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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Urgent Action call from Amnesty International

Fear of torture or other ill-treatment--MEXICO

1) Máximo Mojica Delgado (m)
2) María de los Ángeles Hernández Flores (f), his wife
3) Santiago Nazario Lezma (m)

The three people named above, who live in Teloloapan municipality, Guerrerostate, have been arbitrarily arrested and are believed to have been beaten in custody. They are being held incommunicado and are at risk of further torture or other ill-treatment.

According to María de los Ángeles Hernández, on 27 November an unmarked car with three armed men stopped the car in which she was traveling with her husband, Máximo Mojica, and their two children. The men forced Máximo Mojica out of the vehicle and took him away, but did not identify themselves aspolice officers or show an arrest warrant. On 29 November, María de los Ángeles Hernández, received a phone call from her husband telling her he had been kidnapped and that she needed to pay a ransom of 50,000 pesos (US$2500). Later on the same day, neighbors reported that María de los Ángeles Hernández, her nephew (who was later released but is now hiding for his safety) and another man who was visitingthe family's house, Santiago Nazario Lezma, had also been taken away from her home by a number of armed men in uniforms. The armed men had arrived in seven unmarked vans without license plates. It is believed the men whodetained Máximo Mojica, María de los Ángeles Hernández and Santiago Nazario Lezma were all officers of the State Judicial Police (Policía Investigadora Ministerial).

The whereabouts of the three were unknown until they were finally traced on 3 December to the office of the State Attorney General’s Office in the city of Acapulco, Guerrero state. They were visited on the same day by staff of Guerrero State Human Rights Commission (Comisión de Defensa de los Derechos Humanos de Guerrero). The Commission reported that Máximo Mojica, María de los Ángeles Hernández and Santiago Nazario Lezma had visible bruises all over their bodies and had not had access to a lawyer of their choice. The three have not been permitted to see lawyers or relatives since this visit, and could be tortured or ill-treated while they are held incommunicado. It is not known if they have received any medical treatment. The three have still not been officially charged.

On 29 December, the home of Máximo Mojica’s brother, Pastor Mojica was also searched by armed men while hewas out and has been occupied by these men since. Pastor Mojica and his family are currently in hiding.
According to a local human rights organization, Máximo Mojica and his brother Pastor Mojica are members of a grassroots political organization “Tierra y Libertad” that works on housing rights issues. Máximo Mojica, Pastor Mojica and María de los Ángeles Hernández are all members of a teacher’s union that has been organizing demonstrations over the past few months. The family has also stated that four months ago armed men visited Máximo Mojica’s home and accused him of hiding members of an illegal armed group.
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