On 12 September, the Primary Collegiate Tribunal based in Tuxtla Gutiérrez declared Alberto Patishtán Gómez’s motion for the recognition of his innocence to be unfounded, reported his lawyer Leonel Rivero. This decision signifies that the Tsotsil teacher, who has been imprisoned 13 years, will serve an additional 47 years. The resolution was announced hours after the pilgrimage of thousands of members of the Believing People from the Cathedral of San Cristóbal de Las Casas to express their desire for Patishtán’s liberation.
Leonel Rivero indicates that “Today we have all lost. But the one who has lost the most is the judicial branch of the Federation, because it has decided to let an innocent man spend the rest of his life imprisoned.” “Clearly this is not good news; we are enraged, because we are humans; it is something that cannot be accepted–that is what I felt, but now I am calm and patient, seeing how this will end. We are alive, and as long as we are alive hope does not die,” said Alberto Patishtán after receiving the news.
Many other persons also pronounced themselves. Jaime Martínez Veloz, commisioner for Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples of Mexico, declared that he would “struggle with all my strength so that professor Alberto Patishtán be released […] he does not have to ask forgiveness from anyone for anything, because without a doubt he did not commit any of the charges of which he is accused,” he noted, referring to the possibility of a petition for presidential pardon. Politician Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas declared that the “Collegiate Tribunal has committed a great injustice in failing the indigenous professor […] it is the Collegiate Tribunal of Tuxtla Gutiérrez which has broken the state of right and the State’s obligations.”
For its part, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) recalled that it would continue with the request to petition the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) against the Mexican State that it had submitted in August 2010 for the case of professor Patishtán.
For more information (in Spanish):
La justicia mexicana decide mantener en prisión al maestro indígena Patishtán (El País, 13 de septiembre de 2013)
Niegan la libertad a Patishtán (Desinformémonos, 12 de septiembre de 2013)
Leonel Rivero Habla Sobre Fallo Tribunal en contra de #LibertadPatishtan (Koman Ilel, 12 de septiembre de 2013)
Patishtán rechaza pedir indulto tras ratificarse su sentencia en Chiapas (CNN México, 12 de septiembre de 2013)
Tribunal de México niega libertad de líder indígena acusado de asesinato (Tele Sur, 12 de septiembre de 2013)
Conferencia de prensa de Alberto Patishtán (Koman Ilel, 13 de septiembre de 2013)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: “We are convinced he is innocent (Patishtán),” Martínez Veloz (13 September 2013)