• Campagnes

Mexico: "Disappearance" / torture / fear of torture

, N° d'index: AMR 41/041/1997

Faustino Martinez Basurto, Juan Julian Gonzalez Martinez: On 8 June the two men named above, members of a religious non-governmental organization, Mantis Religiosa, were abducted by four heavily armed men, reportedly with links to the security forces. Juan Julian Gonzalez was released the following day after reportedly being subjected to torture. Faustino Martinez Basurto has not been seen since and there is grave concern for his safety.

EXTERNAL AI Index: AMR 41/41/97
UA 168/97 “Disappearance” / Torture / Fear of Torture 12 June 1997
MEXICO Faustino Martínez Basurto
Juan Julián González Martínez
At 5pm on 8 June 1997, Juan Julián González Martínez and Faustino Martínez
Basurto, members of Mantis Religiosa, a religious non-governmental
organization, were abducted by four heavily armed men, reportedly with links
to the security forces. Juan Julián González was released the following day
after reportedly being subjected to a night of sustained torture. Faustino
Martínez Basurto has not been seen since. Amnesty International is gravely
concerned for his safety.
Reports indicate that the two men were travelling by taxi on the Tlapa-Pueblo
road in the state of Guerrero, when their vehicle was intercepted and they
were forced to get into a van by the group of armed men. Their hands were
immediately tied and they were blindfolded. They were forced to lie on the
floor of the van while their abductors sat on them for the five-hour journey
which followed. During the drive their abductors repeatedly beat them and
accused them of belonging to the Ejército Popular Revolucionario, EPR,
Revolutionary Popular Army, an armed opposition group. One of the abductors
reportedly burned Juan Julián González Martínez’s neck with a lighter. The
prisoners were told they were going to be killed.
After having been taken to an unknown location, Juan Julián González Martínez
heard Faustino Martínez Basurto being beaten. On hearing a shot he was told
that Faustino Martínez Basurto had been killed and was threatened with the
same. However, during the night he continued to hear the screams of Faustino
Martínez Basurto apparently being tortured.
Later, with his hands still tied and blindfolded, Juan Julián González had
a noose put round his neck and was threatened with being hanged. He was then
reportedly beaten and kicked, causing him to vomit. Throughout the night he
was repeatedly asked to name leaders of the EPR and communities with links
to the organization.
At 4am on 9 June, Juan Julián González was released outside the town of
Huamuxtitlán, and warned not to return to Tlapa or to tell anyone what had
happened. If he did, they warned him, “we are going to kill you” (nosotros
te vamos a matar).
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 of
The armed opposition group, the Ejército Popular Revolucionario, EPR,
Revolutionary Popular Army, first appeared on 28 June 1996, the anniversary
of the Aguas Blancas massacre. Since then the security forces have persistently
targeted peasants and their leaders, including opposition party members, for
intimidation, arrest, ill-treatment and torture, accusing them, as well as
entire communities and organizations, of belonging to the EPR.
Two recent armed encounters between the EPR and the Mexican army have led to
a heightening of tension and an increase in the number of peasant leaders and
local opposition activists being targeted for human rights violations such
as arbitrary detention and torture in Guerrero (see UA 157/97, AMR 41/35/97,
30 May 1997 and follow-ups AMR 41/37/97, 4 June and AMR 41/38/97, 6 June 1997).
A climate of systematic human rights violations and impunity prevails in the
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail
letters in Spanish or your own language:
- calling for the whereabouts of Faustino Martínez Basurto to be made public
immediately and for his family to be informed;
- seeking assurances that if he is in detention he is being treated humanely;
- calling for an immediate and thorough investigation into the abduction and
torture of Juan Julián González Martínez and Faustino Martínez Basurto, and
for the perpetrators to be brought to justice;
- expressing deep alarm at the increasing number of reports of human rights
violations in the state of Guerrero, the apparent lack of effective action
to stop them and the impunity currently enjoyed by most perpetrators.
1) 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 (if voice 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 (if voice ask "me puede dar tono de fax, por favor")
Salutation: Sr. Gobernador / Dear Governor
1) Daily newspaper
Sr. Editor, La Jornada, Balderas 68, 06050 México D.F., MEXICO
2) Human rights organization
Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, A.C.
Hidalgo # 88-A,Col. Centro, Tlapa de Comonfort,
Guerrero, 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 27 July 1997.

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