Chiapas: National and international support for Patishtán and the prisoners fasting and on hunger strike


Following 27 days of fasting and hunger strike, the prisoners “now feel weakness and exhaustion, experiencing dizziness and shock,” reported Pedro López Jiménez, a new spokesperson for said prisoners who find themselves in the prisons of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Cintalapa, and Motozintla on Tuesday 25 October.

Several national and international movements and organizations have supported the cause of these prisoners as well as of their ex-spokesperson, Alberto Patishtán, who was transferred to the federal prison no. 8 in Guasave, Sinaloa, more than 2000 kilometers in distance from his place of origin last week.  During these days also have been held protest-actions in France, Spain, the UK, and in front of the representation of the Chiapas state government in Mexico City.

On 25 October, the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity made public a letter directed to Alberto Patishtán: “Today we demand not only his rapid return to the prison in San Cristóbal de Las Casas but also his release as well as that of the 10 indigenous incarcerated persons who are carrying out a hunger strike in addition to the protection of those fasting in solidarity with them who find themselves in the atrium of the cathedral of San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  The imprisonment of Patishtán Gómez, his sentencing, and transfer from the south to the north of the country, as though he were a criminal of highest danger, is clear evidence of the fallacy of justice we live and that demands our greatest energies to rebuild the country and create the justice we need.”

The same day, civil-society organizations that organized the Jtatic Samuel Jcanan Lum Award, which Alberto Patishtán received in 2010 due to his work in favor of human rights within prisons, also published a letter in which they affirm that they “manifest our solidarity with the prisoners on hunger strike […], as well as with their relatives who find themselves in an indefinite sit-in in the Cathedral Plaza in city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Mexico.  […] We reaffirm our commitment to the persons, collectives, and communities that have received the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award; we support Professor Alberto Patishtán in his struggle for liberty and justice; and we call on authorities from the Mexican State to assure the return of Professor Alberto Patishtán post-haste to the detention center closest to his family, as is demanded by international human-rights law.”

Last week, Amnesty International (AI) also demanded Patishtán’s return to the state and made a call on the authorities to carry out a “complete review” of the evidence in the cases of the indigenous prisoners who have since 29 September been on hunger strike.  AI expressed its concern for the transfer of Patishtán Gómez to Guasave, considering that this amounts to “revenge” against the professor for his “active role in the hunger strike and in the struggle for the respect of the human rights of prisoners.”

For its part, the State Council on Human Rights (CEDH) has requested that the federal Secretary of Public Security carry out the necessary actions for Patishtán’s return to Chiapas, in light of the fact that his transfer constitues a serious human-rights violation.  As they say, “this is evidence of a flagrant violation of article 69 of the Federal Law on the Execution of Penal Sanctions, which stipulates that the transfer of the imprisoned should take account of the constitutional imperative to protect the organization and development of the family.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento de las organizaciones co-convocantes del reconocimiento Jtatic Samuel Jcanan Lum (25 October)

Carta pública del Movimiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad (25 October 2011)

Resienten debilidad presos chiapanecos en huelga de hambre: vocero(La Jornada, 25 October)

Chiapas: impiden autoridades que médico revise a los presos en huelga de hambre / La Jornada (La Jornada, 26 October)

Situación de los presos en huelga de hambre y ayuno en Chiapas.(Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todxs, Red contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad, 25 October 2011)

Reporte de la situación de la huelga de hambre y ayuno desde el interior del Ceress 5. (24 October)

Denuncia de Presos en Huelga de hambre -26 días (24 October)

Piden regresar a Chiapas a indígena reubicado en penal de Sinaloa(Proceso, 21 October)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New denunciation by Las Abejas (28 October 2011)

Chiapas: 20 days into hunger strike and 11 days into sit-in of relatives, 2 prisoners are released (27 October 2011)

Chiapas: 15 days of hunger strike and  days of sit-in (17 October 2011)

Chiapas: Sit-in of relatives of relatives of prisoners on hunger strike(17 October 2011)

Chiapas: MPJD arrives once again to Chiapas, there to express solidarity with Las Abejas, prisoners on strike, and Zapatistas (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)

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