A group of seven indigenous prisoners, held in three prisons in Chiapas, joined the hunger strike that began on March 15th with another group of six prisoners. All of them demand their freedom, better prison conditions, and justice for acts of torture committed against them. Some have been imprisoned for 15 years, without receiving a sentence.
The lawyer of the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights Center (Frayba), Gilberto Hernandez, explained that they have reviewed the files of dozens of inmates, and in at least 60 cases there is evidence of arbitrary detention and torture as a method to obtain a guilty plea to crimes that they may not have been committed. Even so, he stressed that in the majority of cases, judges issue condemnatory sentences, violating due process. The most vulnerable to this type of situation are the indigenous, since in many cases they are monolingual and have few economic resources, he stressed. For this reason, Frayba requested that “the right to protest, meeting and expression of indigenous people on hunger strike is respected, investigation is initiated for possible acts of torture within the prisons, and adequate conditions are guaranteed for the people on strike, taking allowing for physical space, medical review and visits of relatives and advisors.”
However, Alberto Patishtan Gomez, founder of the Prisoners and Ex- Prisoners of Solidatity of the Voice of El Amate of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym), denounced that the prisoners who are on hunger strike in the Center for Social Reintegration for Sentenced Persons (Cerss in its Spanish acronym) No. 5 have not been able to receive any visits.
He held the director of Cerss 5, Juan Jose Trujillo Cruz, responsible as he remembered months ago when other compañeros were in the same situation, he sent a group of shock troops to break up the peaceful movement, “it is not worth a thing that we are supposedly living in a state of the fourth transformation, we are seeing the opposite.” For the same reason, he and other former prisoners demanded the dismissal of the director of Cerss No. 5 as well as the intervention of the president of the Republic.
For more information in Spanish:
Ex presos solicitan destitución de director del Cerss número 5 (Reporte Ciudadano, 20 de marzo de 2019)
Suman 13 los reos indígenas en huelga de hambre (Chiapas Paralelo, 20 de marzo de 2019)
Siete indígenas chiapanecos realizan huelga de hambre; hay un preso sin sentencia tras 15 años (Video, Aristegui Noticias, 20 de marzo de 2019)
Niegan visitas a presos en huelga de hambre (Chiapas Minuto a minuto, 19 de marzo de 2019)
Presos indígenas, sobrevivientes de tortura, en huelga de hambre en el Cereso de Comitán (comunicado, 19 de marzo de 2019)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Chiapas : seis presos indígenas inician huelga de hambre (16 de marzo de 2019)
(March 15, 2019)
Chiapas: Luego de 10 años de Encarcelamiento es liberado Alfredo Goméz Lopez, Víctima de Tortura (21 de febrero de 2019)