U.N. Commission on Human Rights, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1994/31 (1994)(Nigel Rodley, Special Rapporteur).


Information received from the Government with respect to cases included in previous reports

52. On 9 December 1992 the Government transmitted its reply with respect to the alleged torture in April 1992 of Alvaro García Linera, Raquel Gutiérrez de García, Víctor Ortiz and Macario Tola. According to the Government, once the persons accused of terrorism were imprisoned, their families went to the prisons together with a commission composed of human rights representatives. They later declared that the detainees showed signs on their bodies of having been given electric shocks and having been brutally tortured, and that they even had holes in their fingernails made by nails. In view of such statements, the Ministry of the Interior had convened members of the press, human rights representatives, relatives and members of the medical profession and urged them to visit the prisons to make impartial eyewitness checks. However, the relatives and members of human rights organizations had not taken part in the visit.

53. During the visit, evidence had been found only of burns on the hands of Raquel Gutiérrez de García and not on other parts of her body, as stated before; the burns were the result of the two suicide attempts she had made while in detention; in the first attempt, she had stuck her fingers into the electric light socket and, in the second, she had pulled the wires out of the electric sprinkler system while it was being cleaned; she had been saved both times by the police in charge of her custody; she had confirmed the two attempts in her statements to the press and to the judge hearing the case.

54. With regard to Alvaro García Linera, Victor Ortíz and Macario Tola, the visiting commission found no evidence that they had been tortured, as was evident from the medical certificates issued by the forensic physician appointed by the judiciary. The complaints of torture had been made solely for the purpose of media publicity, since it was not possible to prove them scientifically or professionally.

55. The Special Rapporteur transmitted the information provided by the Government to the source and asked for its comments. The latter reiterated that the four above-mentioned persons had alleged that they had been severely tortured. On 21 April 1992 representatives of non-governmental organizations had visited Alvaro García Linera, Macario Tola and Víctor Ortiz in Chonchocoro prison and seen marks on their bodies consistent with their allegations of torture. The source also provided a report containing the description made by Raquel Gutiérrez de García of the torture to which she had been subjected and stating that as a result of it she had attempted to commit suicide.

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