Wednesday, January 21, 2009

URGENT ACTION: Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation January 15, 2009

Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation (FAFG)
Receives More Death Threats
January 15, 2009


Since 1992, the FAFG has carried out exhumations across Guatemala, digging up the remains of victims of the internal armed conflict in Guatemala, determining - when possible - cause of death and identity. Every exhumation initiates criminal proceedings to determine cause of death and who committed the crime.

Evidence recovered by the FAFG is being used in numerous criminal trials, including the two genocide cases in Guatemalan courts (that are not advancing due to the impunity of the military and powerful economic sectors, and the lack of political will from Guatemalan politicians and the international community) and the genocide case before the Spanish courts that is advancing, … slowly and painfully.

The FAFG has received threats since 2002, and the State of Guatemala has been ordered to provide security for the FAFG and its staff by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Last year, the FAFG received threats on several occasions, the last being text messages via cell phones during the month of June. Fredy and Omar are currently receiving state-sponsored security protection measures, including armed police officers at work and home.

NEW THREATS RECEIVED BY FAFG
January 8, 2009


On Thursday, 8th January 2009, Fredy Peccerelli, Executive Director of the FAFG, received an email with a copy sent to Omar Bertoni Girón, Head of the FAFG's Forensic Anthropology Department. The email contains the following message:

"Bloody bastard fredy, we are watching you fucking revolutionary your families will pay the price we are watching you and we will start with your siblings, first we will kill yani I am sending photos so you don't think it's a joke."

For the first time, the threat was accompanied by a photo taken on January 5, 2009 of a car belonging to Fredy's brother, at a gas station near their homes.

We are asking the Public Prosecutor's Office to conduct an exhaustive investigation of the threats received over the last seven years. To date, no one has been held responsible for the more than 30 direct threats made.

Click here to send a message to the Guatemalan government calling on authorities to investigate the threats against Fredy, Omar, and their families, and bring those responsible to justice, and do its utmost to protect FAFG staff and their families.
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SECOND THREAT IN FOUR DAYS RECEIVED BY FAFG
January 12, 2009


Omar Bertoni Girón, Head of the FAFG's Forensic Anthropology Laboratory, and Fredy Peccerelli, Executive Director of the FAFG, received a death threat via email:

"OK you bastards, you haven't taken us seriously. This will show you. Omar your wife looks very good in red with your daughter. We saw them today in front of the FAFG. You fucking revolutionaries won't stop until we kill you. Fredy your suit won't be of any use to you, after we kill you they will never find you. You have little time left you bastard, first your siblings then you revolutionary anthropologists. Death."

Omar Bertoni Girón is also Fredy Peccerelli's brother-in-law, married to Bianka Peccerelli. She, accompanied by their daughter, dropped off her husband at the FAFG that morning.

Two death threats received on May 19 and 22, 2008 were sent under the same name, but from a different address.

We demand that the Public Prosecutor's Office investigate the origin of the threats thoroughly and, considering the seriousness and detailed nature of this last threat, the heightening of the security provided by the State of Guatemala for the FAFG. This includes contracting an expert on cybernetic security (because the threats were received by email) and two National Police agents (to cover a 24 hour shift) for Fredy's children. (Fredy made this request personally.)

Click here to send a message to the Guatemalan government calling on authorities to investigate the threats against Fredy, Omar, and their families, and bring those responsible to justice, and do its utmost to protect FAFG staff and their families.

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[Information for this Urgent Action has been taken from Rights Action. We appreciate their contribution!]

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