Amnesty International Appeal, 1/15/97
Global Exchange has passed along the following Urgent Action Appeal from Amnesty International. Subscribers to this list are familiar with the situation in Tepotzlan, Morelos. The incident and detentions described below grow out of the ongoing tensions there.
Torture / Fear of torture / Prisoners of conscience, 15 January 1997
Laurencio Guarneros Sandoval, aged 40, community activist
Julio Bello Palacios, aged 16, community activist
Remigio Ayala Martinez, aged 18, community activist
Carlos Ricardo Ruiz Canada, aged 45, restaurant manager
The four people named above were arrested on 11 January 1997 by members of the judicial police of Yautepec, at Yautepec, Tepoztlan, Morelos state. During the following two hours at least two of them are alleged to have been tortured - 16-year-old Julio Bello Palacios was taken to a cliff at gunpoint and threatened with death, and Laurencio Guarneros Sandoval was forced to sign a confession of unknown content.
The four were then transferred to prison in Cuernavaca, Morelos state, where they remain. The family of Laurencio Guarneros Sandoval have visited him in prison and have confirmed signs of torture. Amnesty International fears that the four remain at risk of further torture and ill-treatment.
Laurencio Guarneros Sandoval, Julio Bello Palacios and Remigio Ayala Martinez are members of the Comite de Unidad Tepozteca (CUT), Committee of Tepoztecan Unity, an indigenous peasant organization, and of the volunteer security group for the Tepoztlan town hall. They have been very active in protecting and promoting the rights of Tepoztlan people. Amnesty International believes they have been imprisoned solely on the grounds of their lawful activities and considers them to be prisoners of conscience.
Suspicions of an official cover-up of the torture have been raised by the fact that the arrival of the four in prison was registered as having occurred two hours earlier. These were the two hours during which the detainees were allegedly being tortured elsewhere.
Amnesty International delegations visited Tepoztlan in June and December 1996 and were able to interview some of the human rights defenders, community activists and members of CUT who had been ill-treated, threatened and imprisoned. The delegation confirmed the reports of violent repression against those active in promoting and protecting human rights.
Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/ airmail letters:
1) President of the Republic:
(Sr. Presidente / Dear President)
Lic. Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon
Presidente de la Republica
06067 Mexico D.F.
[Telegrams: Presidente Zedillo, Mexico D.F., Mexico]
[Telexes: 170937 sppnme; 1774468 sppnme]
[Faxes: 011 52 5 515 1794 or 011 52 5 542 1648 (voice line: ask 'me
puede dar tono de fax, por favor')]
2) Attorney General of the Republic:
(Sr. Procurador de la Republica/Dear Attorney)
Lic. Jorge Madrazo Cuellar
Procuraduria General de la Republica
Paseo de la Reforma y Violeta
06300 Mexico D.F.
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[Fax: 011 52 5 626 4419/ 011 52 5 626 4430]
3) Minister of the Interior:
(Sr. Secretario / Dear Minister)
Lic. Emilio Chuayffet Chemor
Secretario de la Gobernacion
Secretaria de la Gobernacion
Bucareli 99, 1er piso
Col. Juarez, 06699 Mexico DF
[Telegrams: Secretario Gobernacion, Mexico D.F., Mexico]
[Faxes: 011 52 5 546 5350]
4) Governor of the State of Morelos:
(Sr. Gobernador / Dear Governor)
Governor of the state of Morelos
Lic. Jorge Carrillo Olea
Gobernador del Estado de Morelos
Palacio de Gobierno Cuernavaca
Estado de Morelos, MEXICO
[Telegrams: Gobernador Morelos, Mexico]
[Faxes: 011 52 7 311 3020; this is a voice line so please ask to have
the fax machine turned on.]
1) Daily newspaper:
06050 Mexico D.F.
2) Human rights organization:
Sres., Centro de Derechos Humanos
Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez, AC
MEXICO [E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org]
3) Ambassador Jesus Silva Herzog
Embassy of Mexico
1911 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington DC 20006