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.