REPORT OF THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
CASE 7490 (GUATEMALA)
June 25, 1981
1. In a
communication of September 10, 1980, the following denunciation was made
to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights:
August 24, government security forces (detectives and army personnel),
under the direction of Alfonso Ortiz, the Deputy Chief of the National
Police Detectives Division, took 17 union leaders into custody.
leaders were meeting at the "Emaús Medio Monte" farm, Palin
District, Escuintla Department, owned by the Diocese of Escuintla. The
license numbers of two of the vehicles used in the operation are P-78165
and P-78077. The numbers of the other license plates were not recorded
because of the surprise elements of the operation.
in the detention of the 27 union leaders of the National Workers
Confederation (CNT), at that same headquarters, the Government denies
having knowledge of the action and denies that the workers are being held,
against all concrete evidence to the contrary.
2. In a note of
September 17, 1980, the Commission transmitted the pertinent portion of
this denunciation to the Government of Guatemala, asking for information
on the case.
3. In a note of
October 21, 1980, the Commission transmitted to the Guatemalan Government
the following additional information received from the claimants:
the persons detained at the "Emaús Medio Monte" farm were the
following: Gustavo Adolfo Bejareno, Juan Guerra, Guillermo Turcios,
Augusto Yach Ciriaco, Edgar de la Cruz, Iliana de la Cruz, and the farm
their arrest by security forces, under orders of Alfonso Ortiz, the second
in command of the National Police Investigations, these persons were taken
to the garages of the National Police Investigations Division in area 6 of
the city, where they were tortured under the direction of the new Chief of
Investigations, Pedro Arredondo.
4. In a note of
December 8, 1980, the Commission furnished the Government, as additional
information, a more complete list received from the claimants, with the
names, professions or occupations, of the persons abducted from the Emaús
Medio Monte farm on August 24, 1980, as follows:
5. In a note of
April 20, 1981, the Commission again requested information from the
1. To date, the
Guatemalan Government has not replies to the Commission's requests for
2. Article 39 of
the Commission's Regulations provides as follows:
The facts reported in the petition whose pertinent parts have been
transmitted to the government of the state in reference shall he presumed
to be true if, during the maximum period set by the Commission under the
provisions of Article 31 paragraph 5, the government has not provided the
pertinent information, as long as other evidence does not lead to a
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
1. Based on
Article 39 of its Regulations, to presume to he true the events denounced
in the communication of September 10, 1980, concerning the arbitrary
arrest and later torture of a group of union leaders, meeting in the
"Emaús Medio Monte" farm owned by the Diocese of Escuintla, on
August 24, 1980.
2. To declare that
the Government of Guatemala violated Articles 5 (right to personal
security), 7 (right to personal liberty), 8 (right to a fair trial), 15
(right of assembly), and 25 (right to judicial protection) of the American
Convention on Human Rights.
3. To recommend
that the Guatemalan Government investigate the events denounced and, if
appropriate, punish those responsible, and to communicate its decision to
the Commission within 60 days.
4. To transmit
this resolution to the Government of Guatemala and to the claimants.
5. To include this
resolution in the Commission's Annual Report to the General Assembly of
the Organization of American States pursuant to Article 18 (f), of the
Statute and Article 59 (g) of the Regulations of the Commission.
Dr. Francisco Bertrand Galindo declined to hear and decide on this case because he was living in Guatemala when the reported events occurred.