Chiapas: Release of 7 other indigenous persons accused of participating in the Acteal massacre

Acteal (@SIPAZ archivo)

On 1 February were released seven Tseltal indigenous persons who had been sentenced for the massacre of 45 persons in Acteal, Chenalhó municipality, which occurred on 22 December 1997.  The Supreme Court of Justice in the Nation (SCJN) recognized the innocence of the accused.  This decision continues that of August 2009, when the same Court ordered the release of some 30 others accused of participating in the massacre and left the basis for another 20 to be subsequently released, with the argument that due process was violated in the case, that the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) had fabricated evidence, and that the sentence had been based on declarations of testimony made under duress.  To date, of the 79 sentenced for the crime, 51 have been released.  Only 27 remain imprisoned for the massacre.

In this regard, Sergio Natarén Gutiérrez, lawyer for the accused and president of the Commission on Human Rights for the Puertas Abiertas Evangelical People, reported that the seven indigenous persons had been transferred to the offices of the Secretary of Governance in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, to continue the same process that has been taken with the others who have been released on the same charges.  He informed that “provisionally they will be in a hotel in the capital of the state and later will be relocated to the Villaflores municipality, in the center of the entity, where the other 45 who have gained their freedom are located, and so that we avoid their being attacked.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Liberan a otros 7 indígenas acusados por la matanza de Acteal, como ordenó la Corte (La Jornada, 2 February 2012)

Ordena la Corte liberar a siete acusados de matanza en Acteal(Proceso, 1 February 2012)

Liberan a 7 más por caso Acteal (El Universal, 2 February 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: “Day of Fasting and Prayer for Memory, Resistance, and Life,” 14 years after the Acteal massacre (6 January 2012)

Chiapas: New denunciation by Las Abejas (28 October 2011)

Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal distance themselves from demand against ex-president Zedillo (27 September 2011)

Chiapas: Mexican ex-president Zedillo is denounced in US court for the Acteal massacre (26 September 2011)

Chiapas: Day of Action for Justice and Truth of Las Abejas of Acteal (19 August)

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