Disappearance of Prof. Gregorio Alfonso Alvarado López

National Front Against Repression

To: Licenciado Emilio Chuayffet Chemor
Minister of Internal Affairs
Mexico City, D.F.

February 26, 1997

Mexico has been shaken by events that indicate a profound crisis, which effects everything from the judicial atmosphere up to the economic base, crossing over all social spheres. The political assassinations, the cases of complicity by the army high command with the chief drug traffickers, their lack of punishment and its consequences, are only the symptoms of a grave illness from which our nation is suffering.

But we Mexicans are not all responsible for the evils that are tearing apart our nation. The majority of us are absorbed in constructing in our country a genuine State of Law. When justice shines in Mexico, the law will be the guide to social conduct.

Today the conditions for this do not exist. It continues depriving the culture of the imposition by way of facts. Among the abnormal practices which continue to exist and make impossible the rule of law is the arrest and disappearance of people, as it is called by the international humanitarian organizations.

Since 8 PM on September 26, 1996, Prof. Gregorio Alfonso Alvarado López has disappeared and his family alternates between hope and despair over his absence. He is a member of the State Coordination of Education Workers of the State of Guerrero (CETEG) and of the Guerrero Movement of 500 Years of Resistance of the Indigenous People, who furthermore is considered by his loved ones as a good husband and father of the family.

The United Nations Organization classifies forced disappearance as a crime against humanity, that is comparable to nothing less than genocide.

A government which boasts of respect for law, as does that of Mexico, can not be in agreement with arrest and disappearance. This latter, by its characteristics, oppresses the families of the victims and imposes upon them a real tribulation: his family, friends and comrades have no knowledge of his fate and not the least information of his whereabouts.

Gregorio Alfonso Alvarado López was wary of repression. He together with his wife, since January 25, 1996, sought the intervention of the (governmental) National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH). It turned a deaf ear to the urgent plea for protection, contrary to its job as a protector of persons. Since that time, he got to know the license plate numbers of the vehicles driven by those who seized him and whom he obviously feared. The silence of the governmental CNDH raises the suspicion of its complicity (or at least deceitful negligence) in the arrest and disappearance of the professor.

Norma Lorena Valdez Santos, the wife of Gregorio Alfonso, has knocked on all the doors and exhausted all legal avenues. She has not allowed herself a moment of rest since her companion for life was the victim of this illegal act. She has pursued all types of petitions and nowhere has she found the desired response. She has gathered all kinds of evidence, but the Guerrero and federal authorities refuse to pursue the lines of investigation which she has opened up with her determined and valiant search.

The forced disappearance of persons is one of those crimes whose punishment is not limited, and whose authors can not take advantage of amnesties. Its designation as an atrocity is because it violates all juridical norms and because it has a terrorizing effect on the population, with the power with which it seeks to intimidate the fighters for social and political aims so that they cease fighting a determined system.

Therefore, the Mexican government should be profoundly preoccupied with the disappearance of Gregorio Alfonso (and any other person). One cannot presume a State of Law where the forced disappearance of persons is utilized.

The active agent of the disappearance works with the protection of the official apparatus. Normally, the victim is locked up in a clandestine jail, where he is subject to all kinds of atrocities that his capturers feel like perpetrating upon him. It is a despicable action, which denigrates those who utilize it, sacrifices those who suffer it and intimidates the whole society.

There are no judicial avenues that the family has not pursued: judicial lawsuit, appeal for intervention to the CNDH and the State Commission, appearance before legislators requesting that they use their good offices in favor of the fulfillment of the law. Nothing has had any effect until now, Antonio, Itandehui and Donaji continue bemoaning the absence of their father. And the combative wife makes her demands zealously.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs serves the function of directing the internal policies of the country. It would be very serious if it did not have information about who the person or persons are in Mexico who carry out the disappearance of people, and what person or persons protect them from positions of power. Its intelligence apparatus, it is presumed, should serve to detect such anti-human conduct and prevent it.

Professor Alvarado López did not engage in clandestine political activities. And if this Ministry or any other branch of the government had proof that he was carrying out such activities, its inevitable obligation is to prove it and to conduct a just trial. But nothing justifies detention and disappearance for more than five months.

We would like to inform you that the previous meetings we have had with officials of the Ministry in charge (concretely with Lic. Juan Burgos Pinto) have not been fruitful. Moreover we have had the impression that they only wanted to get rid of the matter, without committing themselves completely to the restoration of the rule of Law.

Your direct participation in this matter would speed up the investigation of the arrest and disappearance of Prof. Alvarado López. One key to open the first lock (only the first) would be to designate a special prosecutor, or agent of the public ministry, who enjoys confidence and who has the legal authority to continue with the formal investigation which the federal and Guerrero authorities are carrying out.

We demand your attention to this painful affair, which not only concerns an honest and esteemed Mexican family, but also the total enforcement of a State of Law.

We demand a positive response to the pleas of Ms. Norma Lorena Valdez Santos. The pleas which we have made include:

1. The explanation of the publication of the black lists, which appeared in the magazine Impacto, in its numbers 2428 and 2429, which serve to intimidate people and to bring into disrepute those who carry out tasks in a constitutional framework.

2. The release of comrade Eli Homero Aguilar, of the Francisco Villa Popular Front, falsely accused of crimes but really punished for his social struggle on behalf of the neighborhood residents, peasants, workers and students. The canceling of orders of arrest for Agustín González, José Jiménez, Enrique Hernández, Enríque Reynoso, René Velazquez, Alejandro López and Rosario Hernández.

3. The end to the attempts to evict the local union of seamstresses "September 19."

4. Withdrawal of the army from Oaxaca and particularly from the region of Loxicha, Oaxaca.

5. The release of the members of the FAC-MLN [Broad Front for the Construction of the Movement of National Liberation] held at various locations in the country.

6. The canceling of the orders of arrest against the teachers of Section XXII of SNTE [National Union of Education Workers].

7. The arrest of the soldiers who murdered the indigenous Tepehuan man Valentin Carrillo Saldaña, in Chihuahua, detained on October 12, 1996, whose body was found on the 17th of the same month.

8. The release of the 4 Barzonist prisoners in Mexico City, jailed under false charges such as kidnapping, for defending the rights of debtors.


Enrique González Ruiz (National Front of Democratic Lawyers), Rosario Ibarra de Piedra (Eureka), Irma Chávez Baeza (Metropolitan Barzon), Norma Lorena Valdez S. (wife of the disappeared professor), Roselis Cruz Solano (Organization of Villages and Neighborhoods, Roberta Campos A. STAUAG (Guerrero), Felix Moreno Peralta CETEG (Guerrero), Guerrero Council of 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance, Rocio Galván R. (Francisco Villa Popular Front), Roberto García Lucero (Teachers Commission of Human Rights Sect, XXII, SNTE, Oaxaca), Rodrigo García Elizalde, Eliseo Colin González (Sect. 2 SUTGDF), Raúl Miranda (National Coordinator of the Workers of the Ministry of Health), Emilio B. Amaya, Juan José Grijalva, Manuel Aguilar Mora (League of Socialist Unity), David Cilia Olmos (Center of Human Rights Yax'kin A.C.) Gloria Angeles Solano (UTE Sect. XXXVI of the SNTE), Maricela Medina (Sect. X of the SNTE), Pedro García (UJRM), Ramón Rosas (Independent Civic Alliance), United Proletarian Neighborhoods, Communist Party of Mexico Marxist-Leninist.

They were taken alive, we want them back alive.

cc: Amnesty International, requesting their intervention.
Lic. Angel Aguirre Rivero, Governor of Guerrero.
The national and international press.

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