EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 41/06/94
UA 103/94 Fear for safety / "Disappearance" 14 March 1994
MEXICO Juan MENDOZA LORENZO, 47, from San Miguel, Ocosingo
Eliseo PéREZ SANTIS, 19, " " " "
Leonardo MéNDEZ SáNCHEZ, 19, from ejido La Garrucha
Vicente LóPEZ HERNáNDEZ, 23, from ejido Patihuitz
Manuel SáNCHEZ GONZáLEZ " "
Enrique GONZáLEZ gARCíA, 26 " "
Marcelo PéREZ JIMéNEZ, 23, " "
Nicolás CORTéZ HERNáNDEZ, " "
Alejandro SáNCHEZ LóPEZ, 21, from ejido La Galeana
Doroteo Ruiz HERNáNDEZ, from Prado Ocosingo
Marcos GUZMáN PéREZ, " "
Diego AGUILAR HERNáNDEZ " "
Fernando RUIZ GUZMáN, " "
Antonio GUZMáN GONZáLEZ, " "
- all Tzeltal Indians in Chiapas
Amnesty International is deeply concerned for the safety of the above named
Tzeltal Indian peasants after receiving reports that they have "disappeared".
Their whereabouts have remained unknown since they were reportedly arrested
by members of the Mexican army during the first week of January 1994, apparently
on suspicion of belonging to the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional
(EZLN), Zapatista National Liberation Army.
The remoteness of their communities and the fact that most of their families
speak little or no Spanish has delayed this information reaching Amnesty
On 1 January 1994, the EZLN, an armed opposition group, took control of several
towns in the state of Chiapas. Heavy fighting between the EZLN and government
troops ensued for several days. On 12 January the government declared a
ceasefire, although there were reports of continuing land attacks by the armed
forces during the following days. An Amnesty International delegation visiting
the area in late January, confirmed earlier reports of a number of human rights
abuses, such as the extrajudicial executions of at least five rebels and the
torture of rebel and civilian detainees at the hands of the security forces.
The delegation reminded the Mexican government of its responsibility to
effectively investigate and punish the perpetrators of such abuses. However,
despite limited investigations into the abuses, no one has yet been brought
to justice. This impunity serves only to make further violations likely.
Chiapas has long been the scene of human rights violations by the security
forces in the context of land disputes and allegations of electoral fraud.
Amnesty International has over the last few years documented these abuses,
including massive and arbitrary arrests, torture, ill-treatment and political
killings. A large number of the victims belong to the poorest sectors of the
population. Very rarely have those responsible been brought to justice.
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