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Reply #21: Rights activist held in Oaxaca prison, alleges false arrest [View All]

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-30-06 06:31 PM
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21. Rights activist held in Oaxaca prison, alleges false arrest
Rights activist held in Oaxaca prison, alleges false arrest

By John Gibler/Special to The Herald Mexico
El Universal
Jueves 30 de noviembre de 2006

Alberto Cilia Ocampo, a thin 21-year-old university student and regional chess champion from Mexico City, came to Oaxaca to document cases of forced disappearances and other human rights violations on Monday.
Little did he know that within hours of his arrival, he would become the next case.

At 4 p.m. Monday, hooded state police officers grabbed Cilia off the street together with Sarah Weldon, a 22-year-old French university student and Omar Rodrguez Camarena, a 28-year-old graduate student in history, and whisked them off in the back of a state police pickup truck.

"I saw two guys wearing ski masks approach me. They grabbed my head, slapped me in the face, forced me down and put a hood over my head," Cilia said through the metal grating of the state penitentiary in Ixcotel.

For the next 46 hours, Cilia and his two friends would live what they had come only to bear witness to: torture, interrogations, constant relocations between various state holding facilities, forced confessions, and ultimately trumped up charges.

Weldon, however, is still incommunicado. Her lawyers said officials from the National Immigration Institute would not let them speak with or see Weldon, nor would they confirm her whereabouts. The lawyers are preparing an injunction to prevent Weldons deportation.

In Ixcotel, both Alberto Cilia and Rodrguez were in good spirits and had few visible signs of torture on their faces. They testified that they had been hooded, slapped, stepped on, had a burning liquid poured on their backs and were threatened with electrocution.

Throughout their beatings, police constantly threatened both men with death saying they would cut up their bodies and mail the parts off to various relatives, the men said.

Cilia said state police forced them to sign false confessions, including that APPO leader Flavio Sosa had paid them 50 dollars to make Molotov cocktails.
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