[…].” 4 As for the “Paz y Justicia” organization, the petitioners made the following allegations: "Paz y Justicia" is a paramilitary organization, according to complaints received, and it is the principal party accused of perpetrating attacks on leaders and organizations that advocate autonomy for indigenous peoples and defend their ownership of the land they occupy […]. 5 14. The petitioners reported that on January 20, 1999, the wife of the alleged victim, Sonia López Juárez, appeared before the Municipal Judge of Sabanilla to report the alleged disappearance of her husband, and accused Juan Regino López Leoporto as being responsible for it. On January 22, 1999, Mrs. López Juárez reiterated her complaint to the Ministerio Público in Yajalón. On January 24 of that year, Juan Regino López Leoporto gave his statement to the authorities in which he denied any involvement in the matter denounced. Pretrial investigation Nº AL41/SJI/030/99 was opened. According to the petitioners, on March 26, 1999, Juan Regino López Leoporto was released to his family on bond, as a result of the ruling by the Council for the Protection of Minors of the State of Chiapas that the crime, illegal deprivation of freedom, was not a serious offense. 6 The petitioners allege that although as part of the aforesaid pretrial investigation, “various communications had been circulated to determine the whereabouts of the alleged victim, only one operation was carried out on February 1 and 2, 2001.” 7 15. The petitioners asserted that on March 17, 1999, they lodged a petition for amparo or judicial protection, which was registered as No. 238/99. 8 However, the petitioners alleged that on March 22, 1999, “[The] State Public Security Commander in Sabanilla, Chiapas, did not make a prior report, and so [the judge] [...] presumed that the alleged act was true.” 9 The petitioners reported that on March 31, 1999, the constitutional hearing in the amparo proceeding was held, and that the judge “denied the request for amparo by virtue of the fact that there was no indication of the place where Antonio González Méndez was being held.” 10 According to the petitioners, the First District Judge who presided over the amparo proceeding, argued as follows: [H]aving seen the records, and in view of the fact that they show that, in an interlocutory order dated March 23, 1999, Sarah Patricia Torres Lares [legal representative of the petitioners for the amparo proceeding] was requested to indicate the place where the directly injured party, Antonio González Méndez, was being held, with the notice that failure to do so would cause the present petition to be considered as null and void; consequently, on the grounds of Article 146, in relation to 119, of the Amparo Law, this amparo petition is 11 considered as null and void. 16. On this point, the petitioners argued that the jurisprudence of the Inter-American system has consistently held that “the appropriate recourse for cases such as the present one [forced disappearance] is the writ of amparo […].” 12 In spite of the foregoing, the petitioners initiated a criminal proceeding for the purpose of learning the whereabouts of the alleged victim. 4 Initial petition, p. 4. 5 Observations submitted by the petitioners on January 2, 2002, p. 5. Likewise, refer to the report on the human rights situation in Mexico, OEA/Ser.L/V/II.100, Doc. 7 rev. 1, September 24, 1998, para. 556. 6 Initial petition, p. 5. 7 Observations submitted by the petitioners on March 28, 2002, p. 3. 8 Observations submitted by the petitioners on March 28, 2002, p. 2. 9 Observations submitted by the petitioners on March 28, 2002, p. 2. 10 Observations submitted by the petitioners on March 28, 2002, p. 2. 11 Writ of amparo 238/99. Resolution of march 31, 1999. 12 Observations submitted by the petitioners on February 8, 2005, p. 5. 4

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