The Human Rights Actions Network


Argentina: Brutal mistreatment of human rights defenders

July 16, 1998

Derechos Human Rights is gravely concerned about the brutal force used
by the police and military against human rights demonstrators on July
15, 1998.  The attack by police forces left many injured,
including Laura Bonaparte of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo.

On July 15, Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, H.I.J.O.S. (an organization of
children whose parents were disappeared and murdered during the "Dirty
War") and other human rights organizations demonstrated in front of
the home of retired Navy captain Fernando Enrique Peyon.  Peyon was a
member of the task force in charge of disappearing people at the ESMA
(Naval Mechanics School, the largest concentration camp in Argentina
during the "Dirty War") and he was in charge of the operations group
that disappeared Ricardo Haidar, among others.  He was freed by the
"Punto Final" amnesty law in Argentina, and he now works for the Naval
Information Service. Before the demonstration, Peyon handed out
pamphlets to his neighbors in which he acknowledged and expressed
pride about his role in the "Dirty War."

At least 200 demonstrators gathered in front of the building where
Peyon lives, including many of his neighbors.  The building was
guarded by the Infantry Ward and more than 100 Federal Police
officers; there were armored cars and a helicopter monitoring the
demonstration.  In addition, plain-clothes policemen mixed themselves
among the demonstrators. 

The demonstration included protest songs and a play against
repression. Some members of the H.I.J.O.S organization threw red paint
pellets at the wall of the building, symbolizing the blood of the
"disappeared" that Peyon had shed.  When some of the paint hit
policemen, they started to attack the demonstrators.  The armed forces
used tear gas against the demonstrators, beat them with batons and
even spat at them.  Twelve people were arrested and several were
injured, including Laura Bonaparte, who was brutally beaten and had
her arm fractured by police, Federico Zukerfeld, a member of the theater
troop who was hospitalized with a brain hematoma, and Javier Aguilar, a
neighbor who was going out shopping when he was beaten and arrested,
causing him to suffer an epileptic seizure which required hospitalization.
Twelve people were arrested, including the leaders of H.I.J.O.S who were
pointed out by the plain-clothes police infiltrators.

The large number of police officers deployed against the peaceful 
demonstrators, and the use of armored vehicles and infiltrators shows
a clear will to repress the freedom of speech and assembly of the
demonstrators on the part of the police authorities, which respond to
the Ministry of the Interior. Derechos condemns the brutality exercised by
infantry and police forces against peaceful demonstrators and urges the
Ministry of Interior to cease all types of repression against human
rights organizations and others in Argentina.  Derechos demands that
human rights workers and others be allowed to peacefully express
their condemnation of human rights violators without fear of retaliations
and police brutality.


Please write to the authorities below

1- Expressing your condemnation of the police repression against the
demonstrators and members of human rights organizations

2-Demanding that police repression cease in Argentina, and that human
rights organizations and citizens be allowed to publically express their
repudiation of torturers and killers, without fear of being attacked and
beaten by the security forces.

3- Demanding and end to the harassment of human rights organizations in
Argentina, including the use of infiltrators.

Write to:

S.E. Dr. Carlos Saul Menem
Presidente de la Republica
Casa Rosada
Balcarce 50
Buenos Aires, CF
Fax : + 541 331 6376     
E-mail :

Dr. Carlos Corach
Ministerio del Interior
Casa de Gobierno
Balcarce 50
Buenos Aires
Fax:(+541) 331 7354 or 3129328        

The Human Rights Actions Network

Human Rights in Argentina

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The Human Rights Action Network, a part of Derechos Human Rights, distributes appeals on behalf of victims of human rights violations. You are invited to join the network. Please check the date of the present action and do not write if it's over a month old.