Tuesday, March 24, 2009

PDH Denounces Violent Attack

The Human Rights Procurator, Dr. Sergio Morales, complained to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) against the violent attack on the head of the Office of Special Investigation of the institution, which is investigating the case of the forced disappearance of union leader Fernando Garcia, husband of Congresswoman Ninth Montenegro.

An unnamed official of the PDH) was brutally beaten by two men who intercepted him at the entrance to his house, said the procurator at a press conference.

Following the attack, he was hospitalized for three days. Morales noted that other researchers in this case have been threatened.

The complaint before the Commission also states that two vehicles have loitered around the Historical Archive building of the defunct National Police (PN) in zone 6, and have photographed who works there.

Another unnamed officer, who serves as head of procurement, has received death threats against him and Morales althought the procurator has not personally received threats..

The procurator refused to comment on the perpetrators of that attack, but said that it depends on the outcome of investigations.

Morales demanded that the PNC provide perimeter security for the headquarters of the files, which have been in the custody of the PDH for four years.

The U.S. National Security Archive reported that the U.S. government had information on the disappearance of Fernando Garcia. The information from the NSA is based on reports found in declassified documents from the U.S. State Department. A press release from the organization said that "the documents show that the capture of Garcia was a political demise orchestrated at the highest levels of the Guatemalan government."

The disappearance of the union leader, 25 years ago, captured headlines two weeks ago, when two former policemen accused of the kidnapping and disappearance of Garcia were arrested. Those captured were Hector Ramirez Rios and Abraham Lancerio Gomez, who worked in the now defunct National Police, which was absorbed by the PNC.

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