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ATTORNEY URGENT  ALERT

 

GUATEMALA

 

25 March  2009

She is recognized for her dedication to the advancement of human rights, truth, and justice in Guatemala

 

Gladys Monterroso Velásquez

lawyer, and university professor,  

kidnapped  and beaten

Source    ACHR .

 

 

 

 

On March 25 Gladys Monterroso, lawyer, and university professor,  was kidnapped while eating breakfast in a restaurant in Guatemala City and held for 13 hours. Just one day earlier her husband, the Human Rights Ombudsman, released a groundbreaking report, The Right to Know. The report documented evidence in the recently discovered police archives linking officials to human rights violations during the 1960-1996 civil war.

Monterroso is Secretary General of a well-known political party, as well as a prominent lawyer, and university professor. She is recognized for her dedication to the advancement of human rights, truth, and justice in Guatemala.

While detained she was reportedly burned with cigarettes, beaten, and subject to both sexual and psychological abuse. The kidnappers demanded no ransom or other compensation and released Monterroso later the same day.

This violent attack against Monterroso, reminiscent of tactics used during Guatemala's 36-year civil war, may have been intended to obstruct the search for justice for mass atrocities committed during that war.

 

PLEASE ACT NOW.


Copy and send the following letter:

 

Addresses:

  • Attorney General and Head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office
    Lic. José Amílcar Velásquez Zárate
    Fiscal General de la República y Jefe del Ministerio Público
    Avenida 10-67, Zona 1,
    Antiguo Edificio del Banco de los Trabajadores,
    Ciudad de Guatemala
    GUATEMALA
    Fax: +502 2411 9124
    Salutation: Dear Attorney General/Estimado Sr. Fiscal General
  • Minister of the Interior
    Salvador Gándara
    Ministro de Gobernación
    Avenida 13-71, Zona 1,
    Ciudad de Guatemala
    GUATEMALA
    Fax: +502 2413 8658
    Salutation: Dear Minister/Estimado Sr. Ministro
  • COPIES TO:
  • Street Vendors' Movement
    Movimiento de Comerciantes Unidos de las calles de Coatepeque
    c/o Comité de Unidad Campesina
    31 Avenida A 14-46, Zona 7, Ciudad de Plata 2
    Ciudad de Guatemala
    GUATEMALA

 

Letter:


 

[Your name]

 

Dear Mr. Velasquez:

I am writing to express my grave concern over the recent kidnapping and abuse of Gladys Monterroso Velasquez, wife of the Guatemalan Human Rights Ombudsman Sergio Morales Alvarado. I welcome the investigation into the kidnapping and urge you to ensure that it leads to the identification and prosecution of all those responsible for this crime.

Gladys Monterroso is the Secretary General of the Encuentro por Guatemala political party as well as a renowned lawyer, notary, and university professor. She is recognized for her dedication to the advancement of human rights, truth and justice in Guatemala. 

 

On March 25, 2009, Monterroso was eating breakfast in a restaurant located in the Zona 9 neighborhood of Guatemala City when she reportedly received a phone call. When she stepped outside the restaurant to answer the call, three hooded men forced her into a vehicle. After 13 hours her kidnappers informed her husband that she had been left in the Atlantida neighborhood of Zona 18 in Guatemala City.  No ransom was demanded.

According to Monterroso, while detained for thirteen hours, she was burned with cigarettes, beaten, and subject to both sexual and psychological abuse by her kidnappers.

This violent attack occurred just one day after the Ombudsman released the first report documenting the contents of the national police archives, which contain over 80 million documents relating to Guatemala's 36-year armed conflict. Morales' report, The Right to Know, contains information connecting the Guatemalan National Police to atrocities committed during the war. Information from the police archives has already led to the apprehension of two former police officials for alleged links to death squads.

I am concerned that this recent aggression against Gladys Monterroso may be linked to the release of the report by her husband. I am also concerned that it represents a threat to all those human rights defenders who are seeking justice for past mass atrocities in Guatemala. 

I urge you to ensure that the investigation into the kidnapping is impartial and comprehensive and leads to the identification and prosecution of those responsible.  A successful prosecution in this emblematic case would assist in breaking the culture of impunity associated with violent crimes against human rights defenders.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.  I will continue to closely monitor this situation.

Sincerely,

 

[Your name]

 


THANK YOU.

 

 

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