General statistics on killings and disappearances of union activists. [BOL5479]

A review of the annual U.S. Department of State Country Reports since 1978 did not yield precise information on exactly how many Bolivians have disappeared or been the victims of political or extrajudicial killings since 1970. [ Information in the following 2 paragraphs is from U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office). For 1978, see pp. 216-24; for 1979, pp. 256-61; for 1980, pp. 349-50; for 1981, pp. 252-3; for 1982, pp. 412-3; for 1983, p. 475; for 1984, p. 430; for 1985, p. 432; for 1986, pp. 408-9; for 1987, p. 392; for 1988, pp. 462-3; for 1989, pp. 477-8.]

They report that in 1980, there were "credible reports" of political killings. In 1981, 2 union activists were killed while in military custody, and in 1982, 9 people died during two separate workers' demonstrations. For 1987 and 1988, the Country Reports state that "several people died during civic and labour related disturbances."

In the area of disappearances, the Country Reports indicate that in 1981, "According to human rights sources, at any given time the list of missing people numbers about 20-25." Two people reportedly disappeared in 1982, but it remained unclear whether the military were responsible. In 1983, the remains of 14 people were discovered. According to the Country Reports, they were "persons who apparently had disappeared during the regime of General Hugo Banzer (1971-1978). Most had been in official custody in 1972." In December 1984, the National Missing Persons Commission presented a list of 207 people, who had disappeared since 1966, to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Fifty-two cases had been solved while the others remained under investigation.

Amnesty International's annual reports provide some details of political killings and disappearances in Bolivia as well. Referring to the above mentioned list provided by the National Missing Persons Commission, the 1985 annual report states that of the 52 solved cases, the "majority were found to have been killed and secretly buried by military personnel or civilians working with the security forces." [ Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 1985 (London: Amnesty International Publications Ltd., 1985), pp. 125-7.] In November 1982, the Permanent Assembly for Human Rights reported published figures indicating that, "as many as 164 individuals had disappeared," since 1979. [ Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 1983 (London: Amnesty International Publications Ltd., 1983), pp. 113-5.] According to Amnesty International, the military had killed miners and peasants in August 1980 and a large number of people had been subsequently reported missing. Also mentioned in the organization's 1981 annual report is a January 1981 incident in which a group of leftist politicians were killed. Among them was a leading official of the Bolivian Mineworkers' Union (FSTMB), Artemio Camargo. [ Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 1981 (London: Amnesty International Publications Ltd., 1981), pp. 115.] Amnesty International's 1980 annual report states that "as many as 200 unarmed civilians were killed by the army," during a coup in November 1979. [ Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 1980 (London: Amnesty International Publications Ltd., 1980), pp. 112.]