THREATS TO JOURNALIST REPORTING DISAPPEARANCES On 19 January a television reporter published videos from surveillance cameras that suggest that police from Chilpancingo, Guerrero state, were involved in six of seven cases of disappearances that occurred in late December and early January. Days after, the reporter received threats on Twitter. Between 25 December 2017 and 3 January 2018, at least seven young men disappeared in Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero state. Amnesty International found evidence of police involvement in five of these seven disappearances. On 19 January, Marco Antonio Coronel, a reporter for Televisa, a major national television network, published videos from street surveillance cameras that point to police involvement in the case of Efraín Patrón Ramos, who was disappeared during the early hours of 29 December. This information indicates that six out of these seven disappearance cases could actually constitute enforced disappearances. Three of the disappeared men were found alive with signs of torture; two others were found dead. The whereabouts of Efraín Ramos and Abel Aguilar García still remain unknown. Efraín Ramos was reported alive for the last time while driving his vehicle down a central avenue of Chilpancingo. Families told Amnesty International that before disappearing, he spoke to a friend on the phone and said that municipal police were following him. The videos that Marco Antonio Coronel published on 19 January show clear evidence of police vehicles following Efraín Ramos’ vehicle at the very place and time when this phone call would have occurred, on a main avenue of Chilpancingo. Video images 25 minutes later show Efrain Ramos’ car a few blocks away. This time his car is following the police patrol and a beige car, pointing to the possibility that Efrain Ramos was no longer driving his vehicle. On 30 January, a Twitter account published death threats against Marco Antonio Coronel. The message was signed by a drug cartel accused of having links with Chilpancingo local authorities. The message said “If you don’t want to be cut up in pieces, tone the fuck down”, naming Televisa and Marco Antonio Coronel. On 31 January the reporter received additional threats through similar messages. He has now stopped reporting on this case fearing for his safety. The federal government have provided him with protection measures. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION On 27 December 2017, Chilpancingo police and state investigative police disappeared Alán Alexis during seven days, and tortured him along with two teenagers (names withheld for security reasons). On 3 January 2018, these three young men were found with clear signs of torture and bound up with tape all over their bodies. Amnesty International received information that police tortured these men to obtain information from them. Municipal police, allegedly in collusion with organized crime, deprived Jorge Vázquez Campos and Marco Catalán Cabrera of their liberty and disappeared them on 30 December 2017. Their bodies were later found on 3 January 2018 in an abandoned lot on the outskirts of Chilpancingo. Two young men remain disappeared. Abel Aguilar García went missing on 25 December 2017. Families told Amnesty International that he left his student boarding house on that morning and never returned. Efraín Patrón Ramos disappeared during the early hours of 29 December. Abel Aguilar Garcia and Efrain Patrón Ramos’ relatives claim that the Guerrero State Attorney’s office has not carried out a proper investigation into the disappearances, and have instead tried to minimize the urgency of the cases. Amnesty International has requested that the Guerrero State Attorney provide further information on all of these, but has yet to receive a written response. In the case of Efrain Ramos, the Governor of Guerrero stated publicly on 20 January that they were investigating the videos published by Marco Antonio Coronel, yet family members have denounced that no advances have been made in the investigation. The videos indicate the involvement of at least five municipal police in the disappearance of Efraín Ramos. According to Marco Antonio Coronel’s report, the area between the main avenue where Efraín Ramos was presumably disappeared and the subsequent sighting of his car comprises a number of blocks with no surveillance cameras and could have been the place where the disappearance occurred. Marco Antonio Coronel pointed out in his television reports that the disappearance of Abel Aguilar Garcia also appears to have happened on the same street where Efraín Ramos’ had, just two days earlier. In recent months, the reporter has also reported on the links between the Guerrero State Attorney’s office and organized crime groups. This is the first time in 15 years that he had had to stop work because of an imminent threat in response to his reporting. These disappearances took place approximately one hour away from where the notorious mass disappearance of 43 students from the Ayoztinapa rural teachers’ training college occurred in September 2014. Enforced disappearances (with the involvement of the state) and disappearances committed by non-state actors continue to be common in Mexico and those responsible enjoy almost absolute impunity. The official National Register of Missing and Disappeared Persons indicates that, by the end of 2017, the fate or whereabouts of 33,482 people (24,805 men and 8,677 women) remained unknown. The actual numbers are probably higher because the official figures exclude federal cases that occurred before 2014 and cases classified as other criminal offences such as hostage-taking or human trafficking. Investigations into cases of missing persons continue to be flawed and authorities generally fail to immediately initiate searches for the victims. Name: Marco Antonio Coronol, Efraín Patrón Ramos, and six young men disappeared in Chilpancingo Gender m/f: m Further information on UA: 12/18 Index: AMR 41/7861/2018 Issue Date: 8 February 2018
Dear State Attorney Skriv ut
As a Swedish journalist I urge the authorities to investigate threats against Marco Antonio Coronel and make the results public and bring those responsible to justice.
I urge the Federal Attorney General’s Office to establish the whereabouts of the missing young men and investigate the torture suffered by three others, given the evident collusion of local authorities with organized crime.
I also call on the State Attorney to cooperate in the investigations into the enforced disappearances, torture and killings. The Mayor has to ensure proper vetting of municipal police in order to eliminate collusion with criminal networks.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 22 MARCH 2018 TO: Guerrero State Attorney Javier Ignacio Olea Peláez Boulevard René Juárez Cisneros S/N Colonia El Potrerito, C. P. 39090 Chilpancingo de los Bravo, Guerrero México Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @FGEGuerrero Salutation: Dear State Attorney