On the 9th of July 2009, representatives of the indigenous tseltales, who are members of the village of San Sebastián Bachajón and part of ‘La Otra Campaña’, took part in a press conference, together with the Centro de Derechos Humanos “Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas” (Human Rights Center “Fray Bartolome de las Casas” or CDHFB). The press conference took place in the offices of CDHFB, with the aim of the liberation of five of the seven detained indigenous tseltales from the village. The detainees have been imprisoned since last April and have suffered acts of torture to incite confessions of responsibility for holdups of tourist buses in the region of Agua Azul.
Gerónimo Moreno Deara acted as representative of those who had been recently liberated: he recounted the events of the detainment, the arrival, and the imprisonment within the state jail “El Amate”, which is based in Cintalapa. Gerónimo Moreno Deara recounted how they suffered torture for two days and how, on being detained, they were forced to take part in manual labor for the other prisoners so as not to be assaulted.
Two of the authorities of the village, who represented the committee of surveillance, as well as the principal traditional authorities, spoke about the origins of division within the village and the way in which they joined the ‘La Otra Campaña’. They stated that they are going to keep fighting for the liberation of the two other members of the village who remain imprisoned.
In turn, the CDHFBC, which acts in defense of the seven indigenous peoples who were detained last April, gave thanks to the national and international solidarity that has resulted in the recent liberation of the five individuals. Furthermore, the Center urged for those in solidarity to keep fighting for the freedom of Antonio and Jerónimo Gómez Saragos, who are currently imprisoned in “El Amate”. Moreover, representatives of CDHFBC stated that they were eagerly awaiting the resolution of the appeal against the order for the commitment of the defendant, which will be announced within the next few days.
For more information:
- Libres, cinco indígenas tseltales que defendían su territorio en Bachajón (spanish)
- Son liberados cinco de los siete tzeltales de Bachajón presos en el penal de El Amate (spanish)
- Liberated, five of seven indigenous that were prisoners for defending their territory (gallery of photos)
- Five of seven indigenous people from La Otra Campaña of Bachajón are released (audio file; spanish)
More information from SIPAZ:
- Chiapas: 5 indigenous tseltales of the village of San Sebastián Bachajón are released
- Urgent Action (April 23, 2009)