Sr. Alberto Elías Beltrán, Interim Attorney General of Mexico
Sr. Javier Ignacio Olea Peláez, Attorney General of Guerrero State
February 16, 2018
We are extremely disturbed at threats to Marco Antonio Coronel, a reporter for Televisa, after a news report he made on January 19 that implicates police in Chilpancingo, Guerrero State, in the disappearance and torture of six young men during the last week of December 2017. He has also reported on the links between the Guerrero State Attorney’s office and organized crime groups. For the first time in 15 years, fear has forced him to stop reporting.
Here is the timeline, as we understand it:
Dec 23-31: seven young men were disappeared in Chilpancingo
Some were tortured, and then delivered to the Ministerial Police of the Public Ministry Agency (of the central sector of Acapulco) and were put under the charge of a commander named Tino.
Jan 3: three (Alonso Carvajal, Alán Alexis, and Héctor Josué Marcelo, age 15) were released and left behind the Soriana Department store next to the Municipal Palace of Chilpancingo, found with clear signs of torture and bound up with tape all over their bodies.
Jan 3: two were found dead in an abandoned lot on the outskirts of Chilpancingo: Jorge Arturo Vázquez Campos (age 30) and Marcos Catalán Cabrera (age 34)
Two remain missing: Abel Aguilar García (age 18) and Efraín Patrón Ramos (age 25)
January 19 on Televisa: Journalist Marco Antonio Coronel included in his TV report surveillance camera videos which suggest that police were involved in six of the seven disappearances. The videos indicate the involvement of at least five municipal police in the disappearance of one man, Efraín Patrón Ramos, disappeared on December 29.
Efraín Patrón Ramos was last seen driving down a central avenue of Chilpancingo. He told a friend on the phone that municipal police were following him, confirmed by the surveillance videos. Then, video images 25 minutes later show Efrain Ramos’ car a few blocks away. Now, however, his car is following the police patrol car and a beige car, possibly indicating that Efrain Ramos was no longer driving his car. There is a time lapse (25 minutes) because there are no surveillance cameras for several street blocks; it is suggested this is where the enforced disappearance occurred. The report also suggested that Abel Augilar García was disappeared two days earlier on the same street(s) as Efraín Ramos.
On January 30, Marco Antonio Coronel received a threat via Twitter, signed by a drug cartel accused of having links with Chilpancingo local authorities. “If you don’t want to be cut up in pieces, tone . . . down”. On January 31 he received additional threats in similar messages.
We strongly urge that:
- the Federal Attorney General’s Office establish the whereabouts of the missing men, investigate the tortures inflicted, and investigate the threats made against Marco Antonio Coronel, make the results public and bring those responsible to justice
- the Attorney General of Guerrero cooperate in the investigations into the disappearances, tortures and killings
Brian J. Stefan Szittai Christine Stonebraker Martínez
Gerónimo Gutiérrez, Mexican Ambassador to the US ~ via email
Roberta Jacobson, US Ambassador to Mexico ~ via fax and US mail
Linda Neilan, Mexico Desk, US State Dept ~ via email
Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, Rapporteur for Mexico, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ~ via email
Edison Lanza, Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ~ via email
US Senators Brown & Portman
US Representatives Beatty, Fudge, Gibbs, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Kaptur, Latta, Renacci, Ryan ~ via email