Chiapas: Judicial Process against Roberto Paciencia Cruz Continues

robertoBanner at the ‘Freedom for Roberto Paciencia Cruz” press conference

Roberto Paciencia Cruz, Tsotsil indigenous, campesino and adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, was and continues to be a “victim of torture, cruel, inhuman and/or degrading treatment, arbitrary deprivation of liberty and violations of due process.”

On August 7, 2013, in Pantelho municipality, Roberto Paciencia Cruz was held for an alleged kidnapping without any arrest warrant. He was transferred to the facilities of the Specialized Prosecutor Against Organized Crime (FECDO) in Tuxtla Gutierrez, where “he was physically and psychologically tortured for two days and locked up in a punishment cell.” Later he was transferred to the State Center for Social Reinsertion (CERSS) No. 5 of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where he was unjustly deprived of his liberty for three years and three months without being sentenced although according to the relatives of Roberto, Sympathizers Of the Voice of Amate and the No Estamos Todxs Working Group (GTNET) “the innocence of the compañero has been demonstrated legally on several occasions: the only prosecution witness has not appeared at any of the several citations, and, on the contrary, there are witnesses who testified that Roberto was not present at the time at the scene of the crime of which he is falsely accused.”

 According to the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center (CDHFBC), as a result of torture, Roberto has “marks, scars, physical and psychological consequences. He did not receive adequate medical care. In addition, his prolonged imprisonment has affected his life plan, in particular his family.” On September 24, 2016, in the framework of International Prisoners’ Day, Roberto shared his pain, his worries and the injustice he is suffering from being separated from his family in a letter. He declared that “those most punished by these injustices” are the families of the prisoners. He denounced the lack of consideration of the authorities for them: “the rulers do not care that the family of a prisoner is crying, or that they sleep with hunger or that they walk barefoot to our children because they do not have the support of their parents (sic.).”

On November 24, 2016, Guillermo Hernandez Ovando, Judge of the Criminal Court of the District of San Cristobal de Las Casas, issued an acquittal in the case of Roberto, who was then released. However, the judicial process against Roberto Paciencia Cruz continues. Two months after his release, Roberto was notified that the Public Ministry “despite not being able to sustain the charge against him and despite the violations of his human rights, filed an appeal against that acquittal.”

Since his release, Roberto has moved to San Cristobal de Las Casas, where he is working to try to continue a life project with his family. However, the likelihood that his acquittal may be changed creates a situation of uncertainty, stress and anxiety for him and his family.

On the subject, sociologist Aida Cipriano, a specialist in human rights, denounces the various cases of arbitrary detention and torture of indigenous people in an interview with Revolución TRESPUNTOCERO: “The prisons in Chiapas are plagued by indigenous people who, because they do not know how to read and speak [Spanish], have been prisoners for years, because the first thing the authorities do is to lock them up, then they just have to leave the case file in the trash and make sure that the facts are not known, to have them there for life.” She adds that the indigenous are unjustly detained “by a poor and tricky Mexican judicial system, which in Chiapas is racist, corrupt and a creator of false positives. And it is the indigenous, who have become the target to follow.”

The GTNET and the CDHFBC urge Judge Ramiro Joel Ramirez Sanchez and the members of the Mixed Regional Room 03 of San Cristobal de Las Casas to review the criminal case file “to confirm the acquittal, because there are no legal elements to revoke the said sentence.” They also request the public to be attentive to the resolution that will be given in the middle of this month.

For more information in Spanish:

Boletin conjunto: En riesgo la libertad personal de Roberto Paciencia Cruz (Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todxs & Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 02 de enero de 2017)

Juez dictaminará sentencia a Roberto Paciencia víctima de Tortura (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 10 de noviembre de 2016)

Velasco Coello el acérrimo enemigo de indígenas, a quienes se les fabrica delitos y se les encierra en la cárcel ( Revolución TRESPUNTOCERO, a 11 de agosto 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Libertad de Roberto Paciencia Cruz en riesgo ( 2 de febrero de 2017)

Chiapas : Liberan a Roberto Paciencia (26 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Juez dictaminará sentencia a Roberto Paciencia (15 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Procesión fuera del CERSS No.5 en exigencia de la liberación de Roberto Paciencia Cruz (31 de octibre de 2016)

Chiapas: Carta de Roberto Paciencia Cruz en el marco del día internacional de los presos (24 de septiembre de 2016)

 

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