Press conference for the release of Alejandro Diaz Santiz, December 2015.
Photo @Red contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad
More than 70 organizations, collectives, networks, and individuals signed a statement demanding the release of Alejandro Diaz Santiz, who “has spent almost 17 years without seeing the open sky, locked up in different prisons in Veracruz and Chiapas.” The unjustly imprisoned 35-year-old Tsotsil indigenous was arrested in 1999, “accused of a murder he didn’t commit”, and moreover “didn’t speak Spanish at the time of his arrest, was tortured, never had access to an interpreter and didn’t have enough money for an adequate legal defense”, the statement claims. The prisoner, who is an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), and member of the prisoners’ collective Sympathizers of The Voice of Amate, has been organizing with others deprived of their freedom to denounce human rights violations inside the prisons and to seek justice in their cases. The members of the Sympathizers of the Voice of Amate have published many reports and organized actions, notably the 39-day hunger strike of 2011.
Currently Diaz Santiz is deprived of his liberty in the high security federal prison at Villa Comaltitlán, Tapachula, Chiapas. At this prison, “those sentenced for federal crimes are held, which is NOT the case of Alejandro Diaz.” The statement adds that, “the forced transfer to Villa Comaltitlán is political vengeance by the bad government against Alejandro, punishing him for supporting and raising the consciousness of the other prisoners and for not remaining silent in the face of abuses against those detained.” It also mentions that the state government did not fulfil its promise to release Diaz Santiz, as well as the fact that there are legal grounds to free him due to benefits he is legally entitled to. The statement ends with the demand for his immediate release and announcing upcoming activities and actions “so that this injustice ends.”
For more information in Spanish:
Personas, colectivos y organizaciones exigen Libertad para Alejandro Diaz Santiz (Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todxs, 5 de marzo de 2016)
Piden libertad inmediata para tzotzil acusado de asesinato que no cometió (SDP Noticias, 9 de marzo de 2016)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Chiapas: Jornada por la liberación de Alejandro Díaz Sántiz y Mumia Abu-Jamal (9 de noviembre de 2015)
Chiapas: Trasladan a Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, junto a 386 presos, a penal de alta seguridad (15 de septiembre de 2015)
Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz denuncia amenazas por parte del director del penal nº5 de San Cristóbal (17 de febrero de 2015)
Chiapas: nueva denuncia del preso Alejandro Díaz Santis al finalizar ayuno (24 de octubre de 2014)