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Further information on UA 379/93 (AMR 34/76/93, 27 October; and follow-up AMR 34/77/93, 20 October) - Guatemala: fear for safety: Francisco Solbal Santay, Tiburcio Hernandez Hernandez, Noel Jesus de Beteta Alvarez and three others; Jorge Guillermo Lemus,

, N° d'index: AMR 34/082/1993

Four prisoners in all have been found dead in the Zone 18 Preventivo Prison in Guatemala. Moises Tun Toc was found dead in his cell on 24 October. A few days earlier, Antonio Castillo Mendez, Jose Morales Campos and Oliverio Echeverria were also found dead. Initially the government claimed all four had committed suicide, but a forensic inquiry undertaken by the Toxicology Department at the University of San Carlos (USAC) has established they were murdered, apparently drugged with barbiturates. Two guards and a sub-director of the prison have been jailed in connection with the deaths. Local human rights groups have claimed the four were killed as part of a campaign of intimidation intended to prevent other prisoners from revealing information about "death squads".

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: 34/82/93
Distr: UA/SC
10 November 1993
Further information on 379/93 (AMR 34/76/93, 27 October 1993) - and follow-up
((AMR 34/77/93, 20 October 1993) - Fear for safety
GUATEMALA:Francisco SOLBAL SANTAY )
Tiburcío HERNANDEZ HERNANDEZ ) imprisoned
Noel Jesús de BETETA ALVAREZ ) ex-soldiers
three others )
Jorge Guillermo LEMUS, common-law prisoner
NEW NAMES: Moíses TUN TOC
Antonio CASTILLO MENDEZ
José MORALES CAMPOS
Oliverio ECHEVERRIA
Four prisoners in all have been found dead in the Zone 18 Preventivo Prison
in Guatemala. Moíses Tun Toc was found dead in his cell on 24 October. A few
days earlier, Antonio Castillo Méndez and José Morales Campos were found
strangled and Oliverio Echeverría hanged. The Guatemalan government originally
claimed that all four had committed suicide, but a forensic inquiry undertaken
by the Toxicology Department at the University of San Carlos (USAC) has
established that they were murdered, apparently drugged with barbiturates.
The judge handling the case has now stated that there is clear evidence of
criminal involvement in the deaths, and two guards and a sub-director of the
prison have been jailed in connection with the deaths.
Human rights groups in Guatemala say the four were murdered as part of a campaign
of intimidation intended to prevent a number of other Guatemalan prisoners
from revealing information about military responsibility for up to fifty "death
squad" killings. These prisoners had been willing to cite the names of officials
who allegedly ordered the "death squad" killings in which they had participated,
but then retracted their testimonies, apparently after threats from the army
high command. One of the prisoners, Jorge Lemus, a common law detainee, has
been moved to Pavon prison, where he believes his life to be in grave danger.
Francisco Solbal Santay, Tiburcio Hernández Hernández, Noel Jesús de Beteta
Alvarez and three other former soldiers are still held in the Preventivo Prison
where they were transferred after their recapture following a prison escape
in September in which the murdered prisoners had also participated. The four
murdered prisoners were also reportedly imprisoned on car theft or drugs
charges, as was Jorge Lemus, and it is believed all, including Lemus, knew
of military involvement in car theft and drug rings.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and
airmail letters in Spanish, English or your own language:
- press for further inquiries into the circumstances of the deaths of Moíses
Tun Toc, Antonio Castillo Méndez, José Morales Campos and Oliverio Echeverría,
for the findings to be made public, and that those who both ordered and carried
out the killings be brought to justice;
-continue to urge that Francisco Solbal Santay, Tiburcío Hernández Hernández
and Jorge Lemus (and other former soldiers like Noel de Jesús Beteta, who may
also wish to testify concerning human rights violations carried out by the
military) are protected and their testimonies be taken in this virtually unique
possibility in Guatemala to identify perpetrators of human rights violations;
2
- reiterate that the actions suggested would be the only appropriate path for
the government to follow, particularly given President de León's promises upon
taking office that he would continue to work, as he had done as Human Rights
Procurator, to ensure protection of the human rights of all Guatemalans, and
that impunity for perpetrators of abuses would not be permitted.
APPEALS TO:
1) President of the Republic:
S.E. Rimier 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
Fax: + 502 2 537472
Telexes: 5361 COMGUA GU
Salutation: Sr. Ministro / Dear Minister
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Attorney General:
Lic. Telesforo Guerra Cahn
Procurador General de la Nación
Procuraduría General de la Nación
18 C 10-36, Zona 1
Guatemala, GUATEMALA
Archbishop's Human Rights Office
Oficina de Derechos Humanos del
Arzobispado de Guatemala (ODHAG)
Apartado Postal 723
Guatemala, Guatemala
Departamento de Toxicologia
Facultad de Sciencias Químicas y Farmacia
Universidad de San Carlos
3 Calle, 6-47, Zona 1,
3
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 December 1993.

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