Subject: GUATEMALA: MARIA TIU TOJIN 6:24 pm Sep 12, 1991 Source: Peacenet (Fido:250/222) i

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From: William Bowles Subject: GUATEMALA: MARIA TIU TOJIN 6:24 pm Sep 12, 1991 Source: Peacenet (Fido:250/222) igc:aicoord Conf:ai.general Indigenous People: Guatemala MARIA TIU TOJIN Maria Tiu Tojin and her one-month-old daughter Maria Josefa Tiu Tojin were detained by the army one morning last summer. Now they have "disappeared." Maria Tiu Tojin and her daughter were detained by the army in the village of Santa Clara, in the Amacchel area of El Quiche department, on the morning of August 29, 1990. Detained with them was a group of 85 peasants, including women and children, belonging to a Comunidad de Poblacion en Resistencia (CPR), Community of People in Resistance. The group was detained by about 100 soldiers and 40 members of a local Civil Defense Patrol. Maria Tiu Tojin and the others were forced to walk for nine hours until they reached Amacchel. they were taken to the village school house and held there for nine days. The only time they left the school was to undergo interrogation at the local military garrison. Maria Tiu Tojin, whom the authorities has accused of belonging to an armed opposition group, was reportedly subjected to prolonged interrogations during the time the group was detained at the school, and she often would not return there until the early evening. On the morning of September 8 or 9 the group was taken to the village of La Pista, from where they were taken by army vehicles to the military garrison in central Nebaj. They reportedly arrived there in the early afternoon and were given lunch there. Although there appears to be some confusion as to the exact moment when Maria Tiu Tojin and her daughter were separated from the group, eyewitnesses reported that as they were having lunch, a soldier came and took them away. Maria Tiu Tojin was reportedly crying. Neither the baby nor her mother were ever seen again. The rest of the group was eventually transferred to a refugee and displaced persons' reception center. The mother and her baby were apparently taken to a military base outside Nebaj. Soldiers reportedly told her relatives that they were held there, and at the time of the two "disappearances" it is known that soldiers in the area had a baby in their possession. However, when family members and others approached the military to inquire about Maria Tiu Tojin and her daughter, the army denied holding them, and said they knew nothing of a baby. Members of the CPR live in the mountains, in areas where guerrillas have been active. Having fled their villages during the army's counter-insurgency campaigns of the early 1980s, they do not wish to return to areas under army control. The government characterizes them as guerrilla sympathizers if not collaborators, and they, as well as those who have tried to publicize their plight, have been targeted for human rights abuses. Amnesty International has received reports of human rights violations by the army against members of the CPR, including harassment, "disappearances," and possible extrajudicial executions. You Can Help: Please send courteous letters requesting information on the whereabouts of Maria Tiu Tojin and her baby daughter. Urge that a full and impartial inquiry be initiated into their detention and subsequent "disappearances," and that those responsible for their "disappearance" be brought to justice. Write to: Minister of Defense Gral Luis Francisco Mendoza Garcia, Ministro de Defensa, Ministerio de Defensa, Palacio Nacional, Guatemala, Guatemala Ambassador John Schwank, Embassy of Guatemala, 2220 R St., NW, Washington, DC 20008


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