Chiapas: New denunciation from El Amate

Alberto Parishtán Gómez, professor, catechist, indigenous tzotzil, coordinator of the Catholic Pastoral Group in the prison, has been incarcerated for 8 years and 8 months. He is being held in the State Center for Social Rehabilitation (CERSS) number 14, El Amate, in Cintalapa de Figueroa, Chiapas. He is the last of the prisoners who, in 2008, started the longest and most important hunger strike in the state. In total, 47 prisoners were freed from 3 jails in Chiapas as part of the hunger strike. Alberto Parishtán, originally from the municipality of El Bosque in the Highlands, was detained on June 19, 2000 and accused of homicide, assault, and possession of firearms, among other crimes related to an ambush in which 6 police were killed and the son of the PRI-party municipal president Manuel Gómez Ruiz was wounded. A Federal court sentenced Patishtán to 60 years in the case number 126/2000.

The Committee of Ex-Prisoners and Family of Political Prisoners “Innocent Voices”, part of “La Voz de Amate” and “La Voz de los Llanos” and adherents to the Other Campaign and to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, demanded in a new communiqué the “immediate and unconditional release” of Alberto Patishtán. They called for “state, national, and international organizations to take whatever action is possible to demand the immediate and unconditional freedom for our friend and brother”. They also demanded the liberation of the political prisoners of San Salvador Atenco, incarcerated since May of 2006 for defending their land.

In another communiqué, the Committee of “Innocent Voices”, they denounced a police operation that took place in El Amate on March 21, which threatened “the physical safety of the population of prisoners, the stability, and safety of the prison. In addition there were women and children, visitors of the interns, who suffered fear and suffocation from the tear gas used by the State Preventative Police forces occupying the prison. Through these events, it is clear that the government does not respect human rights after committing this disproportionate use of force and forgetting its responsibility to care for the safety of visitors and all those in the prison.”

Last week, before this operation, there was an incident in which four prisoner’s lips were sown shut for demanding that the government review their cases. On March 23, 8 convicts belonging to the organizations, Independent Regional Campesino Movement (MOCRI) and the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization (OCEZ) began a hunger strike in order to demand that the state government review their cases, and consider that they were unjustly detained.

For More Information (In Spanish):

El Comité Voces Inocentes exige la libertad de Alberto Patishtán de La Voz del Amate, Zapateando (24/03/09)

Reprimen protesta de los internos en El Amate, Zapateando (21/03/09)

Presos de Chiapas se cosen los labios para demandar libertad, La Jornada (19/03/09)

Ocho reos de El Amate inician ayuno, La Jornada (23/03/09)

Exigen la libertad incondicional del profesor y dirigente tzotzil Alberto Patshtán Gómez, La Jornada (25/03/09)

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