Chiapas: visit to Alberto Patishtán to observe 2011 call for “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” Honor denied

Participantes de la convocatoria "jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum" frente al penal de San Cristóbal
Participants of the “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” process in front of the San Cristóbal prison

On 28 July, members of the organizations involved in the “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” process and from organizations recognized by the honor in January of this year planned to go visit professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez, an inmate unjustly held in the San Cristóbal prison and prior recipient of this honor.  Although the group had authorization from the state government, the director of the prison denied the group-members entry.  The following includes the full report released by the group-members after having been denied entry to the prison.

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas

28 July 2010


Víctor Manuel Palacios Torres, director of CERSS 5 of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, denies entry to members of civil organizations who had planned to visit professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez, political prisoner, despite the fact that the visit had been authorized by the office of the state governor.

Professor Patishtán received the “JTatic Samuel JCanan Lum” Honor earlier this year.  In observation of the new call for this honor in 2011, people went to visit him, to express their support and share reflections on the meaning of the initiative.

Since last month the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center, A.C., had been attempting to arrange the entry of representatives of the civil organizations responsible for the honor as well as of those people and collectives who were recognized by Don Samuel Ruiz Garcia this past January.  Yesterday, 27 July, there was sent the list of people who would attempt entry, as demanded by the office of the governor; on 28 July, we were notified that the visit had been authorized.

Last 26 January, Don Samuel Ruiz García and members of the organizations behind the process entered CERSS 5 to present the said honor to Professor Patishtán, there realizing a small ceremony that took place without incident.  It should be mentioned that the process of entering CERSS 5 on that occasion was carried out in the same fashion and by the same means as those realized for the visit that was denied on 28 July.

In this instance we were made to wait outside CERSS 5 starting at 9am–the agreed-upon hour for entry–until 11:30, when it was decided to leave the prison, in light of the denial expressed by the director of CERSS 5.  We requested an interview with him through intermediaries, but he refused to receive us to discuss the matter.

We express our concern regarding the lack of seriousness on the part of the director of CERSS 5 and his failure to comply with the promise made to us by the governor’s office authorizing our visit.  We express once again our demand that Professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez, imprisoned for political reasons since 2000, be released.

Organizing-groups of the Jtatic Samuel Jcanan Lum Honor:

Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights, the Commission to Support Communal Unity and Reconciliation (Coreco), Services and Assessment for Peace (SERAPAZ), Social-Economic Development of Indigenous Mexicans (Desmi), the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ), the Institute of Intercultural Studies and Investigations (INESIN)

Organizaciones that received the Jtatic Samuel Jcanan Lum Honor in 2010:

CODIMUJ – Diocesene Coordination of Women, Civil Society Las Abejas, Mayense-Indian Ecumenical Theology, Relatives and friends of Professor Alberto Patishtán

Others: Committee of ex-prisoners “Voces Inocentes”

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