Information on the Association of Law Students (AED) at the University of San Carlos (USAC), including its activities and its treatment by police, 1990 to present [GTM28633.E]

Two November 1995 reports state that eight to nine members of the Association of Law Students (AED) participated in a hunger strike outside the Guatemalan Supreme Court to call for the prosecution of those responsible for the November 1994 murder of law student Mario Alioto López Sánchez and the wounding of several others during a student protest (Cerigua 16 Nov. 1995; Guatemala Human Rights Update 17 Nov. 1995). The students ended their eight-day hunger strike when they received assurances from the authorities that new charges would be laid against former minister of the interior, Danillo Parrinello Blanco, former vice minister of the interior, Colonel Mario Alfredo Mérida, and former National Police director, Salvador Figueroa (ibid.). The Guatemala Human Rights Update report adds that AED President Gustavo Peralta, while not a participant in the strike but a supporter, received several death threats by telephone during the hunger strike (17 Nov. 1995).

Several reports state that the November 1994 student protests at the University of San Carlos (USAC) were the consequence of a significant increase in urban bus fares (Central America Report 18 Nov. 1994; Guatemala Human Rights Update 9 Dec. 1994; IPS 15 Nov. 1994). For additional information on this student protest, as well as the death of law student Mario Alioto López Sánchez, please consult the 9 December 1994 and the 17 November 1995 Guatemala Human Rights Update reports attached to Response to Information Request GTM25405.F of 21 November 1996.

An 11 February 1990 Reuters report states that USAC law student Armando Piedrasanta Garcia was kidnapped by armed men outside of his home. Another Reuters report states that Garcia was held in captivity for several hours on 6 February before being released (19 Feb. 1990). The same report adds that Garcia left Guatemala unharmed on 14 February 1990.

For general information on the political activities of the University Students Association at USAC, including abuses suffered by its members in 1992 and 1993, please consult Response to Information Request GTM17355.E of 17 May 1994, which refers to a 10 April 1993 IPS report stating that the body of a law student was found several days after he was kidnapped.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Central America Report [Guatemala City]. 18 November 1994. "Security Forces Violently Repress Student Protest."

Cerigua [Guatemala City]. 16 November 1995. "Students End Hunger Strike." (Central America NewsPak [Austin, Tex.], 13 Nov.-26 Nov. 1995, Vol. 10, No. 21, p. 5)

Guatemala Human Rights Update [Washington, DC]. 17 November 1995. "Students Win Action on Alioto Case With Week-Long Hunger Strike."

_____. 9 December 1994. "Students Killed, Others Injured in Police Attack."

InterPress Service (IPS). 15 November 1994. "Clash Leaves Dozens of Students Wounded." (Central America NewsPak [Austin, Tex.], 14 Nov.-27 Nov. 1994, Vol. 9, No. 21, p. 6)

Reuters. 19 February 1990. "Prominent Guatemalan Doctor Released, Flees to United States." (NEXIS)

_____. 11 February 1990. "Medical Professor Kidnapped by Four Armed Men." (NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

Amnesty International Report. 1995-1997.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. 1994-1996.

Central America Report [Guatemala City]. 1994-1997.

Human Rights Watch World Report. 1995-1997.

Latinamerica Press [Lima]. 1994-1997.

Latin American Regional Reports: Caribbean & Central America Report [London]. 1994-1997.

Electronic sources: IRB Databases, Global News Bank, Internet, REFWORLD (UNHCR database), World News Connection (WNC).