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
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.
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.