By Graciela Mijares
Amnesty International, FEDEFAM and other human rights organizations maintain that, in just over twenty years (1966-1986), ninety thousand people were victims of this aberrant practice in different Latin American countries. Product of a continental policy of domination, disappearances are not an exclusive feature of military dictatorships.
Forum Against the Repression, Detention and Disappearance of Social Fighters in Oaxaca and the Country
When the Latin American military began to use the practice of forced disappearance of people as a repressive method, they believed that they had discovered the perfect crime: within their inhuman logic, there are no victims, therefore, there are no perpetrators or crime. The practice of enforced disappearance emerged in Latin America in the 1960s. From the first moment, the forced disappearances showed the signs of what through the years came to constitute the main method of political and social control in that country: impunity and absolute transgression of the most elementary laws of human coexistence. Amnesty International, FEDEFAM and other human rights organizations maintain that, in just over twenty years (1966-1986), ninety thousand people were victims of this aberrant practice in different Latin American countries. Product of a continental policy of domination, disappearances are not an exclusive feature of military dictatorships.
Countries like Mexico, Colombia and Peru, with elected civil governments, are or have been the scenes of it.
The method was refined and it acquired certain characteristics that can be established at a general level: a) Forced disappearances are part of the work of military intelligence; b) Its practice is centralized and directed from the highest level of military decision-making in descending order through the intelligence apparatus; c) It is clandestine. It develops an apparatus that includes operative groups, places of confinement, vehicles, weapons, costumes; doctors and psychiatrists who contribute to the questioning phase; etc.; and, d) It simultaneously develops a campaign of psychological manipulation in search of the social acceptance of the method and the protection of its impunity (1).
In Mexico, the practice of detention and disappearance began in the late 1960s. It follows the same Latin American guidelines, it was a state policy, carried out by the army, police forces and their institutions with the aim of eliminating the opposition.
There are more than 1,300 missing persons (2). Most of them were part of organizations - which they have called guerrillas - that fought to transform society, to achieve the rational use of material and human resources, the distribution of wealth based on work and not based on private property, is To say that they were fighting for a socialist system, for the demands of the peasants and workers. They were active in the Communist League September 23, the Revolutionary Action Movement (MAR), the Party of the Poor, the National Revolutionary Civic Association (ACNR), the Revolutionary Student Front (FER), and so on.
Now not only is the state disappearing, organized crime has adopted this repressive practice, especially in the north of the country.
The Special Prosecutor
After many years of mobilizations, denouncing the government and the fall of the PRI, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) and Fox have recognized that in previous years social fighters were disappeared. Fox agreed on various measures for the prosecution of justice for crimes committed against persons linked to social and political movements of the past (3), requested the Attorney General of the Republic to appoint a Special Prosecutor, an agent of the Public Ministry of the Federation, in charge of concentrating and to know about the investigations, to integrate the preliminary inquiries that are initiated as a result of the denunciations or complaints formulated for events that probably constitute federal crimes committed directly or indirectly by public servants against people linked to social or political movements, as well as to prosecute the crimes that result before the competent courts.
The Special Prosecutor investigates more than 500 complaints: the massacre of October 2, the events of June 10, extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances, and so on. The results so far have been insufficient; The investigations have reached the General Archive of the Nation, which says something about the atrocities and brutalities committed in the 1970s and 1980s. Until now, the open files on cases of disappeared lack legal evidence with probative value. As family members, we demand from the Special Prosecutor a thorough investigation into the disappeared detainees, a response in relation to the jurisdiction of the military, if they would be tried by civil or military courts, and for what crimes would those responsible be charged, among others. stuff. Due to the refusal of the Prosecutor to comply with the obligations established by law, family members have had to go to court.
The disappeared in front of the Mexican Army and the Senate.
The family members raised with the Chambers the problem that a bill should address in relation to the crimes of forced disappearance and crimes against humanity. They were also handed a proposal for a Law on forced disappearance, which obviously did not include the restrictions that the entire Senate consciously approved.
Although the Senate of the Republic ratified the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons, on December 10, 2001 it added two restrictions:
1. An interpretative declaration: "it shall be understood that the provisions of said Convention shall be applied to the acts that constitute forced disappearance of persons, are ordered, executed or committed after the entry into force of this Convention." In other words, they did not consider international legislation: they did not consider it as an imprescriptible crime, such as crimes against humanity.
2. And a reservation: that of the military jurisdiction, which means that the military cannot be tried in civilian courts, which would guarantee impunity in a certain way. The senators knew and know that all investigations and complaints about the disappeared lead to military installations, which is why in the Convention they guaranteed the application of the war jurisdiction for the Mexican army.
Restrictions that do not allow to get to the bottom: justice is delivered
The federal and state chambers defined the crime of forced disappearance and approved the conventions for impunity, which is why they did not summon all family organizations, political and social organizations to participate in the discussion. They knew and know what was and is at hand. They are national and international discussions that have been taking place since the 1980s, which are known not only to experts, but also to all those who have done some work for the disappeared.
Fox's maneuvers continue, and the Army
It is evident that neither Fox, nor the army, nor the Chambers of Deputies want to fully resolve. The Secretary of Defense (4) Clemente Ricardo Vega García, tries some maneuvers with Generals Arturo Acosta Chaparro and Francisco Quirós Hermosillo, who in addition to being imprisoned in Military Camp Number 1 for drug trafficking, are also responsible for multiple murders and forced disappearances of companions. Taking advantage of the fact that they are in jail, the Secretary of Defense ordered the dismissal of Quirós Hermosillo from his rank of general of division, his definitive discharge from the Army and disqualification from holding any position in the federal public administration, which would mean, in the event of prosper the order, that these criminals could be tried in the civil courts for their participation in the dirty war. It is a fundamental issue for progress in the fight against impunity, but it is not just a matter of choosing two soldiers involved, it is a question of general justice, that we have laws in which the military does not have privileges and impunity .
The disappeared in front of the Special Prosecutor
From August 6 to September 12, the National Human Rights Commission consulted 532 individual files and 150 files at the Center for Investigation and National Security (CISEN), which allowed it to prepare the report that Fox ordered it to make on the disappeared of the decades of the 70s and 80s, but the Prosecutor's Office has been in for 1 year 6 months and has not yet been able to integrate the documents into each of the inquiries about the disappeared.
For example, in the investigation PGR / FEMOSPP / 003/2001 the Special Prosecutor was requested in writing to foliate the file, integrate certified copies instead of simple copies, cite the people involved in the investigation, integrate completely and in original statement of the missing detainee. And by virtue of obtaining a negative response to everything requested, the Amparo was appealed against the Prosecutor's Office, to deepen the investigation and comply with the law. Instead of investigating, it turns out that the Prosecutor's Office is now against the relatives. Also, 14 family members of AFADEM took protection against the Military Justice so that the Office of the Attorney General of Military Justice does not hear about cases of forced disappearance of people and they replied that it did not affect anything that they were prosecuted by the military courts. Currently this protection is under review.
The Special Prosecutor promotes two policies against the relatives:
1. A co-option that, for example, has included offering the families of the disappeared in Guerrero economic resources for productive projects, through its Vicente Estrada Support Committee, an issue that family members and organizations have rejected. The Prosecutor proposes silence, collaboration, resignation in exchange for resources or positions in the Prosecutor's Office. All this with the purpose of dividing organizations and family members.
2. Intimidation, by pretending to ignore the legal personality of family members, by refusing to carry out the proceedings, by incurring in informality, omission, leakage of information, etc.
The whole truth and punishment for the guilty
Fox and his corifeans want to appear to be the great defenders of human rights. We have managed, family members and organizations, to recognize part of the truth, of the responsibility they have in crimes against humanity: forced disappearance, extrajudicial executions and torture, committed.
We invite family members and organizations to continue the effort of years, to raise our voices, to raise again before the corresponding authorities, now in the Special Prosecutor's Office, international organizations, the demands of each of the cases of the disappeared.
Let us demand that they fulfill what they have promised: the clarification of the whereabouts of all the disappeared detainees and the punishment of the guilty.
To move forward we need to coordinate. The future is collective, we have no possibility of advancing individually. We propose to continue surrounding the struggles against repression with solidarity. Let us continue fighting to know the whole truth, the whereabouts of the disappeared and the punishment of the guilty. We can only force them to respond if we extend this fight to schools, neighborhoods, factories and the countryside.
Molina Theissen. Ana Lucrecia. The Forced Disappearance of People in Latin America.
AFADEM. Website: http://www.laneta.apc.org/afadem-fedefam/
Agreement by which various measures are provided for the procurement of justice for crimes committed against people linked to social and political movements of the past. President of the United Mexican States, Vicente Fox Quesada. November 27, 2001 Aranda Jesús. Quirós Hermosillo files amparo to avoid being expelled from the Army. The Day. July 2, 2003. p. twenty-one
* Graciela Mijares
Wife of Ignacio Arturo Salas Obregón, leader of the Communist League September 23, disappeared on April 25, 1974, former member of the League and member of the APN Unidad Obrera y Socialista. Tel. (0155) 5578 4711, Cel 04455 2698 9987. [email protected] Paper presented by Graciela Mijares at the National Forum Against the Repression, Detention and Disappearance of Social Fighters of Oaxaca and the Country, End the forced disappearance in Mexico, a collective task, on July 4 in front of the Government Palace.