Chiapas: Risk for health and personal security of prisoner Bersaín Palacios de León

District prison of Motozintla (@Zona Costa)

In a report published on 23 June 2011, the Oralia Morales Committee on Human Rights, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, and the Movement for Justice in the Barrio of New York (USA) manifested their concern for the risk to the health and personal security of Bersaín Palacios de León, campesino from the community of Monte Redondo in the municipality of Frontera Comalapa, who has been imprisoned in the District Prison of Motozintla, Chiapas, since 14 April.

Bersaín Palacios de León was arrested on 12 April 2011, together with Patricio Domínguez Vázquez (support-member of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN)), Gerardo Vázquez Gabriel (a minor), and José González Dipo, in the Monte Redondo ejido, municipality of Frontera Comalapa, by ejidal authorities of the area, accused as they are of illegal logging.  The three other persons in question have been released, but Bersaín continues in detention despite the noted irregularities in the ministerial investigation.

According to the report, Bersaín has suffered all sorts of death-threats, insults, aggressions, and humiliation on the part of other prisoners in the Motozintla prison, as is known by the authorities of the detention center.

The report adds: “To date the family has not been able to produce the money that is demanded, and it fears for the personal security of Bersaín, who in his testimony says that ‘I am in despair because of the punishment they impose upon me.  I don’t have enough to pay the quota and I live with a great deal of fear that if I forget to do some task they will punish me.'”

In more general terms the report makes the following observation: “It should be mentioned that the organizations have received numerous denunciations regarding the humiliation of human dignity, as well as extortion, corruption, and the privileges enjoyed by a number of prisoners […] in all the prisons of Chiapas.  In the majority of cases, it is the same prison-authorities, -directors, and -managers who are involved in these networks of corruption.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín: Riesgo a la integridad y seguridad personal del preso Bersaín Palacios de León (Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio, Nueva York, Comité de Derechos Humanos Oralia Morales, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas A.C., 23 June 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: The La Realidad JBG denounces aggressions in Monte Redondo (25 April 2011)

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