matters. It sent the State’s observations to the petitioners and granted them one month to present observations to the Commission. On August 2, 2005, the State submitted further information. On August 19, 2005, the petitioners submitted their observations. On September 1, 2005, the petitioners requested a hearing during the 123rd session of the IACHR. On September 26, 2005, the IACHR denied the request for a hearing. On October 11, 2006, the IACHR acknowledged receipt of the observations made by the petitioners on August 19, 2005, and forwarded them to the State. B. Request for precautionary measures 10. On April 5, 1999, the “Fray Bartolomé de las Casas” Human Rights Center requested precautionary measures in favor of Antonio González Méndez, for the purpose of clarifying his whereabouts. On May 18, 1999, the IACHR asked the State to provide information regarding the alleged forced disappearance within 15 days. On June 2, 1999, the State submitted the information requested by the IACHR. On June 7, 1999, the IACHR forwarded the State’s observations to the petitioners and granted them 15 days to submit their observations. On July 14, 1999, the petitioners sent their observations to the IACHR. On July 23, 1999, the IACHR forwarded the petitioners’ observations to the State and granted it 15 days to submit its observations. On August 6, 1999, the State sent its observations to the IACHR. The IACHR continued its consideration of the matter, by processing the petition. III. POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES A. The petitioners 11. The petitioners reported that González Méndez was an indigenous person belonging to the Cho’l indigenous ethnic group, and was 32 years of age at the time of these events. The petitioners further reported that the alleged victim was a “member of the grassroots support for the Zapatista National Liberation Army, affiliated with the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), and in charge of the “Arroyo Frío” cooperative store in the community of “El Calvario,” municipality of Sabanilla, Chiapas. [As a result of his political activities, he had enemies,] especially among members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which was the party in power in the State at the time, and which had ordered paramilitary groups to be created to attack the insurgency.” 1 12. According to the petitioners, at twelve midnight on January 18, 1999, the alleged victim left his home in the company of Juan Regino López Leoporto, apparently to purchase a firearm.” 2 The petitioners reported that the alleged victim went with Juan Regino López Leoporto to the Sabanilla River, and that is the last time he was seen. The petitioners further reported that Juan Regino López Leoporto was a minor at the time of this event, and that he belonged to the group “Desarrollo, Paz y Justicia A.C” [Development, Peace and Justice A.C.”]. 13. According to the petitioners, Mr. González Méndez was the victim of a forced disappearance “carried out by one or several members of the Desarrollo, Paz y Justicia paramilitary group (hereinafter referred to as “Paz y Justicia”), which operated in the northern part of Chiapas, Mexico, with the consent of the Mexican State.” 3 The petitioners further claimed that “Paz y Justicia” “is accused of many homicides, displacements, acts of aggression, and other offenses against individuals and communities that sympathize with the EZLN [Zapatista National Liberation Army] 1 Observations submitted by the petitioners on August 19, 2005, p. 2. 2 Initial petition, p. 3. 3 Initial petition, p. 2. 3

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