At 4:30 pm on June 4th
, a group of approximately 30 soldiers of the Mexican Federal Army (MFA) raped three young Tseltal
indigenous women from Santa Rosita Sibaquil (in the municipality of Altamirano). The rapes took place at a military roadblock outside of Altamirano, where the soldiers were on duty.
The young women had sold their farm produce in the town of
Altamirano and were returning with their mother when they
were detained and taken to a room near the military roadblock to be interrogated by a sergeant. There, after being accused of being Zapatistas and threatened with death, they were raped by all of the soldiers.
The community has requested the neutral presence of the International Red Cross to counter the climate of oppressive militarization in the area around Altamirano. This presence could prevent new aggression such as the above, and also guarantee the passage of medical and humanitarian aid to the civil population in the zone.
We as the international community to fax and write the president of Mexico, to the denouncement the rapes, to insure the survivors' physical and psychological safety, and to ask for the installation by the International Red Cross of a neutral zone in the cooperative farming community of Eijdo, Morelia, in the municipality of Altamirano.
The faxes and telegrams should be sent to the following addresses:
- Lic. Carlos Salinas de Gortari
- Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
- Palacio Nacional
- Mexico, D.F.
- Fax: 2-71-17-74
- Presidency of the International Red Cross
- Attn Sr. Francis Amar
- General Delegate for Latin America and the Caribbean
- 19 Avenue de la Paix
- Geneva, Switzerland
- Fax: (022) 733-2057
Please send copies to CONPAZ. On June 30th, CONPAZ and the Grupo de Mujeres de San Cristobal (Women s Group of San Cristobal) denounced the rapes to the Ministerio Publico Federal (equivalent of the attorney general).
They accused the Mexican Federal Army of gang rape, intimidation and making death threats against the women. CONPAZ and the Women's Group presented the denunciation on behalf of the three young women, using a tape-recorded account of the case made by the women.
Additionally, the National Commission of Human Rights, and specifically their agent, Carlos Reyes N., were denounced. According to documentation, members of this governmental commission arrived at the women's community on June 21 in order to investigate the rapes. They used the names of another organization and another person in order to gain the survivors' trust and obliged them to sign documents with thumb prints. Possibly these documents will be used to cover up the illegal actions of the Army, as has happened previously.
From: Coalition of Non-governmental Organizations for Peace (CONPAZ)
Chiapa de Corzo 19 El Cerrillo
San Cristobal de las Casas
C.P. 29220 Chiapas, Mexico