According to information provided by prisoners fasting and on hunger strike in CERSS 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, director José Miguel Alacrón Garciá and commander Andrés Alfaro Figueroa arrived during the early morning of Thursday 20 October together with several other officials to the sit-in of the prisoners to take away Professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez, without his consent and without revealing to where he was being moved.
In a denunciation, the Network against Repression denounces that “this is clearly an attempt to demoralize the hunger strike. They are as aware as we are of the moral authority that Patishtán represents within the prison and more clearly in the strike. Beyond this, he is the official spokesperson of this just act that our incarcerated comrades have undertaken in the prisons of San Cristóbal, Amate, and Motozintla. The government has not only not pronounced itself publicly on the matter and sought to make-invisible the protest of the comrades, but rather is attempting to divide and dismantle this hunger strike.” It also made a call “to demand that relatives, friends, and comrades be informed of the whereabouts of Professor Patishtán Gómez” as well as that he be released immediately together with all others who are either fasting or on hunger strike.
Later in the day, the Prosecutorial Office of the state reported that Patishtán Gómez had been transferred to the Federal Center for Social Reinsertion no. 8 (Cefereso), located in Guasave, Sinaloa. The state government declared that “in observation of the program of the reduction of prison centers, this Thursday the federal Secretary of Public Security carried out the transfer of 48 prisoners who had been held in the Chiapas CERSS to different federal prisons in the country.”
In an Urgent Action published at the end of the day, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights indicated that “the transfer of Professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez is a clear punishment intended to disarticulate the movement of the prisoners on hunger strike and of their relatives. It violates the right to the freedom of reunion, manifestation, and expression, as well as the rights of incarcerated persons as stipulated in several international accords such as the Principles and Good Practices regarding the Protection of the Imprisoned in the Americas from the Organization of American States: ‘transfers of prisoners should not be carried out with the intention of punishing, repressing, or discriminating against the incarcerated, their family-members, or representatives; nor should these be carried out in conditions that would result in their mental or physical suffering or that would be humiliating […]. The transferred […] should be authorized and supervised by competent authorities who under all circumstances respect dignity and fundamental rights, and who will take into account the necessity of persons to be imprisoned in locales near to their family, their community, their legal representatives […].”
For m ore information (in Spanish):
Por huelga de hambre, envían a penal para reos peligrosos a maestro tzotzil (Proceso, 20 October)
Llevan a penal de Sinaloa a Patishtán Gómez, vocero de reos de Chiapas en huelga de hambre (La Jornada, 21 October)
Trasladado a penal de Sinaloa (Cuarto Poder, 21 October)
Familiares de presos – huelga y ayuno (20 October 2011)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: 15 days of hunger strike and days of sit-in (17 October 2011)
Chiapas: 8 days of hunger strike at CERSS no. 5 (7 October 2011)
Chiapas: Prisoners fasting and on hunger strike (4 October 2011)
Chiapas: Public day for Fasting and Prayer for Peace in the San Cristóbal prison (26 September 2011)