During the cultural event in Plaza de la Resistencia y la Paz in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas. Photo: @Work Group “No estamos todxs”
In the framework of International Political Prisoners Solidarity Day, relatives of Alejandro Diaz Santiz organized a cultural event, a sit in and press conference for the freedom of the unjustly imprisoned [man] together with collectives and sympathizers. Diaz Santiz, who has been deprived of his freedom for 17 years, is an adherent of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and from prison has been organizing to denounce violations of his rights and those of other prisoners. Last September he was moved to the Federal prison at Villa Comaltitlan in Tapachula in spite of the fact that he had been sentenced for a local and not federal jurisdiction crime as well as not being a highly dangerous prisoner. According to his attorney, Leonel Rivero Rodriguez, he was transferred “in a totally arbitrary manner” and the move “had no type of basis.”
Antonio Diaz Velasco, Alejandro’s father, stated in the press conference that, in spite of the fact that his son’s visual health is deteriorating, he is not receiving medical attention in prison. “I saw that he is ill, his eyes are discolored, I asked him what was wrong, he said that they don’t give him medication, little food, beans and five tortillas.” He confirmed that the transfer is making family visits difficult because the distance from his community to the prison is long and they do not have the economic resources to pay for transport. Pedro Lopez Jimenez, member of the Supporters of the Voice Amate organization, added that they hope that “the authorities fulfill their promises and free Alejandro” as the State Government signed an agreement in February for the liberation of Diaz Santiz. For his part, Rivero pointed that Alejandro was subjected to an irregular trial, having “a bad or no defense” following his arrest. It should be recalled that Diaz Santiz is a Tsotsil indigenous who “at the time of his arrest did not speak Spanish, was tortured, never had access to an interpreter, and did not have enough money for an adequate legal defense”, the Work Group “No Estamos Todxs” (GTNET) statement said.
According to the attorney, Alejandro would currently have the right to parole for partial remission of the sentence – a reduction of his sentence for good behavior and participation in social reinsertion activities – for which a legal protection was lodged and is awaiting verdict. Lopez Jimenez announced that they expect the legal protection move to be successful and if it is not, they will continue with actions to demand the immediate release of their compañero. The release of Roberto Paciencia Cruz was also called for, unjustly imprisoned in the State Center for Social Reinsertion of Prisoners (CERSS) No. 5 at San Cristobal de Las Casas, and the San Bachajon prisoners at Amate CERSS, municipality of Cintalapa.
For more information in Spanish:
Conferencia de Prensa 18 de Abril ¡ Libertad Inmediata para Alejandro Diaz Santiz¡ (Grupo de Trabajo No estamos todxs, 18 de abril de 2016)
17 de abril: Día Internacional de los Presxs Políticxs (Grupo de Trabajo No estamos todxs, 18 de abril de 2016)
Exigen libertad de preso polìtico (Mural Chiapas, 19 de abril de 2016)
No pueden cerrar la voz: libertad para Alejandro Díaz Santis (Agencia SubVersiones, 10 de abril de 2016)
17 de Abril dia internacional de solidaridad con lxs presxs politicos (Europa Zapatista, 17 de abril de 2016)
Recibió CNDH mil 151 quejas en 2015 por falta de atención médica en penales (Proceso, 29 de marzo de 2016)
La crisis en las cárceles de México: 10 problemas urgentes sin atención (Animal Político, 13 de abril de 2016)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Chiapas: Exigen la liberación de Alejandro Díaz Santiz (11 de marzo de 2016)
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)