Chiapas: Judicial Process against Roberto Paciencia Cruz Continues

February 12, 2017

robertoBanner at the ‘Freedom for Roberto Paciencia Cruz” press conference

Roberto Paciencia Cruz, Tsotsil indigenous, campesino and adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, was and continues to be a “victim of torture, cruel, inhuman and/or degrading treatment, arbitrary deprivation of liberty and violations of due process.”

On August 7, 2013, in Pantelho municipality, Roberto Paciencia Cruz was held for an alleged kidnapping without any arrest warrant. He was transferred to the facilities of the Specialized Prosecutor Against Organized Crime (FECDO) in Tuxtla Gutierrez, where “he was physically and psychologically tortured for two days and locked up in a punishment cell.” Later he was transferred to the State Center for Social Reinsertion (CERSS) No. 5 of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where he was unjustly deprived of his liberty for three years and three months without being sentenced although according to the relatives of Roberto, Sympathizers Of the Voice of Amate and the No Estamos Todxs Working Group (GTNET) “the innocence of the compañero has been demonstrated legally on several occasions: the only prosecution witness has not appeared at any of the several citations, and, on the contrary, there are witnesses who testified that Roberto was not present at the time at the scene of the crime of which he is falsely accused.”

 According to the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center (CDHFBC), as a result of torture, Roberto has “marks, scars, physical and psychological consequences. He did not receive adequate medical care. In addition, his prolonged imprisonment has affected his life plan, in particular his family.” On September 24, 2016, in the framework of International Prisoners’ Day, Roberto shared his pain, his worries and the injustice he is suffering from being separated from his family in a letter. He declared that “those most punished by these injustices” are the families of the prisoners. He denounced the lack of consideration of the authorities for them: “the rulers do not care that the family of a prisoner is crying, or that they sleep with hunger or that they walk barefoot to our children because they do not have the support of their parents (sic.).”

On November 24, 2016, Guillermo Hernandez Ovando, Judge of the Criminal Court of the District of San Cristobal de Las Casas, issued an acquittal in the case of Roberto, who was then released. However, the judicial process against Roberto Paciencia Cruz continues. Two months after his release, Roberto was notified that the Public Ministry “despite not being able to sustain the charge against him and despite the violations of his human rights, filed an appeal against that acquittal.”

Since his release, Roberto has moved to San Cristobal de Las Casas, where he is working to try to continue a life project with his family. However, the likelihood that his acquittal may be changed creates a situation of uncertainty, stress and anxiety for him and his family.

On the subject, sociologist Aida Cipriano, a specialist in human rights, denounces the various cases of arbitrary detention and torture of indigenous people in an interview with Revolución TRESPUNTOCERO: “The prisons in Chiapas are plagued by indigenous people who, because they do not know how to read and speak [Spanish], have been prisoners for years, because the first thing the authorities do is to lock them up, then they just have to leave the case file in the trash and make sure that the facts are not known, to have them there for life.” She adds that the indigenous are unjustly detained “by a poor and tricky Mexican judicial system, which in Chiapas is racist, corrupt and a creator of false positives. And it is the indigenous, who have become the target to follow.”

The GTNET and the CDHFBC urge Judge Ramiro Joel Ramirez Sanchez and the members of the Mixed Regional Room 03 of San Cristobal de Las Casas to review the criminal case file “to confirm the acquittal, because there are no legal elements to revoke the said sentence.” They also request the public to be attentive to the resolution that will be given in the middle of this month.

For more information in Spanish:

Boletin conjunto: En riesgo la libertad personal de Roberto Paciencia Cruz (Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todxs & Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 02 de enero de 2017)

Juez dictaminará sentencia a Roberto Paciencia víctima de Tortura (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 10 de noviembre de 2016)

Velasco Coello el acérrimo enemigo de indígenas, a quienes se les fabrica delitos y se les encierra en la cárcel ( Revolución TRESPUNTOCERO, a 11 de agosto 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Libertad de Roberto Paciencia Cruz en riesgo ( 2 de febrero de 2017)

Chiapas : Liberan a Roberto Paciencia (26 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Juez dictaminará sentencia a Roberto Paciencia (15 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Procesión fuera del CERSS No.5 en exigencia de la liberación de Roberto Paciencia Cruz (31 de octibre de 2016)

Chiapas: Carta de Roberto Paciencia Cruz en el marco del día internacional de los presos (24 de septiembre de 2016)

 


Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia’s Liberty at Risk

February 5, 2017

Roberto.pngRoberto Paciencia Cruz on the day of his release, Photo @: Espoir Chiapas

On February 2, the No Estamos Todxs Working Group (GTNET in its Spanish acronym) and the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights, (CDHFBC, also known as Frayba) expressed their concern in a joint statement over the risk to personal freedom of Roberto Paciencia Cruz. Roberto is an indigenous Tsotsil from Chenalho, Chiapas and adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle. On August 9, 2013 he was arrested and charged with an alleged abduction. The GTNET and the CDHFBC recall in their communiqué that at the time of Roberto’s arrest and imprisonment “acts of torture, arbitrary detention and unfair trial were documented, violating the rights of personal liberty, integrity, personal security and access to due process.” They add that “since his arrest, and throughout a judicial process that lasted three years and three months, Roberto did not cease to fight against the injustices of the corrupt Mexican justice system, until on November 26, 2016, he was released on recognition of innocence by the Judge of the Criminal Branch of the Judicial District of San Cristobal de Las Casas, by acquittal “.

However, despite not being able to sustain an accusation against Paciencia during the trial, and despite the violations mentioned against him, the public prosecutor filed an appeal against that acquittal. The GTNET and the CDHFBC emphasize that, “the arbitrary and unjust detention of Roberto brought physical and psychological consequences for him and his family, disrupting his life plans and generating family impoverishment.”

According to information in their possession, they report that “the study of the case and the proposed sentence of appeal will be in charge of the Speaker C, of the Mixed Regional Court, Zone 3, San Cristobal de Las Casas, headed by Judge Ramiro Joel Ramirez Sanchez; the proposal will be voted by the judges who hold court in the middle of February.” The likelihood that the sentence of acquittal of Roberto Paciencia can be modified generates a situation of uncertainty, stress and anxiety for him and his family.

The GTNET and the CDHFBC exhort Judge Ramiro Joel Ramirez Sanchez and the members of the Mixed Regional Court, Zone 03 of San Cristóbal de Las Casas “to confirm the acquittal, because there are no legal elements to revoke the said sentence.” In addition, they ask the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle and national and international civil society to be attentive to the resolution of the Mixed Regional Court and to carry out solidarity actions for Roberto Paciencia Cruz and his family when they can.

For more information in Spanish:

Boletin conjunto: En riesgo la libertad personal de Roberto Paciencia Cruz ( Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todxs (GTNET) & Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 02 de enero de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Liberan a Roberto Paciencia (26 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Juez dictaminará sentencia a Roberto Paciencia (15 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Procesión fuera del CERSS No.5 en exigencia de la liberación de Roberto Paciencia Cruz (31 de octibre de 2016)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia Cruz, injustamente preso, denuncia la negación del acceso a sus visitas por segunda vez (19 de octubre 2016)


Oaxaca/National: NGOs Document Arbitrary Detentions of Defenders – Relatives Demand their Release

December 28, 2016

Defenders.pngPedro Canche Herrera, Nestora Salgado and Enrique Guerrero Aviña (Photo@: Consorciooaxaca)

On December 14, 2016, the report Arbitrary and Illegal Detentions – Criminalization: a State Policy to Inhibit the Defense of Human Rights in Mexico, jointly prepared by 11 Mexican and international civil society organizations, was launched in Oaxaca. This report analyzes the case of five human rights defenders who were “illegally arrested without warrant and imprisoned for crimes they committed only for their legitimate activities in defense of human rights”: Damian Gallardo Martinez, Enrique Guerrero Aviña, Librado Baños Rodriguez, Pedro Canche Herrera and Nestora Salgado – the last two of whom have already been released.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, having studied these cases, confirmed that they were arbitrary detentions and that they were carried out “without warrant or charges against them [those involved in the said cases]“. The WG underlined the numerous irregularities presented by criminal proceedings. In its opinion, the detention of Librado Baños corresponds to “acts of retaliation and reprisal for his active defense of the rights of the indigenous and Afro-descendant population of the region.” It should be noted that the Working Group stated that it requested information from the Mexican Government regarding those cases, which was not provided in the legal period for that purpose.

The 11 organizations and relatives of the victims say that the arrests, acts of torture and other human rights violations they have been subjected to illustrate “a much broader pattern of criminalization of social protest in Mexico that seeks to inhibit the defense of human rights and social protest, turning them into illegal and criminal activities. In addition to this the fact that, far from affecting the eradication of this practice, the Mexican state continues to detain and intimidate defenders in the country.”

The authors of the report emphasize that “the responsibility for these violations of human rights is shared between the plurality of players directly or indirectly involved in the process of criminalization and arbitrary detention of defenders: the Mexican State may be involved at different levels, federal and state, as well as the police, the army, the same government authorities, the judiciary through justice operators, sharing responsibility with private players such as private companies and landowners.”

During the presentation of the report, the organizations and families demanded: “the immediate release of Damian Gallardo, Enrique Guerrero and Librado Baños as well as the cessation of criminalization and full reparation to the five human rights defenders for the numerous human rights violations to which they have been subjected.”

The report clarifies that “the five cases of arbitrary detention presented show the serious human rights crisis in Mexico. These five cases are emblematic and represent only a small part of the arbitrary detentions that occur with impunity in the country.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Inéditas, 5 detenciones arbitrarias de defensores de DDHH reconocidas por la ONU (Aristegui Noticias, 14 de diciembre de 2016)

ONGs documentan detenciones arbitrarias de defensoras y defensores, familiares exigen su libertad (Educa, 15 de diciembre 2016)

Informe : detenciones arbitraria e ilegal (Consorcio Oaxaca, diciembre 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ:


Guerrero/Nacional: Nestora Salgado lanza campaña para exigir la libertad de los presos políticos del país (4 de abril 2016)


Guerrero: NCHR and OHCHR on Joint Mission in the State

December 16, 2016

HR.pngMembers of the NCHR and OHCHR (Photo@Tlachinollan)

On December 6 and 7, the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Mexico carried out a joint mission in the state of Guerrero during which they held various meetings with victims, human rights defenders and authorities. At the end of that mission, both institutions reaffirmed their concern about “the state of insecurity in the State, impunity in cases of human rights violations, particularly disappearances, lack of access to justice, threats against human rights defenders, and forced internal displacement.” They reiterated “the need to address the situation in the state of Guerrero in a comprehensive manner so that proposed security solutions also address the problem of access to justice.”

The NCHR and OHCHR agreed that to reduce levels of violence impunity must end. In this context, both institutions reiterated their concern about the lack of human and material resources available to the Attorney General’s Office and other institutions to deal with the worrying human rights situation in the state. They stated that, “it is necessary that the three branches of the State, the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary, be actively and effectively involved, especially in the area of justice.”

At the closing session of the mission, both institutions sent a message of solidarity to families and victims of human rights violations and reaffirmed their readiness to support them in their search for truth, justice and reparation. They also expressed their permanent willingness to technically assist the state of Guerrero in the field of human rights.

For more information in Spanish:

Termina misión conjunta de CNDH y ONU-DH México al estado de Guerrero (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, a 8 de diciembre de 2016)

ONU-DH y CNDH instan a atender derechos humanos en Guerrero ( La Jornada, a 7 de diciembre de 2016)

Termina misión conjunta de CNDH y ONU-DH México al estado de Guerrero ( Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, a 7 de diciembre de 2016)

 


Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia Released

November 28, 2016

robertopacienciaRoberto Paciencia. Photo@CDHFBC

On the afternoon of November 24, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, an indigenous tsotsil (Chenalhó), adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, was released having been acquitted.

Patcencia Cruz was received by relatives, friends and ex-prisoners in the Cathedral Square of San Cristobal de Las Casas, where a small party had been organized to demand his release since morning. “I was imprisoned for three years and three months, accused of the crime of kidnapping that I did not commit because I had nothing to do with it. Accused me just because justice is very regrettable in the country”, he said in an interview with media.

The “No Estamos Todxs” Working Group stated in a release: “Roberto, a former prisoner adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the EZLN, is one of those people who do not keep silent, do not legitimize barbarism and are ready to take on the consequences of their cry of conscience and rebellion. In this way, through his voice he has denounced the human rights violations suffered by the prison population by the prison authorities and has inspired the awakening of other prisoners within the prison. This was one more case of a system of racist and classist state justice for which the fact of being poor and indigenous is a crime enough to imprison us. But also, an example of how the jail can be another trench of struggle from which to follow the relief of those who fought before and set an example for those who continue fighting for their freedom.”

For more information in Spanish:

Chiapas: absuelven a indígena tzotzil preso desde hace tres años (La Jornada, 24 de noviembre de 2016)

Pronunciamiento del Grupo de Trabajo « No estamos todxs » (24 de noviembre de 2016)

Vídeo (Regeneración Radio, 24 de noviembre de 2016)

 For more information form SIPAZ :

Chiapas: Juez dictaminará sentencia a Roberto Paciencia (15 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Procesión fuera del CERSS No.5 en exigencia de la liberación de Roberto Paciencia Cruz (31 de octibre de 2016)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia Cruz, injustamente preso, denuncia la negacion del acceso a sus visitas por segunda vez (a 19 de octubre 2016)

Chiapas: Carta de Roberto Paciencia Cruz en el marco del día internacional de los presos (24 de septiembre de 2016)

 


Chiapas: Judge to Deliver Sentence for Roberto Paciencia

November 22, 2016

Paciencia.jpgPress conference for Roberto Paciencia Cruz. Photo@ChiapasDenunciaPublica

On November 10, relatives of Roberto Paciencia Cruz, Sympathizers The Voice of Amate and the Working Group “No Estamos Todxs” (GTNET in its Spanish acronym) announced at a press conference at the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center (CDHFBC or Frayba) that on November 26, William Hernandez Ovando, Judge of the Criminal Law Section of San Cristobal de Las Casas District, will deliver a sentence on the case of Roberto.

Roberto Paciencia, indigenous Tsotsil, campesino and adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle; “Victim of Torture, Cruel, Inhuman and/or Degrading Treatment, Arbitrary Deprivation of Liberty and Violations of Due Process” was arrested on August 7, 2013, in the municipality of Pantelho, Chiapas, and transferred to the premises of the Specialized Prosecutor against Organized Crime’s Office (FECDO in its Spanish acronym) in Tuxtla Gutierrez. In this place, Roberto was physically and psychologically tortured for two days and locked in a punishment cell. He was later transferred to the State Center for Social Reintegration of Sentenced Persons (CERSS) No. 5 of San Cristobal de Las Casas, where he is currently held, without sentence.

According to the CDHFBC, Roberto Paciencia, as a result of torture, “has physical and psychological scars, without receiving adequate medical care, and his prolonged detention has affected his life project, especially his family.” On numerous occasions “he has used his voice to denounce the injustices that the prison population lives in the prison where he is held” and the existence of other cases of human rights violations in CERSS No. 05. Relatives, the Sympathizers and the GTNET stated that regarding the delivery of a sentence, “the compañero’s innocence has been legally demonstrated on various occasions: the only prosecution witness has not appeared at any of the numerous hearings, and, on the contrary, there are witnesses who stated that Roberto was not present at the time at the scene of the crime of which he is falsely accused.”

In Chiapas, human rights violations committed against vulnerable populations “is a daily practice in the system of administration of justice, which keeps persons whose right to personal integrity and security is violated in jail in inhuman conditions.” Due to this, the relatives, Sympathizers and the GTNET denounced “the injustice of the deprivation of liberty of Roberto Paciencia and we make a call to stay alert to the judicial decision of the next days demanding that finally justice be done for our compañero.”

For more information in Spanish:

Conferencia de prensa “Libertad para Roberto Paciencia Cruz” (Grupo de Trabajo, “no estamos todxs”, 11 de noviembre de 2016)

Boletín de la conferencia de prensa por La Libertad de Roberto Paciencia Cruz (Red contra la represión y por la Solidaridad, 11 de noviembre de 2016)

Justicia para Roberto Paciencia Cruz (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 10 de noviembre de 2016)

Juez dictaminará sentencia a Roberto Paciencia víctima de Tortura (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 10 de noviembre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Procesión fuera del CERSS No.5 en exigencia de la liberación de Roberto Paciencia Cruz (31 de octibre de 2016)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia Cruz, injustamente preso, denuncia la negacion del acceso a sus visitas por segunda vez (a 19 de octubre 2016)

Chiapas: Carta de Roberto Paciencia Cruz en el marco del día internacional de los presos (24 de septiembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Niegan entrada a visitas del injustamente preso, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, en el CERESO No. 5 (30 de agosto de 2016)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia Cruz, tres años preso en el Centro Estatal de Reinserción Social de Sentenciados (CERSS) número 5 (19 de agosto de 2016)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia escribe a Alejandro Díaz (24 de junio de 2016)


Chiapas: Commemoration of 20 Years of Crimes against Humanity in Northern Zone

November 10, 2016

Norte.jpgVictims’ relatives continue to seek justice 20 years later. Photo@SIPAZ

On October 22, victims’ relatives and survivors of the “counterinsurgency strategy operated in the northern zone of Chiapas” met in the community of Susuclumil, Tila municipality, to denounce “the lack of justice for crimes against humanity Committed by the paramilitary group Peace and Justice (Paz y Justicia), with the complicity and responsibility of the Mexican State.”

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, (CDHFBC, also known as Frayba) recalls in its press bulletin No. 21 that with the emergence of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), on January 1, 1994, violence increased in the northern zone. It explains that the Mexican State implemented a strategy of counterinsurgency war against the civilian population, through the Chiapas Campaign ’94 plan, with the objective of eliminating support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. From 1995 to 1999, paramilitary groups responsible for crimes against humanity were formed: “In the north of Chiapas, paramilitary groups such as the Peace and Justice Development Organization (Paz y Justicia) appeared, with the training and protection of different levels of government, and who between 1995 and 1999 systematically committed serious human rights violations. “

The CDHFBC recorded a total of “22 cases of serious human rights violations in the north, of which 37 were forced disappearances and 85 extrajudicial executions and more than 4,500 people were forcefully displaced, followed by arbitrary detention, torture, sexual torture, harassment, intimidation, destruction of property, among others, committed by the paramilitary group Peace and Justice.”

Victims’ relatives and survivors continue to denounce, “constant harassment, intimidation and persecution with unjust arrest warrants and subpoenas, with threats of fines, by the justice administration system in Chiapas.” They request that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) continue its monitoring and determine the responsibility of the Mexican State for human rights violations committed in the context of the Internal Armed Conflict.

For more information in Spanish:

Sucuclumil conmemoración de la memoria ( Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, a 21 de octubre de 2016)

Estado mexicano responsable de crímenes de lesa humanidad (Chiapas Denuncia, a 26 de octubre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Amenazas de muerte a defensor comunitario (23 de septiembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Conmemoración por las y los asesinados y desaparecidos durante conflicto en la zona baja de Tila (22 de septiembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Evento “Corazón de memoria, sembrando en nuestro territorio” en Masoja Shucjá, Tila (03 de noviembre de 2014)