In a communication of November 17, 1980, the following
denunciation was made to the Inter-American Commission on Human
We are transmitting herein our eyewitness testimony of the
murder of our parents and the persecution against us, their
The murder was committed with brazen impunity by the Government
"security" forces headed by General Romero Lucas García.
On April 15, 1980, our parents were returning from downtown
about 10:15 at night, accompanied by our small brother. Our
brother opened the wire-mesh gate protecting the vehicle our
parents were driving. At that instant, a brown Toyota, with
license plate P-31209, appeared. A man whose clothing indicated he
was from the east of the country got out of the Toyota and went
toward our parents' car, firing several shots.
The first shots struck our father in the head and cheeks. The
man emptied his gun into the bodies of our parents alternately,
firing at short range into their chests, necks and faces. Our
father tried to get out of the car and called out to our mother: "Now,
Andres," but he could do nothing because he was unarmed.
Our father died almost instantly. Our mother opened her eyes
and tried to say something, but the mortal wounds in her chest,
neck and face prevented her. The 45-caliber bullets fired at
point-blank range caused such profuse bleeding that the bodies had
to be "re-paired" before being laid out in the coffins.
The brother who opened the gate escaped, but he was threatened
by the murderers who brandished their guns at him and said: "Don't
Minutes later, two cars with armed men parked some 150 meters
from our house.
At that time, we were in a state of shock from the impact of
such a brutal and inhuman attack against our parents.
Only later when we recovered a little, were we able to call the
volunteer fire department, who came 30 minutes later without
sirens or emergency lights.
Fifteen minutes dater, a National Police tank, which people
call "Swat," arrived. The police cynically laughed at
how the bodies of our parents were lying. One of the brothers
asked them to go away, and the police responded with threats. They
left only when a number of persons intervened.
Our mother was a worker in the garment industry. When she
married, she quit work to take care of our home. Our father was
General Secretary of the Guatemalan Union of Bricklayers and
Related Crafts, a member of the Executive Committee of the
Autonomous Union Federation of Guatemala (FASGUA), a member of the
Board of Directors of the Guatemalan Union Unity Committee (CNUS),
and a representative of the Guatemalan Construction Workers to the
Latin American Federation of Building, Carpentry 8nd Construction
(FLEMACON) to the Union Unity Committee of Central America and
Panama (CUSCA), to the Latin American Permanent Congress of
Workers (CPOSTAL), and to the World Union Federation (FSM).
He was engaged in union activities for over 20 years and, in
1977 and 1978, had been warned by the heads of the Verapaz
Departments and a plantation owner named Champán that he
would be shot if he entered the region. Other threats were made
against the FASGUA Executive Committee by the Ministers of the
Government and of Labor.
The Federation headquarters in Escuintla had been
At 8:00 that night, our parents, along with one of our small
brothers, left the downtown area. As they did so, they saw a man
on the corner who, when he saw them, got into a Toyota with other
individuals and followed them for several blocks but lost them. On
leaving the district, they also noticed a Toyota and a Volkswagen
with armed men in them. The Toyota was not visible when they
returned, neither was the radio patrol car that guarded the Chief
of the National Police Radio, Patrol Section who lives in the same
After the murder, a number of persons picked up shells and said
they were the 45-caliber bullets used by the Army. The other
shells were "confiscated" by the police, who remained
silent about the caliber of them. An official press release was
published on the events by the E1 Gráfico newspaper, on
April 17, which maintained that there was no explanation of the
events, no witness to the murders, and that the caliber of the
weapon used was unknown. The caliber was not mentioned in the
autopsy report, either.
Not satisfied with having taken the lives of our parents, they
began to persecute our family. This began to be seen in the
dissecting room where we were waiting for the autopsy finding. We
went with some friends of the family to a cafeteria to pass the
time while waiting. At that time, two policemen (vigilantes), who
were driving a motorcycle, stopped for several minutes and watched
The FASGUA headquarters, where the bodies of our parents were
laid out, was heavily guarded. There were a number of telephone
calls asking for the sons of the victims, but when they answered
the phone, nobody was on the line. They asked for the son who had
seen the murders.
The firemen refused to give any information on the event "on
orders from up" according to several media people who
requested information from anybody outside the family. During the
funeral, we were harassed by heavy police surveillance, including
elements of the anti-riot platoon.
Telephone service, providing us with communication to the
outside world, was cut off. A number of persons connected with the
central government stressed to us that the only way to guarantee
our lives was to leave the country, because of the "scandal"
that had resulted from the murder of our parents and because of
the consequent actions that we might take.
Because our stay in the country became unbearable as a result of
the anxiety produced by the many threats received, we found it
necessary to go to the Embassy of Venezuela, requesting diplomatic
protection to guarantee our safe departure. The Venezuelan
officials agreed to protect us.