Chiapas: Prisoners from Demonstration against National Guard Barracks in Chilon to Continue Trial in Liberty


In a statement published on November 4th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) reported that a judge had decided to modify the precautionary measure of preventive detention with which Jose Luis Gutierrez Hernandez and Cesar Hernandez Feliciano, having spent 17 days in the State Center for Social Reintegration No. 14 “El Amate”. They will continue their criminal proceedings “appearing periodically before the Ocosingo Control Court.” Both were accused of the crime of mutiny, for participating in a peaceful demonstration opposing the installation of a National Guard base or barracks in their territory.

El Frayba affirmed that both can be considered “political prisoners in a context of criminalization of Native Peoples who reject the installation of National Guard bases in their communities.” It documented “human rights violations such as: Arbitrary Deprivation of Liberty, Cruel Inhuman and/or Degrading Treatment, as well as irregularities in due process, including: obstruction of defense, incommunicado detention and unjustified transfer.” It also denounced that “the use of preventive detention (it constitutes a violation of the right to personal liberty and an early penalty, also violating the right to the presumption of innocence, which is used to punish social dissidence.”

For all of the above, Frayba urged the Mexican authorities to “immediately acquit Jose Luis Gutierrez Hernandez and Cesar Hernandez Feliciano of the crime of mutiny, since it is evidently a matter of using this to criminalize social protest”; and to guarantee “the life, liberty, security and integrity of men and women of the Maya Tseltal People of Chilon who exercise their right to defend the territory, self-determination and protest.” It also added to the demand to suspend the construction of the National Guard base in the San Sebastian ejido in Chilon.

For more information in Spanish:

Defensores comunitarios de Chilón seguirán su proceso penal en libertad (Frayba, 4 de noviembre de 2020)

Piden desistir de acusaciones a detenidos en San Sebastián (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 4 de noviembre de 2020)

Tseltales de Chilón afrontan consecuencias de su oposición por la presencia de la Guardia Nacional (Chiapas Paralelo, 4 de noviembre de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/International: Front Line Defenders’ Statement on Arbitrary Arrest and Physical Attacks on Indigenous Defenders from Chilon (November 3, 2020)
Chiapas: Violent Repression of Bachajon Ejidatarios Opposing National Guard (October 20, 2020)

Chiapas: Frayba denuncia represión a manifestación en contra de la instalación de una cuartel de la GN en Chilón (October 16, 2020)

Chiapas: State Will Have 25 National Guard Military Barracks in 2022 (June 16, 2020)

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