In a communication of November 6, 1980, the following
denunciation was made to the Inter-American Commission on Human
In March 1980, Mr. Nehemías Cúmez, Chief of the
Department of Low-Cost Housing, of the town of Comalapa, was
abducted on the way to his house when an automobile blocking the
road forced his Land Rover to a stop. When he got out of his Land
Rover, four men armed with shotguns and submachine guns made him
get into their automobile. Since that time no news has been
received of his whereabouts, although his Land Rover turned up in
the town of Sunpango, 60 kilometers away.
In July, two related abductions occurred in Comalapa. On July
24, some soldiers stationed on the outskirts of Comalapa stopped a
bus traveling from Comalapa to the capital, and abducted Adolfo Cúmez,
the 18-year-old nephew of Nehemias. When he tried to intercede,
Anastasio Sotz, 24, the Secretary of Low-Cost Housing, who had
replaced Nehemias Cúmez as President of that agency, was
also taken away.
In August, René Gomez Ovalle, 30, the son of a
well-known merchant in Comalapa, was detained in Chimaltenango.
In August, three kilometers from Comalapa, on the road to the
capital, a ravine some 120 feet deep was discovered, which has
been used regularly to dump the bodies of abducted persons. Some
30 bodies were taken from there. Campesinos have reported that
there were many more but the Government did not want to remove all
of them. For a year, according to some witnesses, vehicles arrived
at the place at night, turned off their lights and then
disappeared. Eyewitnesses have reported that there are still many
bodies at that place and that the Government has been duly
informed of this.
On October 4, Juan Muz, 40, a friend of Nehemías Cúmez,
was abducted from his home by four persons, as witnessed by his
wife, his 17-year-old son and several neighbors. His body was
found two days later 30 kilometers away, showing signs of torture.
On the following day, some 15 soldiers patrolled the market to
quell any demonstration that might have taken place during the
On October l0, 1980, Antonio Muz, 35 years of age, and Roque
Salazar, 30, employees of the Reconstruction Board, were abducted
from a bus traveling from the capital to Comalapa by persons armed
with Guatemalan Army submachine guns who were dressed in civilian
clothes but wore Army boots. The body of Salazar was found on
October 15, with the teeth pulled out and the tongue cut out,
among other mutilations.
On October 15, two other persons were abducted from a
Chimaltenango office: another employee of the Reconstruction
Board, Ernesto Apén, 28, and Maximiliano Otzoy, a legal
aide, both residents of Comalapa.
In November, several other murders occurred. A 17-year-old
youth, Paquixic, was murdered in a nearby village in front of his
family. A few days after, Julio Tuyuc, 25, was abducted on the
public road in Comalapa by armed persons who made him get into
their car. His body was found the following day.
Three Comalapa residents, including Lic. Miguel Corruchiche,
were murdered in the capital when their car stopped at a red
light. All of these persons were connected, as was Nehemías
Cúmez, with the Comalapa Reconstruction Board.
The Government is held responsible for these acts.