• Campagnes

Mexico: "Disappearance" / fear for safety / fear of torture

, N° d'index: AMR 41/009/1997

Rufino Pablo Mendoza, aged 22, Antonio Hernandez de Los Santos, aged 20, Victor Feliciano de Los Santos, aged 12, Rufino Ramirez Vazquez, aged 20 (all "disappeared"); Francisco Feliciano de Los Santos, aged 25, Sergio Martinez Santiago, Alfredo Rojas Santiago: Four members of the indigenous mixteco community of Guadalupe Mano de Leon in Guerrero state, including a 12-year-old child, are reported to have "disappeared" after being beaten and arrested without warrants by police on 16 February 1997. There is grave concern for their safety. Another man, Francisco Feliciano de Los Santos, arrested at the same time, is being held in prison in Acapulco. All five were connected to the legal opposition party, the Partido Revolucionario Democratico (PRD). On 15 February in the neighbouring mixteco community of La Soledad, Sergio Martinez Santiago and Alfredo Rojas Santiago, both members of the PRD, were allegedly tortured and arrested by police. There are fears that they may suffer further torture in detention.

EXTERNAL AI Index: AMR 41/09/97
UA 56/97 “Disappearance” / Fear for safety / Fear of torture 3 March 1997
MEXICORufino Pablo Mendoza, aged 22
Antonio Hernández de Los Santos, aged 20
Víctor Feliciano de Los Santos, aged 12
Rufino Ramírez Vázquez, aged 20
Francisco Feliciano de Los Santos, aged 25
Sergio Martínez Santiago
Alfredo Rojas Santiago
Four members of the indigenous mixteco community of Guadalupe Mano de León
in Guerrero state, including a 12-year-old child, are reported to have
"disappeared" after being arrested, without warrants, by police on 16 February
1997. Amnesty International is deeply concerned for their safety.
Rufino Pablo Mendoza, Antonio Feliciano de Los Santos, Rufino Ramírez Vázquez
and 12-year-old Víctor Feliciano de Los Santos were allegedly beaten before
being taken away in a police vehicle by some 100 judicial police. They have
not been seen since. Also arrested at the same time was Francisco Feliciano
de Los Santos. He is being held in prison in Acapulco where it is feared he
may suffer further ill-treatment. All five were connected to the legal
opposition party, the Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD), the Democratic
Revolutionary Party.
On 15 February, in the neighbouring mixteco community of La Soledad, Sergio
Martínez Santiago and Alfredo Rojas Santiago, both members of the PRD, were
allegedly tortured and then arrested by a large contingent of police. The police
accused them of belonging to the Ejército Revolucionario Popular (EPR), the
People’s Revolutionary Army, an armed opposition group (see below) and allegedly
beat them and held them underwater in order to extract the names of supposed
EPR members in the community. The two men were arrested without warrants and
are now being held in Ometepec prison. Amnesty International fears that they
may suffer further torture while in detention.
Those being held in custody are accused of involvement in the ambush of a
motorized police patrol on 14 February 1997 in which one policeman died.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Since the massacre of 17 peasants on 28 June 1995 in Aguas Blancas in an ambush
staged by Guerrero state police and government officials (see UA 159/95, AMR
41/15/95, 5 July 1995, and follow-ups AMR 41/16/95, 26 July 1995 and AMR
41/18/95, 17 August 1995), a wave of violence has swept through the state.
The armed opposition group, the EPR, first appeared on 28 June 1996, the
anniversary of the Aguas Blancas massacre. Since then the security forces
have consistently targeted peasants and their leaders, including PRD members,
for intimidation, arrest, ill-treatment and torture, accusing communities and
organizations of belonging to the EPR. In July 1996, 200 peasants were arrested
and many subject to torture (See EXTRA 103/96, AMR 41/34/96, 5 July 1996, and
update, AMR 41/37/96, 18 July). Many are still in detention. Benigno Guzmán
Martínez, a peasant leader, was accused of being a leader of the EPR. He was
arrested in January and tortured (see UA 30/97, AMR 41/03/97, 28 January 1997).
He is still in detention. A climate of systematic human rights violations and
impunity prevail in the state of Guerrero.
2
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in Spanish or your own language:
- calling for the whereabouts of Víctor Feliciano de Los Santos, Rufino Pablo
Mendoza, Antonio Feliciano de Los Santos, and Rufino Ramírez Vázquez to be
established immediately, and for their families to be informed;
- seeking assurances that they will not be subjected to any form of ill-treatment
or torture;
- calling for Francisco Feliciano de Los Santos, Sergio Martínez Santiago and
Alfredo Rojas Santiago to be treated humanely, and either charged with
recognisably criminal offences or released immediately;
- calling for all reports of torture and ill-treatment against those named
to be promptly and independently investigated, and for those responsible to
be brought to justice without delay.
APPEALS TO:
1) Minister of Interior
Lic. Emilio Chuayffet Chemor
Secretario de Gobernación
Secretaría de Gobernación
Bucarelli 99, 1er piso,
Col Juarez, 06699 México DF, MÉXICO
Telegrams: Secretario de Gobernación, México DF, México
Faxes: + 52 5 546 5350
Salutation: Sr. Secretario / Dear Minister
2) Attorney General of the Republic
Lic. Jorge Madrazo Cuéllar
Procurador General de la República
Procuraduría General de la República
Paseo de la Reforma y Violeta
Col. Guerrero
06300 México D.F., MEXICO
Telegrams: Procurador Madrazo, México D.F., México
Faxes: (+52 5) 626 4419
Salutation: Sr. Procurador General / Dear Attorney General
3) Attorney General of the State of Guerrero
Lic. Antonio Hernández Díaz
Procurador del Estado de Guerrero
Carretera Nacional México-Acapulco Km. 6.300
CP 39.000, Chilpancingo, Guerrero, MEXICO.
Telegrams: Sr. Procurador, Guerrero, México
Faxes: + 52 747 223 28 (voice line: ask "me puede dar tono de fax, por favor")
Salutation: Sr. Procurador/ Dear Attorney
3) Interim Governor of the State of Guerrero
Ángel Heladio Aguirre Rivero
Gobernador Interino del Estado de Guerrero
Palacio de Gobierno
Plaza Primer Congreso de Anahuac
39000 Chilpancingo, Guerrero, Mexico
Telegrams: Gobernador Aguirre, Chilpancingo, Guerrero, Mexico
Faxes:+ 52 747 23072 (voice line: ask "me puede dar tono de fax, por favor")
Salutation: Sr. Gobernador / Dear Governor
3
COPIES TO:
1) Daily newspaper
Sr. Editor
La Jornada
Balderas 68
06050 México D.F., 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 15 April 1997.

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