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 transmitted to the Government and replies received

237. By letter dated 26 August 1993 the Special Rapporteur transmitted to the Government the following cases of torture that had allegedly occurred in the country:

(a) Pablo Itzep Hernández, Cruz Luz Hernández and Manuel Batén Hernández, peasants from the community of Xequiquel, Chiul, municipality of Cunén, department of El Quiché, and members of the "Runujel Junam" Council of Ethnic Communities (CERJ) were summoned to the military detachment of Chiul on 8 May 1993. Upon arrival at the detachment they were reportedly subjected to interrogation under torture for four hours. Among other forms of torture they were reportedly kicked in the face and poked with pieces of burning wood. As a result of their injuries they had to be hospitalized after their release.

(b) Santiago Cabrera López and Anastasia López Calvo, alleged members of the National Revolutionary Unit of Guatemala, were arrested by members of the G-2 Military Intelligence Service in March 1991 near Colima I, San Pablo, department of San Marcos. They were taken to the military detachment of El Porvenir, San Pablo, where they were reportedly beaten severely. Cabrera López was reportedly thrown into a pit and subjected to electric shocks.

(c) Julio César Reyes, a street child, was arrested on 14 March 1993 in zone 1, Guatemala City, by two policemen who asked for his identity documents. As he was unable to produce them, the policemen tried to take him to the police station, and Julio Cézar Reyes resisted their attempts. One of the policemen reportedly burned him on the left arm and fingers, producing a total of 29 burns.

(d) Sergio Fernando Archila, student, was arrested on 3 August 1992 on 6th Avenue, Guatemala City, by agents of the G-2 Military Intelligence Service who blindfolded him and took him to an unidentified military detention centre located near Cobán, Alta Verapaz. While under interrogation he was reportedly burned with cigarettes, his head was covered with a hood soaked in insecticide and he was punched in the stomach.

238. By the same letter the Special Rapporteur thanked the Government for the reply provided on the case of Juan Pablo Lemus Silva (still under investigation), transmitted in August 1992 and reminded it of a number of cases brought to its attention in 1992 regarding which no reply had been received.

Urgent appeals

239. The Special Rapporteur sent an urgent appeal to the Government on 22 July 1993 concerning Tomás Pérez Pérez, a member of the Peasants' Unity Committee, who was allegedly detained on 9 July 1993 in Chontalá, Santo Tomás de Chichicastenango municipality, El Quiché department, by members of the national police together with armed men in plain clothes. According to the information received, Tomás Pérez Pérez was severely beaten during interrogation to obtain information on a number of brochures found in his house concerning Rigoberta Menchú, and the purpose of the exhumation, in 1991, of the bodies of 27 Indians buried in clandestine graves in Chontalá.

Information submitted by the Government in connection with Commission resolution 1993/48

240. In a note verbale dated 19 November 1993 the Government stated that the internal armed conflict had caused, over the years, thousands of deaths, disappearances, refugees and displaced persons, as well as unjustified destruction of basic infrastructure and diversion of resources. It also stated that the guerrilla groups operating in the country had committed grave human rights violations in breach of domestic law and the international covenants, as well as a number of aggressions against the civilian population not participating in the conflict. The Government also referred to a number of measures taken to combat drug trafficking. It pointed out, however, that the activities carried out by drug traffickers could not be considered as terrorism, since they were not aimed systematically against the State.

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