On May 13th, a press conference was held by the organizations The Voice of Indigenous in Resistance (La Voz de Indigenas en Resistencia), The True Voice of Amate (La Voz Verdadera del Amate) and Viniketik in Resistance (Viniketik en Resistencia), their families, the working group No Estamos Todxs and the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights to announce the resumption of an indefinite hunger strike by six people “in the absence of an adequate response from the government.” Six indigenous prisoners had begun a hunger strike on March 15th this year, demanding their immediate release and denouncing the conditions of life inside the prison in terms of food, health, security and justice. Shortly after, another seven prisoners joined the strike.
In a subsequent press conference, on April 12th, they announced that their hunger strike became a partial fast while a negotiating table with the government was opened. However, this process did not prosper: “We make public that our relatives and we have been the object of mockery and object of lies on the part of the Government by named: Ismael Brito Mazariegos together with the President of the Reconciliation Table, because last April 15th they asked our relatives to lift the hunger strike in exchange for the review of our files and followed by our freedom, but we gave an “show of trust” demonstrating our trust by making the strike a fast, eating every three days, so that a period of 20 working days was given. The Reconciliation Board emphasized that it would take them ten days, but like any official they do not care about our physical health, but we have not seen satisfactory answers from them.” The prisoners added that “they have faced discrimination and have witnessed that the government did not comply with the necessary measures to guarantee access to justice” and that “they do not have an adequate defense, because they are in a situation of cultural, social and economic marginalization.”
In addition, they questioned the absence of an “in-depth investigation” of the accusations of torture and fabrication of files that is “an everyday practice” and “habitual with which it locks people up and that immediately dismantles all that discourse of ‘Rule of Law’ with which fill the mouth and bags (sic.).”” The State seeks to perpetuate torture with its denial,” they denounced.
The conference took place 18 days after the presentation of the “Alternative Report of Civil Society Organizations of Mexico” before the Human Rights Council of the United Nations (UN) on torture in Mexico. This report confirms that “there are structural causes, scale and specific characteristics of torture committed against indigenous people and peoples.” The UNCAT will present its conclusions on May 17th.
For more information in Spanish:
Comunicado de regreso a la huelga de hambre ante la falta de respuesta adecuada del gobierno (Grupo de trabajo No estamos Todxs el 14 de mayo de 2019)
Inician presos huelga de hambre en Chiapas (El Universal el 13 de mayo de 2019)
Reos indígenas reinician huelga de hambre; alegan detención ilegal y tortura (El Proceso el 14 de mayo de 2019)
Denuncias por tortura no se investigan en Chiapas (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas el 13 de mayo de 2019)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Chiapas: Press Conference for Prisoners on Hunger Strike (May 7, 2019)
Chiapas: Chiapas Prisoners Enter Fourth Week of Hunger Strike (April 8, 2019)
Chiapas: Thirteen Prisoners on Hunger Strike (March 24, 2019)