PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 13/021/2001
UA 263/01 Fear for safety 18 October 2001
ARGENTINAOlga Luquez (f) and her family
Olga Luquez’s son was shot and fatally wounded by police from Tropero Sosa
police station, in Mendoza Province, on 1 October 1999. She has been campaigning
for justice ever since, and police from the same station have been threatening
her in person and by telephone. The threats have recently become more serious,
and Amnesty International believes that she and her family are in grave danger.
On 17 September 2001 she appeared on a regional news TV program to mark the
anniversary of her son’s death. Later that day a policeman from Tropero Sosa
approached her on a bus and drew his gun to intimidate her.
Family friends who appeared on the TV program with her have apparently also
received death threats. Some have reportedly been taken in for questioning
by police, and told "que se dejen de joder con ellos porque los vamos a hacer
mierda", "you should stop fucking around with [the Police] because we are going
to make a mess of you".
When she took her daughter to school on the morning of 11 October 2001, a police
patrol car was waiting for them inside the courtyard of the school. Armed
policemen got out of the car when they arrived, and left when Olga Luquez and
her daughter went into the school building. The school authorities later told
her that nobody had called the police.
Seventeen-year-old Roberto Agustín Luquez had been walking on the street with
a friend, when three police officers apparently got out of a patrol car and
approached as if to arrest them. The two boys ran away, because they had no
identification with them. Roberto Agustín hid in a neighbour’s house. The police
followed him inside, and fired at him with a shotgun loaded with rubber pellets.
Three pellets perforated one of his lungs. He was taken to hospital, but died
16 days later.
One of the policemen has been charged with accidental homicide. The other two
have not been included in the judicial investigation, but the inquiries have
faced some delays and obstacles, and Olga Luquez is pressing for the
investigation to proceed.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in
Spanish, English or your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of Olga Luquez, who has reportedly been
threatened by police officers from Tropero Sosa police station, and for her
family and family friends;
- urging the authorities to take immediate action to protect the Luquez family
and their friends, and to guarantee that they will be able to pursue the
investigation into the killing of Roberto Agustín Luquez, free from harassment
- calling for an immediate and exhaustive investigation into the threats they
are receiving, with the results made public, and for those responsible to be
brought to justice;
- asking what progress has been made in the judicial investigation into the
killing of Roberto Agustín Luquez.