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UA 246/93 - Guatemala: harassment / fear for safety: Fernando Rene de Leon Solano

, N° d'index: AMR 34/050/1993

Fernando de Leon, the Secretary of the Executive Board of the Asociacion Guatemalteca de Juristas (AGJ), Guatemalan Association of Jurists, has recently been persecuted and threatened in Guatemala City. At the beginning of July he noticed he was under surveillance from two men. On 11 July, a trade unionist, Walter Manuel Najera Molina, was reportedly abducted for several hours. The next day he visited Fernando de Leon, and told him he had been questioned about several people, including Fernando de Leon. On 20 July he again saw the two men who had been watching him. In the following days a firm of undertakers called twice at his office stating that they had been informed that a burial service for him was needed.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 34/50/93
Distr: UA/SC
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
rights organization.
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
leaders, journalists and those working with non-governmental organizations,
particularly those attempting to investigate and protect human rights. They
have been long-term targets of abuses in Guatemala, including harassment,
threats, torture, "disappearances", and extrajudicial executions. Such abuses
have sometimes been preceded by acts of intimidation and surveillance.
Page 2 of UA 246/93
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters
either in Spanish, English or in your own language:
- expressing concern at the harassment and threats received by Fernando René de León
- asking that these incidents be immediately investigated and that those found
responsible be brought to justice;
- asking for guarantees for the security of Fernando René de León Solano.
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, + 502 2 519702
Telexes: 5331 CAPRES GU
Salutation: Excelentísimo Sr. Presidente / Dear President
2) Minister of Interior:
Lic. Arnoldo Ortiz Moscoso
Ministro de Gobernación
Ministerio de Gobernación
Despacho Ministerial, Of. No. 8
Palacio Nacional, Guatemala, GUATEMALA
Telegrams: Ministro de Gobernación, Guatemala, Guatemala
Faxes: + 502 2 518105
Telexes: 5085 MINGOB
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
Telexes: 5361 COMGUA GU
Salutation: Sr. Ministro / Dear Minister
1) Human Rights Procurator:
Lic. Jorge García Laguardia
Procurador de los Derechos Humanos
12 Avenida 12-72, Zona 1,
Guatemala, GUATEMALA
Faxes: + 502 2 81734
2) Head of the Presidential Commission
Coordinating the Policies of the
Executive relating to Human Rights:
15 Avenida 18-38, Zona 13
Guatemala, GUATEMALA
3) Archbishop's Human Rights Office:
Oficina de Derechos Humanos del
Arzobispado de Guatemala (ODHAG)
Apartado Postal 723
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 9 September 1993.

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