Pilgrimage of the youth of Chenalho in support of the unjustly imprisoned. Photo @SIPAZ
On October 14, unjustly imprisoned Roberto Paciencia Cruz, Tzotzil indigenous, adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the EZLN, held in CERESO No. 5 of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, again suffered unfair treatment. In a letter, he publicly denounced that the prison director, Jorge Antonio Utrilla Muñoa, along with his guard, Ernesto Guzman Lopez, denied entry to his visits “although the director had authorized permission the day before so they could go inside the prison”. Roberto reported threats and intimidation on the part of the prison director in order to deny the inmates their right of expression and to [make them] suffer in silence the ill-treatment both to prisoners and their visitors “[…] he tells us, if we, if we complain to some dependency he can move us to another CERESO (sic.)”. It is the second time in less than two months that Roberto has been denied his “sacred visits” arbitrarily. In his letter, Roberto declares that, “the injustices, humiliations, threats, psychological torture, is the daily bread that the authorities give us in different jails of the state (sic.)”.
It should be recalled that despite the numerous pieces of evidence of his innocence, more than three years after his detention Roberto Paciencia Cruz has still not had his sentence delivered, given that the prosecution has not presented [its case], although it has been called several times to testify before the judge.
According to the NIV News Group, the current director of CERESO No. 5, Jorge Antonio Muñoa Utrilla, had already been denounced by guards and custodians for mistreatment and abuse of authority while he was director of CERESO No. 8. Through a letter they sent to local media, the complainants claimed that Utrilla “behaves in a despotic and rude manner with the staff of the prison and the families of inmates”, that, under threat of dismissal or being moved to another prison if orders are not carried out, he makes guards do personal work of the direction, neglecting the security of the jail, that he uses “the prison vehicle for emergency transfers of inmates as if it were his personal bus” so that they have had to “bring the inmate in private cars to hospital, a situation that puts the safety of the transfer at risk .” According to the complainants, the worst is that Antonio Jorge Utrilla Muñoa “blames them for mistakes that he deliberately causes.” On February 22, 2015 in CERESO No. 8, “several inmates went on strike hunger and sewed their mouths to denounce Utrilla Jorge Antonio Muñoa’s abuse.” According to the NIV News Group, during Antonio Jorge Utrilla Muñoa’s term as head of CERSS Comitan No. 10 “there was evidence of corruption and drug trafficking.”
For more information in Spanish:
Denuncian violación de derechos en penal de Chiapas (La Jornada, 30 de agosto de 2016)
Trabajadores del CERSS No 8 denuncian abusos del director (Grupo NVI Noticias, 24 de abril del 2015)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Chiapas: Carta de Roberto Paciencia Cruz en el marco del día internacional de los presos (24 de septiembre de 2016)
Chiapas: Niegan entrada a visitas del injustamente preso, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, en el CERESO No. 5 (30 de agosto de 2016) Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia Cruz, tres años preso en el Centro Estatal de Reinserción Social de Sentenciados (CERSS) número 5 (19 de agosto de 2016)
Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia escribe a Alejandro Díaz (24 de junio de 2016)