UA 497/90 - Guatemala: fear of "disappearance": Ventura Alvarez Perez
EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 34/77/90
UA 497/90 Fear of "Disappearance" 11 December 1990
GUATEMALA : Ventura ALVAREZ PEREZ, aged 55
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of 55-year-old salesman
Ventura Alvarez Pérez, who was abducted on 4 December 1990 in the Mixco area
of Guatemala City.
According to relatives, Ventura Alvarez was seized by four armed men
in plain clothes outside his home in the Colonia Bosques de San Nicolás, in
the Mixco, Guatemala City on 4 December. He was threatened and forced into
a grey car, which drove off to an unknown destination. Relatives denounced
his abduction to the police, but Ventura Alvarez' whereabouts are unknown.
Ventura Alvarez, originally from Santa Cruz del Quiché, El Quiché
department, is a former leader of Acción Católica (Catholic Action), a Roman
Catholic grassroots organization active at that time, many of whose members
were targetted by the security forces during the counter-insurgency campaigns
in the early 1980's in Guatemala. Ventura Alvarez also worked as a bilingual
presenter for Radio Quiché. He and his family were forced to flee Santa Cruz
del Quiché in 1980, after hundreds of members of Catholic Action were subjected
to human rights violations, including torture, "disappearance" and
extrajudicial execution, because of their work with Catholic Action, which
the armed forces frequently characterized as having links with the "guerrillas".
Given the circumstances of the abduction, Amnesty International is concerned
that Ventura Alvarez may have been abducted by the security forces because
of his past activities as a leader of Catholic Action, and fears that, if
detained, he may be tortured, "disappeared" or extrajudicially executed.
Amnesty International knows of many cases of people who continue to be
targetted by the security forces because of their past activities with such
In the early 1980's many thousands of non-combatant civilians, most of them
Indian peasants, were extrajudicially executed by the armed forces in the
Guatemalan countryside, including in the department of El Quiché in the course
of army counter-insurgency operations.
Since the government of President Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo assumed power
in January 1986, Amnesty International has continued to receive reports of
"disappearances" and extrajudicial executions in Guatemala.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- expressing concern that Ventura Alvarez Pérez may have been abducted by the
- urging the authorities to clarify his whereabouts and legal situation;
- expressing concern that if detained, he may be tortured while in custody
and asking for assurances that his physical integrity will be respected.
S.E. Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo
Presidente de la República de Guatemala
Tel: +502 22 1212, +502 22 2266
Fax: +502 253 7472
Telex: 5325 RELPUB GU
Telegrams: Presidente Cerezo, Guatemala, Guatemala
Brig. Gral. Juan Leonel Bolaños
Ministro de Defensa
Ministerio de Defensa
Tel: +502 22 1212, ext 2226
Fax: +502 253 7472
Telex: 5439 EMDLDN GU
Telegrams: Ministro Defensa, Guatemala, Guatemala
Lic. Mario Roberto Yllescas Aguirre
Procurador General de la Nación
Procuraduría General de la Nación
7a Avenida 7-78
Zona 4, Guatemala, Guatemala
Telegrams: Procurador Gral, Guatemala, Guatemala
Telephone: +502 264697, +502 2313656 or +502 2518385
Lic. Ramiro de León Carpio
Procurador de Derechos Humanos
Avenida Simeón Cañas 10-61
Grupo de Apoyo Mútuo (GAM)
5a Avenida 9-11, Zona 12
Diario Siglo XXI
7a Avenida 11-79
Edificio Galerias España, 6o piso
Zona 9, Guatemala, Guatemala
and to diplomatic representatives of Guatemala in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 22 January 1991.