March in the El Bosque community @ SIPAZ
On 19 June there were held several actions in solidarity to demand the liberation of the professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez, who is currently being held in the Federal Center for Social Reinstertion (CEFERESO) No. 8 in Guasave, Sinaloa, as this day marks 12 years since his incarceration.
In El Bosque, his community of origin, at mid-day there was held a march in which participated approximately 400 persons. Relatives and friends of Patishtán Gómez, as well as his teacher comrades, expressed their support for the Tzotzil indigenous man, who before his arrest had worked as a bilingual teacher. During the march, slogans of support were heard, and onlookers were invited to join the march, given that “tomorrow they could take any of us,” in light of what has happened to Alberto Patishtán.
Meanwhile, in Mexico City there was held a press-conference for the case of the teacher. At this event, the history of Patishtán Gómez was explained, and there was advanced the demand that the federal and Chiapas state governments review his case toward releasing him. In the press-conference participated Gubidcha Matus, from the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), Norma Garduño, from the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, as well Héctor Patishtán, son of Alberto, and Pedro Ramírez, a comrade in struggle with the professor.
On 20 June, in a press-conference in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Raúl Vera López, president of the CDHFBC and bishop of Saltillo (Coahuila), indicated that spaces of dialogue have been opened with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) and the Secretary of Govenrance to advance the case of Patishtán Gómez. He explained that the professor is a human-rights defender who has strengthened different spaces of denunciation regarding the situation within state prisons in Chiapas where he has been held. The bishop recalled that for participating in a hunger strike and fast in September-October 2011, Patishtán Gómez was transferred from the San Cristóbal de Las Casas prison to a federal prison in Guasave, Sinaloa, thus violating his right to be held in a prison close to his family and his place of origin.
It should be remembered that Alberto Patishtán was accused of the crime of homicide, transport of weapons exclusively for the use of the Army, and assault, due to his supposed participation in an ambush that resulted in the death of several police. Regardless, the only witness of the acts was the son of the then mayor, who at that time was confronting a mobilization among the local population against his person regarding anomalies in the local government, a process in which Alberto Patishtán had participated actively. For this reason, it is considered that the crime has been fabricated, and there exists much evidence that Patishtán Gómez found himself in a meeting with authorities at the time of the attack.
For more information (in Spanish):
Boletín del CDHFBC sobre el caso de Alberto Patishtán (pdf) (19/06/2012)
Proceso: Obispo Vera exige liberación de indígena bilingüe encarcelado(21/06/2012)
La Jornada: Posible liberación de Alberto Patishtán: obispo Raúl Vera(21/06/2012)
La Jornada: Se extiende por el mundo la demanda por la liberación de Santiz y Patishtán (12/06/2012)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: Demand for release and return of Alberto Patishtan (22 March 2012)