Guatemala: Union leaders threatened (fwd)

Chegitz Guevara mluziett at shrike.depaul.edu
Mon Feb 26 17:15:37 MST 1996


Marc, "the Chegitz," Luzietti
personal homepage: http://shrike.depaul.edu/~mluziett
political homepage: http://shrike.depaul.edu/~mluziett/chegitz.html

EXTERNAL                          AI Index: AMR 34/04/96

Further information on UA 395/94 (AMR 34/43/94, 3 November 1994)
and follow-up (AMR 34/06/95, 9 March 1995; AMR 34/14/95, 25 May;
AMR 34/22/95, 29 August) - Fear for safety

GUATEMALA      Debora GUZMAN CHUPEN (f), trade unionist, aged 24
               Felix GONZALEZ, trade union leader, husband of
Debora
               Guzman Chupen
               Julio COJ, trade union leader

Amnesty International remains seriously concerned for the safety of
Debora Guzman Chupen, her husband Felix Gonzalez and Julio Coj,
following the latest in a series of death threats against them.

According to reports, on 12 February 1996, the following letter
(original in Spanish) was left at the home of Debora Guzman Chupen
by an unknown person:

     "Mrs Debora, remember that soon it is going to be a year since
we held you back and do you remember that we told you that we'll
kill you if you didn't follow what we said and until now you
haven't done what was required from you. You think that we are
playing games but we are not, we advise you to tell your husband as
well as Julio and those from UNSITRAGUA that they have to put an
end to this organization, otherwise you will be with us again. It
might be on the same date but this time it will be for ever. Tell
your husband that if he really loves you he shouldn't risk your
life, because you are too young to die. Beware of us, we'll follow
you. We have been with those from UNSITRAGUA and they haven't been
able to solve anything at all, what they do is put people to death
and if they don't want you to be dead both your husband's trade
union and the trade union that you belong to should come to an end.
Anonymous"

Debora Guzman, a trade unionist at the L y L Modas factory, a
maquiladora de ropa (a clothing factory) in Amatitlan, Department
of Guatemala, is married to Felix Gonzalez, a leading Lunafil trade
unionist.  He and a group of 49 workers have suffered a series of
threats and other acts of intimidation, as a result of a protest
they began in May 1994 against what they perceived to be the
illegal and unjustified closure of the textile factory.  Debora
Guzman herself has received several death threats and was abducted
in February 1995 when she was told that she would be killed if she
failed to convince her husband to relinquish his trade union
activities.  She was subsequently threatened in May and August (see
also "Maquila workers among trade unionists targeted" - AMR
34/28/95, November 1995).

Despite an official investigation by the National Police into the
kidnapping of Debora Guzman and the threats against her and her
husband, and despite a judicial investigation by the Ministerio
Publico (Public Ministry), the perpetrators of these incidents have
not been brought to justice and the threats against the couple and
other trade unionists continue with impunity.

FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send
telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/ airmail letters in Spanish or in
your own language:

- expressing serious concern at the continuing death threats
against Debora Guzman, Felix Gonzalez, Julio Coj as well as other
maquila workers at the Lunafil factory;

- calling on the authorities to take immediate measures to
guarantee their safety and that of their families;

- urging the authorities to instigate full and prompt
investigations into the reported abuses and that those responsible
be brought to justice.

APPEALS TO:

President of the Republic:

S.E. Alvaro Arzu Irigoyen
[Salutation: Excelentisimo Sr. Presidente / Dear President]
Presidente de la Republica de Guatemala
Palacio Nacional, Guatemala, GUATEMALA
Telegrams:  Presidente Arzu Irigoyen, Guatemala, Guatemala
Faxes:      +502 2 537 472 / 515 667

Minister of Interior:

Lic. Rodolfo Mendoza
[Salutation: Sr. Ministro / Dear Minister]
Ministro de Gobernacion,
Ministerio de Gobernacion
Despacho Ministerial, Of. No. 8
Palacio Nacional, Guatemala, GUATEMALA
Telegrams:  Ministro de Gobernacion, Guatemala, Guatemala
Faxes:      + 502 2 537 472

Minister of Labour and Social Welfare:

Sr. Arnolso Ortiz Moscoso
[Salutation: Sr. Ministro / Dear Minister]
Ministro de Trabajo y Prevision Social
Ministerio de Trabajo y Prevision Social
Palacio Nacional, Guatemala, GUATEMALA
Telegrams:  Ministro de Trabajo y Prevision Social, Guatemala,
Guatemala
Faxes:      +502 2 513 559 / 532 345

PLEASE SEND COPIES TO: His Excellency Senor Edmundo Nanne, Embassy
of Guatemala, 13 Fawcett St, London SW10 9HN. Fax: 0171 376 5708

AND, IF POSSIBLE, TO THE FOLLOWING:

Attorney General:

Lic. Ramses Cuestas Gomez
Fiscal General de la Nacion
Ministerio Publico, 18 Calle 10-36, Zona 1
Guatemala, GUATEMALA
Faxes:      +502 2 537 554 / 530 482

Human Rights Procurator:

Lic. Jorge Garcia Laguardia
Procurador de los Derechos Humanos
12 Avenida 12-72, Zona 1,
Guatemala, GUATEMALA

Trade Union:

Union Sindical de Trabajadores de Guatemala (UNSITRAGUA)
11 Calle 8-14, Zona 1
Oficina 34, Tercer Nivel
Guatemala, GUATEMALA

Two main shareholders of Lunafil:

Arnoldo Kuestermann (German national)
10 Calle 7-48
Zona 9
(or Apartado Postal 1005 A. Asies Guatemala, GUATEMALA)

Julio Raul Herrera Zevallos
Ingenion Pantaleon
Diagonal 6 10-67
Zona 10, Guatemala, GUATEMALA

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Please do not send appeals after
15 April 1996.

+-----------------------------------------------------------+
+ If you have any queries about this Urgent Action or about +
+ the UA scheme in general, please contact:                 +
+   Ray Mitchell                                            +
+   Amnesty International British Section                   +
+   99 - 119 Rosebery Avenue                                +
+   London EC1R 4RE      email: rmitchellai at gn.apc.org      +
** End of text from cdp:reg.guatemala **

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