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Mexico: Further information on fear for safety

, N° d'index: AMR 41/106/1997

Father Samuel Ruiz, Bishop of San Cristobal de las Casas; Raul Vera, auxiliary bishop; and new names: Maria de la Luz Ruiz (f), sister of Bishop Ruiz; Jose Pedro Perez Perez, Jose Vazquez Perez and Manuel Perez Perez, all priests: Maria de la Luz Ruiz was attacked on 6 November and is in hospital in serious condition. The three priests were injured during the attack against Bishop Ruiz.

EXTERNAL AI Index: AMR 41/106/97
10 November 1997
Further information on UA 351/97 (AMR 41/103/97, 6 November 1997) - Fear for
safety
MEXICOFather Samuel Ruiz, Bishop of San Cristóbal de las Casas
Raúl Vera, auxiliary bishop
New names: María de la Luz Ruiz (f), aged 55, sister of Bishop Ruiz
José Pedro Pérez Pérez, priest
José Vázquez Pérez, priest
Manuel Pérez Pérez, priest
On 6 November 1997, María de la Luz Ruiz, sister of Bishop Samuel Ruiz, was
attacked in her house in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas State. She was
reportedly hit repeatedly with a hammer, causing fractures to her skull. She
is in hospital in a serious condition.
This attack comes only one day after Bishop Ruiz and Bishop Raúl Vera were
attacked on their way to the municipality of Tila, along with other members
of the diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas. Although both bishops escaped
unhurt, Amnesty International has since learned the names of the three people,
all priests in the diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas, who were injured
in the attack: José Pedro Pérez Pérez, José Vásquez Pérez and Manuel Pérez
Pérez.
Amnesty International has documented an ongoing pattern of intimidation and
harassment against members of the catholic clergy working in defence of human
rights in Chiapas state. Bishops Ruiz and Vera have received numerous threats
over the past two years and have also been subjected to a smear campaign by
the local media attempting to discredit their activities (see UA 201/96, AMR
41/44/96, 14 August 1996; UA 120/96, AMR 41/21/96, 7 May 1996; follow-up AMR
41/23/97, 10 May 1997; and UA 46/95, AMR 41/10/95, 21 February 1995). In March
1997, two Jesuit priests were arbitrarily detained and tortured by members
of the security forces in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas state (see UA 64/97, AMR
41/10/97, 14 March 1997; follow-ups AMR 41/11/97, 12 March 1997, and AMR
41/12/97, 14 March 1997).
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail
letters in Spanish or in your own language:
- expressing deep concern at the attack on María de la Luz Ruiz on 6 November
1997;
- calling for a prompt and thorough investigation into this attack, and the
attack of 5 November on Bishop Samuel Ruiz and others, and for those responsible
to be brought to justice;
- seeking assurances that measures will be taken, as a matter of urgency, to
guarantee the safety of Bishop Ruiz, his sister, María de la Luz Ruiz, and
members of the catholic clergy working in Chiapas state.
APPEALS TO:
1) Governor of the State of Chiapas
Lic. Julio César Ruiz Ferro
Gobernador del Estado de Chiapas
Palacio de Gobierno
Av. Central y Primera Oriente
2
Colonia Centro, 29009 Tuxtla Gutiérrez
Estado de Chiapas, MEXICO
Telegrams: Gobernador Ruiz Ferro, Chiapas, México
Faxes: +52 961 20917 (if voice, ask "me puede dar tono de fax, por favor")
Salutation: Sr. Gobernador/Dear Governor
2) Attorney General, Chiapas
Marco Antonio Besares Escobar
Procurador General de Chiapas
Procuraduría General
Tuxtla Gutiérrez
Estado de Chiapas, MEXICO
Telegrams: Procurador General de Chiapas, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico
Faxes: + 52 9 616 5376 (if voice, ask “me puede dar tono de fax, por favor”)
Salutation: Sr Procurador / Dear Attorney General
COPIES TO:
Human Rights Organization
Comisión de Derechos Humanos "Fray Bartolomé de las Casas"
Apartado postal 178
San Cristóbal de las Casas
29250 Chiapas
Church
Conferencia del Episcopado Mexicano
Prolongación Ministerios 24-B
Col Tepeyac-Insurgentes
Apdo 118-005
07020 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 29 December 1997.

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