MARCELINO SANTIAGO PACHECO – human rights defender

Marcelino Santiago Pacheco, member of Organización de Pueblos Indígenas Zapotecos (OPIZ), Organization of Zapotec Indigenous Peoples has not been seen since leaving his residence in Oaxaca City on April 27, 2003. The spokesman for OPIZ, and member of the National Movement for the Freedom of Political Prisoners and Prisoners of Conscience (La Coordinacion Nacional por la Libertad de los Presos Politicos y de Conciencia) Juan Sosa Maldonado, claimed to have spoken with Mr. Pacheco the night before his disappearance. On April 27th, 2002, at about 8:30 p.m. Mr. Moldonado and Mr. Pacheco had a brief conversation, agreeing to wait for colleagues coming from Loxicha, and discussing an important meeting taking place the following Tuesday in Oaxaca. The following day, Monday, April 28th, 2002, Mr. Pacheco left home some time after 2 p.m. headed towards the centre, leaving his recently washed laundry drying. He has not been seen by his family since.

In 1997 Marcelino Santiago Pacheco and Felipe de Jesus Antonio Santiago were imprisoned for four years after nine months of forced disappearance. During this period, they were interrogated and brutally tortured in clandestine prisons.[AMR 41/020/2003 ] After nine months of disappearance and torture, followed by four years in prison for crimes of which he was innocent, Marcelino Santiago Pacheco was pardoned and released at the end of July 2002. In October 2002, OPIZ filed an official legal complaint against Diodoro Carrasco Altamirano, former governor of the state of Oaxaca and former federal Minister of the Interior, as well as against the former state attorney-general and the former director of the state judicial police. The complaint was based on the violations of the rights of indigenous Zapotecans that were committed during the term of office of former Governor Carrasco. At the time of his recent disappearance, Marcelino Santiago Pacheco was waiting to be called to give his testimony.