On July 11, the Coordination for the Freedom of Criminalized Human Rights Defenders in Oaxaca, denounced the death of Human Rights defender Nicasio Zaragosa Quintana in the Santo Domingo Tehuantepec prison.
It expressed its “most energetic condemnation for the prison conditions prevailing in the prisons of the state of Oaxaca and denounce that the death of HR defender Nicasio Zaragoza Quintana, imprisoned in the Santo Domingo Tehuantepec prison, has been the product of negligence and lack of actions of the penitentiary authorities. “
The Coordination of civil organizations blamed the state authorities for the death, “since they are the ones who have fostered the conditions in which hundreds of inmates live in Oaxaca, who are not guaranteed the right to health, food, live in conditions of overcrowding and infrahuman isolation, which clearly violates the most basic rights. ”
It also held the head of the Secretary of Public Security, the director of the Santo Domingo Tehuantepec prison and the Governor of Oaxaca responsible for the life and integrity of all the inmates at the Social Reintegration Center of Santo Domingo Tehuantepec and the various penitentiaries and prisons in the state. It demanded “to investigate and clarify the causes of the death of the human rights defender to guarantee the access of his relatives to truth and justice (…); to comply with its obligation to guarantee the life and integrity of the population that is incarcerated in state prisons” and “to carry out the application of tests to diagnose the degree of contagion in the different state prisons and act accordingly”.
Nicasio Zaragoza Quintana, an indigenous Zapotec, defended the organization of peoples to recover community forms. He sought to expel caciques and coffee grabbers in the communities of Santiago Lachiguiri, Santa María Guienagati and Guevea de Humbolt, where he participated in the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Isthmus Region (UCIRI). According to the Coordination, his political participation in this movement led him to prison, where he was held since February 7, 2003, when he was sentenced to 80 years in prison in a criminal process that was about to be replaced due to the procedural violations it contained.
For more information (in Spanish):
DENUNCIAMOS LA MUERTE DEL DEFENSOR DE DH NICASIO ZARAGOZA QUINTANA, EN EL CERESO DE SANTO DOMINGO TEHUANTEPEC. (Comunicado, Consorcio Oaxaca, 10 de julio)
Muerte del preso indígena Nicasio Zaragoza Quintana en el Istmo, producto de negligencia y falta de atención, denuncian(Educa Oaxaca, 13 de julio)
Piden investigar muerte de recluso afuera de hospital de Tehuantepec; era un defensor indígena. (El Universal, 13 de julio)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
National: Over 100 Deaths from COVID-19 in Mexican Prisons (July 3, 2020)
Oaxaca: COVID-19 Cases Rising in Prisons; Civil Organizations Denounce Lack of Access to Health Services (June 9, 2020)