Police Torture & Sex Abuse of Guatemalan Street Kids: Casa

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Sat, 24 Jul 1999 10:53:55 -0700 (PDT)


FWD  owner-rapid-resp@casa-alianza.org

PRESS RELEASE - Casa Alianza [Covenant House] - June 25, 1999

        Sexual abuse, a common form of torture
             for street girls in Guatemala

As Casa Alianza prepares to mark the United Nations International
Day in Support of Victims of Torture this Saturday, we remember the
hundreds of street girls who become the victims of sexual abuse
at the hands of the police in Guatemala. According to many street
girls, numerous police officers subject them to sexual assaults
each year.

A special section on the anniversary is currently being featured on
Casa Alianza's website (under the section "New Stuff at the Site"),
with general information about the day against torture, articles
on the torture of street kids in Central America, recent cases of
torture in the isthmus, and interviews with teenagers who have
suffered torture in different forms and are now being helped by
Casa Alianza.

On the day before the second anniversary of the international
remembrance, we highlight a recent case of sexual abuse against two
street girls in Guatemala.

On February 25th, 1999, 16-year-old Roxana Abigail Adalf became the
victim of sexual abuse by two members of the Guatemalan Police's
Special Forces (FEP) one of whom has been identified as the
policeman who sexually abused 16-year-old Lorena Hernandez on
February the 11th this year.

Lorena had been sleeping in a small park on 14th Avenue and 3rd
street in Zone 2 of Guatemala City, when a uniformed member of the
Special Forces section of the Guatemalan Police kicked her and a
fellow street boy. The policeman ordered both to strip and then he
attempted to rape the girl.

On Friday, February 12th, 1999, both minors went with Casa Alianza
staff to the Office of Professional Responsibility of the National
Police to view personnel files with photos of the members of the
Special Forces, and they recognized the perpetrator of the sexual
abuse as police agent MOISES CHE BA. Upon checking with Commissioner
Jorge Lone, the head of the Special Forces (known as las Fuerzas
Especiales Policiacas in Spanish), Che Ba was on assignment in Coban.
He returned to the FEP barracks on Thursday, February 25th and was
given a 24-hour leave.

That same Thursday evening, Che Ba is reported to have arrived in
civilian clothes at the same park on 14th Avenue and 3rd street in
Zone 2, together with an as of yet unidentified uniformed member
of the Special Forces. They came up to street youth Roxana Abigail
Adalf (16) and Juan Carlos Lopez Giron (21). CHE BA and the
uniformed policemen who, according to the youth, were seemingly
under the influence of alcohol, ordered them to strip. Juan Carlos
did so, but Roxana refused. The two policemen said that they were
going to rape her, and she resisted.

After approximately 15 minutes of violent scuffles, the officers
left, without having succeeded in raping Roxana, but having
committed abuse of authority, attempted rape and illegal detention.
The street girl complained to Casa Alianza staff, and a formal
complaint was lodged.

Background:

The United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of
Torture was officially proclaimed on December 12th, 1997 by the
General Assembly's adoption of resolution number 52/1499:
"The General Assembly. Decides to proclaim June 26 United Nations
International Day in support of Victims of Torture, with a view to
the total eradication of torture and the effective functioning of
the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment, which entered into force on 26 June 1987."

For us at Casa Alianza, it is our second opportunity to commemorate
all of those street children in Latin America, and around the world,
who have been tortured and brutally murdered. At Casa Alianza we
have documented, up until the end of 1997, 365 cases of torture and
violence against 450 street children in Guatemala alone.

Casa Alianza is the Latin American branch of non-profit organization
Covenant House, which is the largest not-for-profit childcare agency
providing for homeless youth in the Americas. Casa Alianza, whose
regional office for Latin America is in Costa Rica, runs programs
for abandoned street children in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and
Nicaragua, serving more than 4,400 homeless children a year.

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For more information, please contact Casa Alianza on +506-253-5439
or <mailto:media@casa-alianza.org>.

Visit our website at <http://www.casa-alianza.org>.
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You can read the english version of this text at
http://www.casa-alianza.org/EN/lmn/docs/19990625.00297.htm
Ud. puede leer la version espanola del texto a la direccion:
http://www.casa-alianza.org/ES/lmn/docs/19990625.00297.htm
Vous pouvez lire la version francaise de ce texte a
http://www.casa-alianza.org/FR/lmn/docs/19990625.00297.htm
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