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Fear of torture - What to do


12 December 2006

Fear of torture or ill-treatment/incommunicado detention

At least 149 people in detention.

The authorities have brought serious criminal charges, reportedly
including ''terrorism'', against 138 detainees held in a federal prison
in Nayarit state. They were arrested during the 25 November
demonstrations in Oaxaca. In many cases, those arrested were reportedly
not involved in the protests or violence, but still face serious charges.
Many detainees have reported being tortured or otherwise ill-treated as
well as being denied adequate access to lawyers, family and medical
attention. More than 200 people, three of whom are under 18, are
reportedly in custody in Oaxaca state prisons and federal prisons as a
result of the political conflict in Oaxaca.

The authorities had moved 141 detainees (34 of them women) 1200km to the
San Jose del Rincon federal medium security prison in the state of
Nayarit on 27 November. Many of the detainees had reportedly been badly
beaten during and after their arrest, leaving many injured. However, they
have reportedly received only very basic medical treatment.

The federal prison's remoteness from Oaxaca, and the excessive
bureaucratic obstacles that prison authorities place on those seeking to
visit detainees, including their families and lawyers, violates their
right to access their families and effective legal defence. Families have
complained of being refused entry and intimidated by prison officials.
The detainees' lawyers were only able to see their case files after they
were formally charged on 4 December.

Many of the detainees were reportedly not involved in the protests or
violence, but were rounded up in mass arrests. Three soccer players were
detained with a crowd of passers-by, and released on 27 November.

Amnesty International has received reports that there are at least 60
other people in detention in a high security federal prison and the
Oaxacan prisons of Etla, Mihuatlan and Tlacolula, including three minors
being held in a juvenile detention centre. Federal and state police
reportedly continue to carry out arrests of some teachers on the basis of
warrants issued related to alleged illegal acts carried out during the
strike. Similarly leaders and supporters of the Popular Assembly of the
People of Oaxaca (Asamblea Popular del Pueblo de Oaxaca, APPO) have been
detained on the basis of arrest warrants issued by state court judges.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible:

- calling on the authorities to ensure all those detained since the 25
November protests in Oaxaca are allowed immediate access to their
families, adequate medical attention and legal counsel of their choice;

- expressing concern at reports that detainees have been tortured or
otherwise ill-treated, and calling on the authorities to carry out
immediate and impartial investigations into these allegations;

- expressing concern at reports that many of the detainees are facing
charges that have no basis, and calling on the authorities to ensure that
each of them is tried promptly and fairly according to international

- calling for the investigation of all cases in which authorities are
alleged to have fabricated evidence against detainees in order to secure
their prosecution.



Lic. Felipe Calderon Hinojosa
Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Residencia Oficial de ''Los Pinos'', Casa Miguel Aleman
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec
Mexico D.F., C.P. 11850, MEXICO

Fax: 011 52 55 52772376
Salutation: Senor Presidente/Dear President Calderon

Minister of Public Security:
Lic. Genaro Garcia Luna
Secretario de Seguridad Publica, Secretaria de Seguridad
Paseo de la Reforma No.364, piso 16
Colonia Juarez, Delegacion Cuauhtemoc,
Mexico DF. C.P. 06600, Mexico
Fax: 011 52 55 5241 8393
Salutation: Dear Minister/Estimado Secretario

Minister of the Interior:

Lic. Francisco Ramirez Acuna
Secretario de Gobernacion, Secretaria de Gobernacion
Bucareli 99, 1er. piso, Col. Juarez, Delegacion Cuauhtemoc,
Mexico D.F., C.P.06600, MEXICO
Fax: 011 52 55 5093 3414
Salutation: Dear Minister/Estimado Secretario

Governor of Oaxaca:

Ulises Ruiz Ortiz
Gobernador del Estado de Oaxaca
Carretera Oaxaca - Puerto Angel, Km. 9.5
Santa Maria Coyotopec, C. P. 71254
Oaxaca, MEXICO
Fax: 011 52 951 511 6879 (if someone answers, say ''me da
tono de fax, por favor'')
Salutation: Senor Gobernador/Dear Governor

President of the National Human Rights Commission:
Dr. Jose Luis Soberanes Fernandez
Presidente de la Comision Nacional de Derechos Humanos
Periferico Sur 3469, 5ยบ piso
Col. San Jeronimo Lidice
Mexico D.F. 10200, MEXICO
Fax: 011 52 55 5681 7199
Salutation: Dear President / Estimado Presidente


President of the Oaxaca State Human Rights Commission:

Dr. Jaime Perez Jimenez

Presidente de la Comision Estatal

Calle de los Derechos Humanos no. 210

Colonia America, C.P. 68050


Oaxaca, Mexico

Fax: 011 52 951 503 0220

Human rights organization in Oaxaca:

Red Oaxaquena de Derechos Humanos

Calle Crespo 524 Interior 4-E

Col. Centro


Oaxaca, CP. 68000, MEXICO

Ambassador Carlos Alberto De Icaza Gonzalez

Embassy of Mexico

1911 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Washington DC 20006

Fax: 1 202 728 1698