Action Alert-Guatemala: Demand Investigation into Kidnapping of Gladys Monterroso

On March 25 Gladys Monterroso was kidnapped while eating breakfast in a restaurant in Guatemala City and held for 13 hours. Just one day earlier her husband, the Human Rights Ombudsman, released a groundbreaking report, The Right to Know. The report documented evidence in the recently discovered police archives linking officials to human rights violations during the 1960-1996 civil war.

Monterroso is Secretary General of a well-known political party, as well as a prominent lawyer, and university professor. She is recognized for her dedication to the advancement of human rights, truth, and justice in Guatemala.

While detained she was reportedly burned with cigarettes, beaten, and subject to both sexual and psychological abuse. The kidnappers demanded no ransom or other compensation and released Monterroso later the same day.

This violent attack against Monterroso, reminiscent of tactics used during Guatemala’s 36-year civil war, may have been intended to obstruct the search for justice for mass atrocities committed during that war.

Take action now to urge the Guatemalan Attorney General to identify and prosecute those individuals responsible for the kidnapping and abuse of Gladys Monterroso.

For more information:

Read more about mass atrocities in Guatemala here.

Read Human Rights First’s memo to President Obama with suggestions to strengthen U.S. foreign policy to Guatemala here.

Alert Date: April 3, 2009

Send a letter to Guatemala’s Attorney General Jose Amilcar Velasquez Zarate, Interior Minister Salvador Gándara and Vice President Rafael Espada to demand an investigation by visiting Human Rights First’s website.