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UA 103/94 - Mexico: fear for safety / "disappearance": Juan Mendoza Lorenzo, Eliseo Perez Santis, Leonardo Mendez Sanchez, Vicente Lopez Hernandez, Manuel Sanchez Gonzalez, Enrique Gonzalez Garcia, Marcelo Perez Jimenez, Nicolas Cortez Hernandez, Alejandr

, N° d'index: AMR 41/006/1994

There is grave concern for the safety of the above named Tzeltal Indian peasants who have reportedly "disappeared" in Chiapas. Their whereabouts have been unknown since they were reportedly arrested by the army during the first week of January 1994, apparently on suspicion of belonging to the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN).

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 41/06/94
Distr: UA/SC
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
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, " "
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.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes and airmail letters
either in Spanish or in your own language:
- expressing grave concern for the safety of the Tzeltal Indian peasants (naming
some or all), who have not been since their reported arrest in early January
by the Mexican army, in their Chiapas' communities.
- urging an immediate and thorough investigation into their whereabouts, asking
to be informed about the findings;
- urging that if any of the above mentioned are in detention, that they should
be humanely treated and allowed access to their relatives, interpreters, doctors
and lawyers, as well as human rights monitors.
- calling for those responsible for the above mentioned arbitrary arrest and
possible "disappearance" to be brought to justice;
- urging an effective end to the impunity which appears to benefit the
perpetrators of human rights violations reported in Chiapas.
1) President of the Republic
Lic. Carlos Salinas de Gortari
Presidente de la República
Palacio Nacional
06067 México D.F., Mexico
Telegrams: Presidente Salinas, México D.F., Mexico
Telexes: 170937 sppnme; 1774468 sppnme
Faxes: +52 5 271 1764
Salutation: Sr. Presidente/Dear President
2) Minister of Defense
Gral. Antonio Riviello Bazán
Secretario de Defensa Nacional
Secretaría de Defensa Nacional
Ávila Camacho e Industria Militar
Lomas de Sotelo
11640 México DF, Mexico
Telegramas: Ministro Defensa, Mexico DF, Mexico
Faxes: +52 5 557 7904
Salutation: Sr. Ministro/Dear Minister
1) National Human Rights Commission
Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos
Periférico Sur 3469
Col San Jerónimo Lídice
10200 México DF, Mexico
2) Non-governmental Human Rights Organization
CONPAZ - Coordinación de los ONGs
de San Cristóbal de las Casas por la Paz
Avda. 5 de Mayo No. 21
Barrio La Merced, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico
3) Weekly magazine
Sr. Editor
Fresas 13, Colonia del Valle, 03100 México DF, Mexico
and to diplomatic representatives of Mexico accredited to your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 25 April 1994.

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