EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 34/50/93
UA 246/93 Harassment/Fear for safety 29 July 1993
GUATEMALA: Fernando René DE LEÓN SOLANO, aged 38, human rights
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Fernando René de León
Solano who has recently been persecuted and threatened in Guatemala city, the
capital. He is Secretary of the Executive Board of the Asociación Guatemalteca
de Juristas (AGJ), Guatemalan Association of Jurists, a non-governmental human
According to reports, at the beginning of July 1993, as he was leaving the
AGJ headquarters, Fernando de León noticed two men in civilian clothes, wearing
military boots and with military haircuts, standing on the street corner. When
they saw Fernando de León they quickly hid themselves around the corner and
then reappeared several times as if trying to be noticed.
Subsequently, on 11 July a trade unionist named Walter Manuel Najera Molina
was reportedly abducted, held for several hours and then freed. The following
day, 12 July, Walter Najera visited Fernando de León at his office, and told
him that he had been threatened with death while being interrogated. He claimed
to have been questioned about several people, including Fernando de León, whom
the abductors assured him had links with the armed opposition.
On the evening of 20 July as Fernando de León left his office he noticed the
same two men that he had seen before, who proceeded to approach him. He crossed
to the other side of the road and quickened his pace and the two men apparently
The following day a woman reportedly arrived at the office of Fernando de León,
claiming to be from the Funerales Reforma Sociedad Anónima, a company of
undertakers, and that her visit was due to an anonymous telephone call stating
that a funeral service may be necessary for Fernando de León. On 23 July another
employee of the same undertakers came to the AGJ offices claiming that someone
had called asking for a burial service for Fernando de León.
On 6 June 1993 Ramiro de León Carpio, previously the Human Rights Procurator,
was voted President, almost unanimously, by Congress to serve out the remaining
term of President Jorge Serrano Elías. Ex-President Serrano had been forced
from office after trying to seize near-dictatorial powers on 25 May 1993.
For many years Amnesty International has been concerned about human rights
violations directed against targeted groups, including trade unionists, student