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Mexico: Marines abduct adult and children

In July 2013 two children and an adult were detained by Mexican marines in the northern city of Nuevo Laredo. They have not been seen since and the military authorities have denied arresting them. They may have been subjected to enforced disappearance.

In the early hours of 29 July 2013 in Nuevo Laredo, northern Mexico, Jose de Jesus Martinez Chigo and 17-year-old Diana Laura Hernandez Acosta were driving home when marines stopped them at a checkpoint.

An eye witness who is a relative of Jose Martinez was nearby and saw the arrest.  According to the witness, marines forced them and another driver into a military vehicle and drove them to a provisional military compound at a local sports stadium.  The witness pursued the military vehicle in his car and saw the detainees being taken into the military compound.  He informed the family about the arrest and both victims’ families went to the base the same day, but were told that no civilians were detained there.

Relatives have subsequently filed a complaint at the local branch of the Federal Attorney General's Office (Procuraduria General de la Republica) supported by several eyewitness statements confirming the marines' involvement.

In a separate incident, Raul David Alvarez Gutierrez, a 17-year-old boy was stopped by marines at a checkpoint in the south of the city on 30 July at about 11.30am. Numerous eyewitnesses including a family friend, have informed his relatives that marines asked him to come out of his car and, after a brief conversation they took him to a military lorry. The boy has not been seen since.

Due to the fact that enforced disappearance, summary executions, torture and other forms of inhumane treatment are widespread in Mexican society, eyewitnesses have been unwilling to testify for fear of reprisals. Relatives of Raul Gutierrez have tried to file a complaint with the Federal Attorney General's Office, but they were refused on the grounds that they could not provide witnesses. The military authorities have so far failed to respond to requests from relatives and a local human rights organization for information concerning the detention and whereabouts of the three people.


Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

* Expressing concern that Jose de Jesus Martinez, Diana Laura Hernandez Acosta and David Alvarez Gutierrez appear to have been subjected to enforced disappearance by Mexican marines since 29 and 30 July, and calling on the authorities to reveal where they are and ensure their safety;

* Calling on the civilian authorities to carry out a prompt, full and impartial investigation into their apparent abduction by members of the Mexican Navy, publish its findings and bring those responsible to justice;

* Calling on them to ensure that the three people's families and eyewitnesses receive protection in line with their wishes, and ensure that all agencies cooperate with civilian investigations and measures to locate the victims.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 26 SEPTEMBER 2013 TO:  (Time difference = GMT - 6 hrs / BST - 7 hrs)

Federal Attorney General
Jesus Murillo Karam
Procuraduria General de la Republica
Paseo de la reforma 211-213
Col. Cuauhtemoc, C.P. 06500
Mexico City, Mexico        
Fax: 0052 55 5346 0908
Salutation: Dear Attorney General / Estimado Senor Procurador

Secretary for the Navy
Almirante Vidal Soberon Sanz
Secretaria de Marina
Eje 2 Oriente, Tramo Heroica Escuela Naval Militar Num. 861
Col. Los Cipreses, Delagacion Coyoacan
Mexico D.F., CP. 04830
Salutation: Dear Secretary /
Estimado Senor Secretario


His Excellency Mr Eduardo Medina-Mora, Embassy of Mexico, 16 St George Street, Hanover Square, London, W1S 1FD  Fax: 020 7495 4035  Email:  ;  Website:


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