Chiapas/National: Lawyers for Patishtán and communal police of Michoacán denounce death-threats and harassment

March 28, 2014

Leonel Rivero (@SIPAZ archivo)

Leonel Rivero (@SIPAZ archive)

In an Urgent Action published on 14 March, Amnesty International (AI) denounced the death-threats and harassment suffered by the lawyers of the Strategic Defense for Human Rights, Leonel Rivero Rodríguez and Augusto César Sandino Rivero Espinoza.  These lawyers are known for their interventions in cases such as that of now ex-prisoner Alberto Patishtán, those arrested from the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land from San Salvador Atenco, and communal police from Michoacán.

On 17 January, Rivero Rodríguez received a threatening telephone call and then presented a denunciation before the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR), though the perpetrator of the action has not yet been identified.  Indeed, the PGR has now informed her that it plans to place the affair in the archive.

On 4 March, “three unknown persons invaded a hotel in which Leonel Rivero Rodríguez was meeting with members of communities from Michoacán state to address delicate issues,” regarding a case that she was covering together with Sandino Rivero Espinosa.  On 10 March, the office that Leonel Rivero Rodríguez has in her home in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas was harassed.

AI has called on the authorities to guarantee the security of the lawyers of Strategic Defense for Human Rights, to undertake an impartial investigationi into the telephone threats made on 17 January, and the harassment of 10 March, as well as to guarantee that “the lawyers who work on potentially delicate affairs be allowed to carry out their legitimate activities without fear of suffering repression.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente de Amnistía Internacional, 14 de marzo de 2014

Amnistía Internacional denuncia amenazas contra abogados de Patishtán(Proceso, 17 de marzo de 2014)

Denuncia Amnistía Internacional hostigamiento contra abogado de Patishtán (La Jornada, 17 de marzo de 2014)

 Los abogados de Alberto Patisthán denuncian amenazas y hostigamientos(CNN México, 18 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Rejection of recognition of Patishtán’s innocence. “There is a look of denigration toward the indigenous sector,” says lawyer (4 October 2013)


National: Patishtán requests that Peña Nieto release all prisoners who are unjustly imprisoned

December 9, 2013

Reunión de Patishtán con Peña Nieto. Foto @Chiapas Paralelo

Meeting between Patishtán and Peña Nieto. Photo @Chiapas Paralelo

A month after having received a presidential pardon which put an end to the thirteen years he spent imprisoned, Tsotsil Professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez met with President Enrique Peña Nieto in the National Palace.

At the meeting, which also included Secretary of Governance Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, Subscretary Luis Enrique Miranda Nava, relatives of Patishtán, and representatives from civil organizations, Patishtán requested the review of cases of other indigenous and non-indigenous prisoners who have been unjustly incarcerated.  “You should consider that there are many indigenous and non-indigenous prisoners and pay attention to their rights; as in my case, they were violations of human rights.  I wish that the cases of other comrades be analyzed,” said the Tsotsil professor.

Among others, Patishtán stressed the cases of the Tsotsil indigenous person Alejandro Díaz Santís, who has been imprisoned for 15 years in San Cristóbal de las Casas with a sentence of 30 years, in addition to the cases of Antonio Estrada and Miguel Demeza, from Bachajón, Chiapas, who adhere to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle.

Following the meeting, the president’s office released a communique expressing that Peña Nieto would commit himself to remaining vigilant with regard to the cases mentioned by Patishtán and consider awarding other pardons.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pide Patishtán a Peña Nieto indultar a “presos políticos” (Proceso, 4 de diciembre de 2013)

Pide Patishtán a Peña Nieto revisar casos de indígenas presos injustamente (La Jornada, 4 de diciembre de 2013)

Peña Nieto se reúne con Patishtán en Los Pinos (Excelsior, 4 de diciembre de 2013)

Patishtán interviene por presos injustamente detenidos (Chiapas Paralelo, 5 de diciembre de 2013)

Video: Patishtán se reúne con Peña Nieto (Animal Político, 4 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Denunciation of death threats in Prison No. 5  of San Cristóbal (8 December 2013)

Chiapas: After 13 years of unjust incarceration, freedom for Patishtán (13 November 2013)

Legal initiative for Amnesty for Alberto Patishtán (4 October 2013)

Chiapas: Rejection of recognition of Patishtán’s innocence. “There is a look of denigration toward the indigenous sector,” says lawyer (4 October 2013)


Chiapas: Professor Patishtán returns to his community

December 8, 2013

Alberto Patishtán en El Bosque, 1 de diciembre 2013 @ SIPAZ

Alberto Patishtán in El Bosque, 1 December 2013 @ SIPAZ

Professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez arrived on 30 November to Chiapas, after spending several weeks in radiotherapy at the National Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery “Manuel Velasco Suárez” in Mexico City to treat a brain tumor which appeared in 2012.  Dozens of indigenous persons from the Believing People organization of the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese arrived at the Tuxtla Gutiérrez airport to greet Professor Patishtán, but the authorities prevented them from passing to the waiting hall, arguing that there was no space.  Some of those present felt it unacceptable to be blocked access to Patishtán, as they did not even count a hundred among them.

From the airport the entourage traveled to the Cathedral of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where Alberto visited the tomb of Bishop Samuel Ruiz García and celebrated mass.  During the event, a communique written by the Believing People was read, saying: “Welcome, brother Alberto.  The call for justice grew among the people, the voices of men and women with just and generous hearts were raised throughout Chiapas and many places in Mexico and, indeed, the whole world; the decisions and denigration of the courts did not silence us; they made themselves blind and deaf to our humble voices, and so indignation and the desire for justice grew within us for you and for all the people, for the indigenous, for the non-indigenous, for the sick, the persecuted, the incarcerated, the disappeared, and the poor.”  It ended by noting “the truth of your unjust sentence and unjust incarceration; now we are here together, you and we, and we are all a bit freer for it.”

The next day, 1 December, Alberto reached his home in the community of San Juan El Bosque. The Tsotsil people of El Bosque welcomed him with the presence of hundreds.  The professor said that he was “not only content but also happy.” Professor Martín Ramírez expressed in the name of the Movement of El Bosque in Defense of the People: “we all won, and we will celebrate another victory.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Después de 13 años, el profesor Patishtán regresa a El Bosque (La Jornada, 2 de diciembre de 2013)

Comunicado del Pueblo Creyente (30 de noviembre de 2013)

Impiden paso a indígenas al aeropuerto en Chiapas; querían recibir a Patishtán (La Jornada, 30 de noviembre de 2013)

“Feliz, contento y sin rencores”, regresa Patishtán a Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 1 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: After 13 years of unjust incarceration, freedom for Patishtán (13 November 2013)

Legal initiative for Amnesty for Alberto Patishtán (4 October 2013)

Chiapas: Rejection of recognition of Patishtán’s innocence. “There is a look of denigration toward the indigenous sector,” says lawyer (4 October 2013)


Chiapas: After 13 years of unjust incarceration, freedom for Patishtán

November 13, 2013

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Alberto Patishtán, photo @Marco Peláez, La Jornada

On 31 October, after 13 years of unjust imprisonment, Alberto Patishtán was released and celebrated his freedom with his family, friends, and comrades, after having received an official pardon from President Enrique Peña Nieto.  After receiving the document notifying him that he would benefit from this measure, the Tsotsil indigenous man left the clinic in which he found himself at the time.  Gabriela Patishtán Ruiz, Patishtán’s daughter, said that “the struggle which many different organizations and persons have carried out since his unjust arrest has borne fruit.”  Accompanied by his children and grandchildren, the professor in a press-conference declared that “They wanted to close off my light, make it rest–but what happened is that it was multiplied, though they wanted to cover it up.  My struggle illuminated.”

Following the release of the Tsotsil professor, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights released a press-bulletin expressing that the pardon is not sufficient justice for Patishtán.  Among other things, the document demands a public apology from the State and comprehensive reparations for the damages incurred by the Tsotsil professor and his family.  During the afternoon of the same day, there was held a protest in Mexico City to publicly recognize the innocence of Alberto Patishtán.

Patishtán had spent 13 years and four months imprisoned as part of a 60-year sentence after he was accused of participating in the killing of six police during an ambush which took place in El Bosque municipality, Chiapas, in 2000.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ordenan libertad inmediata de Alberto Patishtán (Proceso, 31 de octubre de 2013)

Salí a defender a mi pueblo y me mandaron a la cárcel: Patishtán (La Jornada, 31 de octubre de 2013)

Video: Fui encarcelado por defender a mi pueblo: Alberto Patishtan (Telesur)

Lucha de organizaciones por libertad de Patishtán dio frutos, asegura su hija (La Jornada, 30 de octubre de 2013)

Boletín Centro de derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (31 de octubre de 2013)

Los riesgos en el indulto de Patishtán (Chiapas Paralelo, 1 de noviembre de 2013)

Blog de Alberto Patishtán

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Legal initiative for Amnesty for Alberto Patishtán (4 October 2013)

Chiapas: Rejection of recognition of Patishtán’s innocence. “There is a look of denigration toward the indigenous sector,” says lawyer (4 October 2013)


Legal initiative for Amnesty for Alberto Patishtán

October 4, 2013

Alberto Patishtán @ Moyses Zúñiga

On Wednesday 18 September, there was presented in the Senate a legal initiative to grant amnesty to the indigenous prisoner Alberto Patishtán.  This proposal, advanced by PRD senators Angélica de la Peña and Zoe Robledo Aburto, calls for an “amnesty law for persons against whom has been exercised penal action with regard to the acts which took place in the Simojovel and El Bosque municipalities on 12 June 2000.”

The proposal for amnesty, unlike a pardon, implies that the State “nullify the charges and punitive sentence imposed on the incarcerated party, who has been persecuted, imprisoned, and accused.”  A pardon would not imply that the charges be declared null and void.According to claims made by PRD senators, there can be seen a grave violation of the human rights of Patishtán, given that the authorities of justice have not been able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the prisoner participated in the acts of which he has been accused and for which he has been condemned to 60 years’ imprisonment.  It should be recalled that on 18 September the judicial branch rejected the motion to recognize Patishtán’s innocence, 13 years into his sentence.

For more information (in Spanish):

Propone PRD en el Senado ley de amnistía a favor de Patishtán (Proceso, 18 de septiembre de 2013)

El PRD pide la amnistía para el indígena y activista Alberto Patishtán (Notimérica-Europa Press, 19 de septiembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Rejection of recognition of Patishtán’s innocence. “There is a look of denigration toward the indigenous sector,” says lawyer (4 October 2013)


Chiapas: Rejection of recognition of Patishtán’s innocence. “There is a look of denigration toward the indigenous sector,” says lawyer

October 4, 2013

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On 12 September, the Primary Collegiate Tribunal based in Tuxtla Gutiérrez declared Alberto Patishtán Gómez’s motion for the recognition of his innocence to be unfounded, reported his lawyer Leonel Rivero.  This decision signifies that the Tsotsil teacher, who has been imprisoned 13 years, will serve an additional 47 years.  The resolution was announced hours after the pilgrimage of thousands of members of the Believing People from the Cathedral of San Cristóbal de Las Casas to express their desire for Patishtán’s liberation.

Leonel Rivero indicates that “Today we have all lost.  But the one who has lost the most is the judicial branch of the Federation, because it has decided to let an innocent man spend the rest of his life imprisoned.”  “Clearly this is not good news; we are enraged, because we are humans; it is something that cannot be accepted–that is what I felt, but now I am calm and patient, seeing how this will end.  We are alive, and as long as we are alive hope does not die,” said Alberto Patishtán after receiving the news.

Many other persons also pronounced themselves.  Jaime Martínez Veloz, commisioner for Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples of Mexico, declared that he would “struggle with all my strength so that professor Alberto Patishtán be released […] he does not have to ask forgiveness from anyone for anything, because without a doubt he did not commit any of the charges of which he is accused,” he noted, referring to the possibility of a petition for presidential pardon.  Politician Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas declared that the “Collegiate Tribunal has committed a great injustice in failing the indigenous professor […] it is the Collegiate Tribunal of Tuxtla Gutiérrez which has broken the state of right and the State’s obligations.”

For its part, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) recalled that it would continue with the request to petition the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) against the Mexican State that it had submitted in August 2010 for the case of professor Patishtán.

For more information (in Spanish):

La justicia mexicana decide mantener en prisión al maestro indígena Patishtán (El País, 13 de septiembre de 2013)

Niegan la libertad a Patishtán (Desinformémonos, 12 de septiembre de 2013)

Boletín de prensa Nº26 del CDHFBLC: Una más, la justicia en México oscura y decadente (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 12 de septiembre de 2013)

Firma la petición de Avaaz.org

Audio-Video:

Leonel Rivero Habla Sobre Fallo Tribunal en contra de #LibertadPatishtan (Koman Ilel, 12 de septiembre de 2013)

Patishtán rechaza pedir indulto tras ratificarse su sentencia en Chiapas (CNN México, 12 de septiembre de 2013)

Tribunal de México niega libertad de líder indígena acusado de asesinato (Tele Sur, 12 de septiembre de 2013)

Conferencia de prensa de Alberto Patishtán (Koman Ilel, 13 de septiembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: “We are convinced he is innocent (Patishtán),” Martínez Veloz (13 September 2013)

National: Forum “justice for all” pronounces itself in favor of the release of Alberto Patishtán.  Amnesty International joins the call (13 September 2013)

Chiapas: Global action to demand the release of Alberto Patishtán and justice for political prisoners (20 August 2013)

Chiapas: 9 prisoners in solidarity with the Voz del Amate released, but Patishtán will remain imprisoned (20 July 2013)


Chiapas: Believing People demand recognition of innocence of Alberto Patishtán

September 13, 2013

Las Abejas de Acteal, 21 de agosto de 2013 @ SIPAZ

Las Abejas de Acteal, 21 August 2013 @ SIPAZ

On 21 August, close to 1500 persons pertaining to the Las Abejas Civil Society, the Movement of El Bosque for the Release of Alberto Patishtán, the Committee for the Freedom of Alberto Patishtán from Mexico City, and national and international organizations engaged in a pilgrimage in Tuxtla Gutiérrez to demand the justices of the First Collegiate Tribunal of the Twentieth Circuit to immediately release Alberto Patishtán Gómez.   In parallel terms, there was organized another march in Mexico City this same day toward the same end.

Similarly, the National indigenous Congress (CNI), which had been meeting in the Tata Juan Chávez Lecture, included the immediate liberation of Patishtán and all other political prisoners at the very top of its list of 29 demands.

It should be noted that, following several appeals and resolutions on the case of Patishtán Gómez, the Supreme Court for Justice in the nation (SCJN) transferred the case to the justices of the First Collegiate Tribunal of the Twentieth Circuit of Chiapas, who on 5 September will debate and resolve the question of whether to release Alberto Patishtán or to ratify his sentence.  Until 5 September, the indigenous prisoner will be fasting and praying for 17 days.

For more information (in Spanish):

Indígenas en Chiapas marchan por la liberación de Patishtán (El Universal, 21 de agosto de 2013)

Marchan tzotziles en Chiapas para exigir a magistrados liberación de Patishtán (Proceso, 21 de agosto de 2013)

Demanda CNI respeto al modo ancestral de vida de los indios (La Jornada, 21 de agosto de 2013)

Exigen a la Judicatura reconocer fallas en proceso contra el maestro Patishtán (La Jornada, 22 de agosto de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Forum “justice for all” pronounces itself in favor of the release of Alberto Patishtán.  Amnesty International joins the call (13 September 2013)

Chiapas: Global action to demand the release of Alberto Patishtán and justice for political prisoners (20 August 2013)

Chiapas: 9 prisoners in solidarity with the Voz del Amate released, but Patishtán will remain imprisoned (20 July 2013)

 


Chiapas: “We are convinced that he is innocent (Patishtán),” Martínez Veloz

September 13, 2013

Jaime Martínez y Sandino Rivero @ SIPAZ

On 27 August, the Commissioner for Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples of Mexico, Jaime Martínez Veloz, visited Alberto Patishtán Gómez in prison no. 5 of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, seven days into Patishtán’s hunger strike, which he had been engaging in with his comrade Alejandro Díaz Sántiz.

In press-conference, the Commissioner said that the release of Patishtán, among other things, “is fundamental so as to generate the minimum conditions of trust” with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) toward the observance of the San Andrés Accords, adding that Osorio Chong, Secretary of Governance, “is in agreement that this is the path forward.”

Martínez Veloz recalled the conclusions of the project of justice Olga Sánchez Cordero in which she mentions that Patishtán Gómez “is totally innocent, and his case is not a juridical question, but rather one of justice.”  Jaime Martínez emphasized that, with regard to the case of Alberto Patishtán, “[w]e are convinced of his innocence; we have reviewed the process, and there is no basis at all for his incarceration.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Firma la petición de Amnistía Internacional: Acción Urgente: Por Alberto Patishtán ni un día más sin justicia

Vital, la liberación de Patisthán para diálogo con el EZLN: Martínez Veloz (La Jornada, 27 de agosto de 2013)

Comisionado para los Pueblos Indígenas visita hoy a Patishtán (La Jornada, 27 de agosto de 2013)

Comisionado para el Diálogo Jaime Martínez Veloz visitará a Alberto (Blog de Alberto Patishtán, agosto 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Global action to demand the release of Alberto Patishtán and justice for political prisoners (20 August 2013)

Chiapas: 9 prisoners in solidarity with the Voz del Amate released, but Patishtán will remain imprisoned (20 July 2013)

 


National: Forum “justice for all” pronounces itself in favor of the release of Alberto Patishtán. Amnesty International joins the call

September 13, 2013

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On 15 August, in Mexico City there was held the forum “Justice for all,” during which different civil organizations expressed their concern for the structure of the Mexican justice system, particularly in the case of Alberto Patishtán, a Tsotsil teacher from El Bosque, who has been incarcerated since 2000.  Participants called on the justices of the justices of the Primary Collegiate Tribunal of the Twentieth Circuit to announce Patishtán’s release during the 29 August session.  Patishtán’s judicial process was described as “full of irregularities” and based on false evidence.

Amnesty International (AI) joined the call, stressing that “the fact that a person could spend more than 12 years incarcerated as a victim of a judicial process plagued by obvious irregularities speaks to the lamentable state of the Mexican justice system.”  AI also indicated that it has “observed serious failures during the process, including irregularities and contradictions in witnesses’ testimony identifying Alberto Patishtán as responsible of the charges he is accused of.  Nonetheless, this testimony was taken at face value, even though the evidence which shows that Patishtán was in fact located elsewhere during the time of the was not taken into account.  The organization also showed that Patishtán’s defense failed to provide an adequate case, thus contributing even more to the violation of his right to a fair trial.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Increíble, Patishtán sigue preso y los culpables están libres (La Jornada, 16 de agosto de 2013)

Las autoridades mexicanas deben fallar de forma pronta y justa sobre el caso de Alberto Patishtán (Amnistía Internacional, 15 de agosto de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Global action to demand the release of Alberto Patishtán and justice for political prisoners (20 August 2013)

Chiapas: 9 prisoners in solidarity with the Voz del Amate released, but Patishtán will remain imprisoned (20 July 2013)

Chiapas: March in Cerss no. 5 of San Cristóbal de Las Casas for prisoner Rosario Méndez (5 March 2013)

Chiapas: New sentence of 25 years for Rosario Díaz Méndez (5 February 2013)

Chiapas: Pilgrimage by the Believing People for the release of professor Alberto Patishtan (23 April 2013)

Chiapas: Petition from the CDHFBC to release Alberto Patishtán (15 April 2013)

 


Chiapas: Global action to demand the release of Alberto Patishtán and justice for political prisoners

August 20, 2013

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From the San Cristóbal de las Casas prison, professor Alberto Patishtán has called for global action on 21 August “to demonstrate against unjust incarceration of political prisoners, but also the common prisoners who [are incarcerated] for being indigenous and poor.  Justice in Mexico is bloodied by us.”

Alberto Patishtán, member of the Voz del Amate, an organization of prisoners who adhere to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, has spent 13 years imprisoned on the charge of having participated in a massacre of police in 2000.  Teachers from the first Collegiate Tribunal of the Twentieth Circuit in Tuxtla Gutiérrez are expected soon to review his case.  The action for 21 August will call for his release, as for that of Alejandro Díaz Santíz, Antonio Estrada Estrada, and Miguel Demeza Jiménez, prisoners who similarly adhere to the Sixth Declaration.

The call to global action for 21 August has been supported by the Abejas of Acteal, the Movement of the People of El Bosque (the municipality of Patishtan’s origin), and collectives associated with the Sixth Declaration, all of which agree that he is being held “for having organized his people in El Bosque against the corruption of the mayor; for this reason and due to the vengeance of the authorities, they invent a federal crime and sentence him unjustly to 60 years’ imprisonment.”

The invitation calls for the realization of “peaceful actions everywhere, with the slogan ‘In Chiapas we are missing four.'”  On this day, there will also be held a pilgrimage in Tuxtla Gutiérrez to the Palace for Federal Justice, in which will participate the Believing People of the Tsotsil zone (a process which pertains to the diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas).

For more information (in Spanish):

Patishtán convoca acción mundial para demandar justicia a presos políticos (La Jornada, 7 de agosto de 2013)

Convocatoria del profesor Patishtán (Alberto Patishtán, 4 de agosto de 2013)

Convocatoria del Movimiento del Pueblo del Bosque, Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, Colectivos y Adherentes a La Sexta a la acción del 21 de agosto de 2013

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 9 prisoners in solidarity with the Voz del Amate released, but Patishtán will remain imprisoned (20 July 2013)

Chiapas: March in Cerss no. 5 of San Cristóbal de Las Casas for prisoner Rosario Méndez (5 March 2013)

Chiapas: New sentence of 25 years for Rosario Díaz Méndez (5 February 2013)

Chiapas: Pilgrimage by the Believing People for the release of professor Alberto Patishtan (23 April 2013)

Chiapas: Petition from the CDHFBC to release Alberto Patishtán (15 April 2013)