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Mexico: Fear for safety / fear of torture or ill-treatment

, N° d'index: AMR 41/023/1998

Leandro Marcial Montor, Catarino Torres Pereda, Raul Gatica, Alejandro Cruz López and at least 30 other CIPO members were arrested while staging peaceful public protests at the recent detention of Leandro Marcial Montor and Catarino Torres Pereda, two CIPO leaders. All are at risk of torture or ill-treatment. At least 2 people were reported to have been killed during the break up of the protest by police.

PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 41/23/98
24 April 1998
UA 132/98 Fear for safety / Fear of torture or ill-treatment
MEXICOLeandro Marcial Montor } leaders of CIPO peasant rights
Catarino Torres Pereda } organisation
Raul Gatica } peasant activists
Alejandro Cruz López }
and at least 30 other CIPO members, names unknown
On 18 April 1998, over 30 members and supporters of the Consejo Indígena y
Popular de Oaxaca (CIPO), Indigenous and Popular Council of Oaxaca, were
arrested while staging peaceful public protests at the recent detention of
Leandro Marcial Montor and Catarino Torres Pereda, two CIPO leaders. All are
at risk of torture or ill-treatment.
The CIPO members and supporters’ peaceful occupation of judicial buildings
in Tuxtepec and Putla de Guerrero, two towns in Oaxaca State, on 17 April,
were violently broken up by agents of the state judicial police force on the
following day. At least two people were reportedly killed during the break-up
and more than 100 people, including indigenous women and children, were beaten
and detained. The majority have since been released, but at least 30 others
remain in detention, including Raul Gatica and Alejandro Cruz López.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Amnesty International has recorded a steady increase in the number of human
rights violations, including “disappearance”, extrajudicial execution and
torture, carried out by members of the security forces in Oaxaca State over
the past two years. Targets have frequently included activists and supporters
of peasant and indigenous groups as well as members of the Partido de la
Revolución Democrática (PRD), Party of the Democratic Revolution, the leading
political party in opposition.
This increase has occurred in the context of counter-insurgency operations,
by both the armed forces and the state judicial police force, against the
Ejército Popular Revolucionario (EPR), Popular Revolutionary Army. The EPR
is an armed opposition group which emerged in July 1996 and which is alleged
to operate mainly in the southern states of Oaxaca and Guerrero.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters in
or your own language:
- urging that measures to be taken to guarantee the safety of more than 30
COPI members detained on and before 18 April 1998, including Leandro Marcial
Montor and Catarino Torres Pereda;
- requesting that those detained be given access to lawyers, doctors and
relatives, and that they be released if no charges are brought against them;
- asking to be kept informed of judicial proceedings against those who remain
in detention;
- calling for a prompt and thorough investigation into allegations that state
judicial police involved in the break-up of the occupations of judicial
buildings in Tuxtepec and Putla de Guerrero, Oaxaca State, on 18 April 1998,
resulted in the death of at least two protestors and the ill-treatment of others.
APPEALS TO:
Governor of the State of Oaxaca
Lic. Diodoro Carrasco Altamirano
Gobernador del Estado de Oaxaca
Palacio de Gobierno
Bustamente s/n
Oaxaca 68000, Estado de Oaxaca
MEXICO
Telegrams: Gobernador del Estado, Oaxaca, México
Faxes: + 52 951 550 77
Salutation: Sr. Procurador / Dear Governor
Attorney of the State of Oaxaca
Lic. Roberto Pedro Martínez Ortiz
Procurador del Estado de Oaxaca
Avenida Luis Echeverría
La Experimental
San Antonio de la Cal
Oaxaca 71236, Estado de Oaxaca
MEXICO
Telegrams: Procurador del Estado, Oaxaca, México
Faxes: + 52 951 1 55 19
Salutation: Sr. Procurador / Dear Attorney
COPIES TO:
Human rights organisation
Liga Mexicana por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos
Avenida Azcapotzalco N. 275, Col. Claveria
02090 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 5 June 1998.

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