: Sra. Ministro / Dear Minister
COPIES 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 537554; + 502 2 530482
Human Rights Procurator
Lic. Jorge García Laguardia
Procurador de los Derechos Humanos
12 Avenida 12-72
Zona 1, Guatemala, GUATEMALA
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Trade union
Unión Sindical de Trabajadores de Guatemala (UNSITRAGUA)
11 Calle 8-14, Zona 1
Oficina 34, Tercer Nivel
Guatemala, GUATEMALA
Director, Lunafil
Carlos Enrique Zibara Moll
Oficinas de Fábrica Lunafil
13 Calle 8-91
Zona 11
Guatemala, GUATEMALA
Two main shareholders of Lunafil
Arnoldo Kuestermann (German national)
10 Calle 7-48
Zona 9
(or Apartado Postal 1005 A. Asies)
Guatemala, GUATEMALA
Julio Raul Herrera Zevallos
Ingenión Pantaleón
Diagonal 6 10-67
Zona 10
Guatemala, GUATEMALA
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 22 October 1995.

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