Chiapas: the case of Alberto Patishtán Gómez presented before the IACHR, and denunciation by La Voz de Amate

August 10, 2010

Patishtan (@CDHFBC)

On Wednesday 4 August, the case of Alberto Patishtán Gómez, held in prison no. 5 of San Cristóbal de Las Casas and member of the Voz de Amate (Voice of Amate) as well as adherent to the Other Campaign of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), was taken to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).  During this audience, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human-Rights Center (CDHFBC) denounced the Mexican State “for its direct responsibility in violating the due process and personal liberty” of Patishtán Gómez.  According to the CDHFBC, the case of Patishtán Gómez, who has now been imprisoned for over 10 years, carries with it a life-sentence for crimes he did not commit.  A principal challenge in the case is that it pertains to federal crimes.  Indeed, asserts La Jornada, Juan Sabines Guerrero, present governor of the state of Chiapas, “has committed himself repeatedly to intervene so that [Patishtán Gómez] recover his freedom.”

La Voz de Amate, a social organization founded by prisoners with which Patishtán Gómez has been involved for several years, today “continues to be alive and in struggle,” explain La Jornada.  On Monday 2 August the organization denounced violations of the human rights of prisoners and their relatives as well as mistreatment of the latter.  The denunciations are directed principally against the director of Prison No. 5, Víctor Manuel Palacios Torres, who, according to members of Voz de Amate, “as always dresses himself in sheep’s clothes, although he is in fact quite different.” The communiqué relates that “all visits” were denied, in a similar fashion to that which occurred with members of civil human-rights organizations who came to visit Patishtán Gómez last week.  In their Monday communiqué, the members of Voz de Amate plead “urgently” that Sabines Guerrero remove Palacios Torres from power.

For more information (in Spanish):

The case of Alberto Patishtán is taken before the IACHR (La Jornada, 4 August)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: visit to Alberto Patishtán to observe 2011 call for “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” Honor denied (2 August 2010)

Chiapas: prisoner Alberto Patishtán Gómez’s latest communiqué and its coverage by La Jornada (19 July 2010)


Guerrero: Briefs – AI pronouncement; Forum of Environmental Defenders

August 2, 2010

On Tuesday 27 July was published in an article in El Sur de Acapulco declarations made by the Guerrero governor Zefererino Torreblanca regarding the imprisonment of Raúl Hernández and his designation as a politicla prisoner by Amnesty International (AI).  He insinuated that AI is mistaken in this case, saying that “if the state-government is sure that it will be accused, it should not retire [the charges],” and that “defense of human rights is confused with legality, since there is evidence.”  AI responded with a pronouncement: “Amnesty International takes up cases of prisoners of conscience only following copious analysis of a given case that allows it to conclude not only regarding the innocence of the processed person, but also […] of the form in which the justice system is utilized on occasion to persecute leaders, social activists, and individuals for their ethnic origin, sex, social condition–and if they are human-rights defenders.”  Hernández was detained in 2008 for a supposed homicide of an informant of the Mexican army.  The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights is organizing the defense of Raúl Hernández and has already shown all the evidence for the innocence of the member of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM). The sentence is expecte dto be announced during the first half of the month of August.

On Wednesday 28 July, a month after the appearance of Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR), a forum was held on environmental defenders and criminalization of social protest in the installations of hte Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights (Center ProDH) in Mexico City.  Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera are members of the Organization of Ecological Campesinos of the Sierra of Petatlán and Coyucade Catalán (OCESP); they will have their audience against the Mexican State this month in San José, Costa Rica.  Both environmental defenders were detained and tortured by the Mexican army in 1990 for crimes they did not commit.  In 2000 they were sentenced to prison for a term of between 6 and 10 years.  After having presented the case to the IACHR in 2001, they were released without having been exonerated for the crimes they were charged with.

For more information (in Spanish):

Zeferino insinuates that he is sure of the accusation against the indigenous prisoner of conscience of Ayutla (El Sur de Acapulco, 27 July)


Environmental defenders: the new patriots (CentroProdh, 29 July)

Campesinos ecologistas en busca de justicia ante la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CENCOS, 29 de julio)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: resurgence of conflict over the possible construction of the La Parota dam (27 April 2010)

Guerrero – Briefs: Detention of FODEG member, Raúl Hernández receives threats and announcement of the commemoration of the massacre at Aguas Blancas (30 June 2010)

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

August 2, 2010
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”

Chiapas: call announced for the 2011 “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” Honor

August 2, 2010

On 27 July was announced the call for the 2011 “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” Honor, an award presented last January to the Diocesene Coordination of Women (Codimuj), the Mayense-Indian Ecumenical Theology group, the social organization Las Abejas of Acteal, and professor Patishtán Gómez, the last being a prisoner unjustly held for 10 years, a founding member of the political-prisoner organization “The Voice of Amate.”  In a public event carried out by the recognized actors together with the organizations involved in the process–the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), the Commission to Support Communal Unity and Reconciliation (Coreco), Social-Economic Development of Indigenous Mexicans (Desmi), the Institute of Intercultural Studies and Investigations (INESIN), Services and Assessment for Peace, the International Christian Service of Solidarity with the People of Latin America (Sicsal), and the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ)–this year’s recipients shared their lived-experiences since Samuel Ruiz García, bishop emeritus of the diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, granted them the recognition on 24 January 2010.

The “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” Honor aims to recognize the work of women and men, organizations, and collectives that have contributed to the people in their construction of communal alternatives, and/or regional such alternatives, as well as for work in promotion of unity and peaceful social transformation, in addition to making-known and encouraging such work. The charge of “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” was given to Samuel Ruiz García on 14 October 1999 in Amatenango del Valle from the tsotsil, tseltal, ch’ol, tojolab’al, and zoque peoples as a recognition of his role as protector of the people, who love him and defend him, beyond its recognition of his dedicating his life to the service of others.  jTatic Samuel has recognized that his work is part of a historical process from the communities and peoples that seek liberation; he has also declared that the recognitions he has received are also for the people who act as subject of their own history and who, with their work, love and defend the people.

For more information (in Spanish):

Call for “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” Honor 2011 (pdf)

Cuarto Poder: jTatic Samuel Honor (28 July 2010)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Presentation of the “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” Honor (26 January 2010)