Chiapas: Chiapas Prisoners Enter Fourth Week of Hunger Strike

April 8, 2019

Presos

The 13 prisoners on hunger strike in different prisons in Chiapas have now entered their fourth week on this protest. Their health situation is deteriorating: “German Lopez Montejo, a prisoner on hunger strike, is suffering from fainting due to low blood glucose levels. The Working Group No Estamos Todxs claims that in the CERSS # 14 (Amate Prison) the prisoners are not ingesting the minimum amount of honey for survival because the prison authorities have retained it [their supply].”

On April 4th, SIPAZ visited the inmates of The Voice of Indigenous in Resistance (La Voz de Indigenas en Resistencia) and Supporters of the Voice of Amate (Solidarios de La Voz de Amate). Both are located in CERRS # 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas.

The reasons for their protest are that they declare themselves innocent of the crimes of which they are accused, and that they were forced to plead guilty under torture. They began their hunger strike to demand their freedom.

Furthermore, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights published a document on March 22nd denouncing that “the 13 people deprived of their liberty began a hunger strike inside prisons to denounce human rights violations they live daily in the penitentiary centers where they are held, as well as to proclaim their innocence given the unfair trials in which they are being prosecuted. It is important to point out that they have denounced torture and cruel inhuman and/or degrading treatment since the moment of their arrest, 12 of them are indigenous Tsotsiles.

The 13 prisoners on hunger strike have indicated that they constantly receive threats and harassment from the prison authorities to give up their protest.

We request that the personal integrity of the 13 persons deprived of their liberty who are on hunger strike be respected and that they be treated in accordance with their dignity and that due respect for fundamental rights be respected.

We urge the authorities of the state of Chiapas to immediately cease acts of threats and intimidation, as well as acts of punishment that constitute torture and cruel, inhuman and/or degrading treatment. “

The people who are on hunger strike are: Abraham Lopez Montejo and German Lopez Montejo, in the Social Rehabilitation Center for Sentences No. 14 El Amate (CERSS No. 14 El Amate), in Cintalapa; Adrian Gomez Jimenez, Juan de la Cruz Ruiz, Mariano Gomez Lopez, Marcos Gomez Lopez, Martin Gomez Lopez, Mariano Perez Velasco, Mario Diaz Rodriguez, Felipe Diaz Mendez and Juan Castellanos Gomez in CERSS No. 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas; as well as Marcelino Ruiz Gomez and Baldemar Gomez Hernandez in CERSS No. 10 in Comitan de Dominguez.

For more information in Spanish:

Presos indígenas, 18 días en huelga de hambre, 2 de abril de 2019, Chiapasparalelo

Riesgo grave a la salud de nuestros compañeros en huelga de hambre en el CERSS#14, noestamostodxs.tk, 4 de abril de 2019

Reos indígenas de Chiapas se cosen los labios para exigir su libertad,  Proceso, 29 de marzo de 2019

Cese de amenazas y hostigamientos a presos en huelga de hambre en Chiapas, CDHFBLC, 22 de marzo de 2019

Trece presos indígenas cumplen 18 días en huelga en Chiapas; acusan tortura y exigen su liberación, Sinembargo 2 de abril de 2019

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Thirteen Prisoners on Hunger Strike  (March 24, 2019)

Chiapas : seis presos indígenas inician huelga de hambre (16 de marzo de 2019)

Chiapas: Diego Lopez Mendez Freed, Prisoner and Member of Solidarios de la Voz del Amate (March 15, 2019)

Chiapas: Luego de 10 años de Encarcelamiento es liberado Alfredo Goméz Lopez, Víctima de Tortura (21 de febrero de 2019)

Chiapas: Prisoners in San Cristóbal carry out fast to demand respect for their rights (January 4, 2019)

Chiapas: Indígenas presos en San Cristóbal de Las Casas exigen revisión de sus expedientes (4 de enero de 2019)

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Chiapas: Thirteen Prisoners on Hunger Strike

March 24, 2019

Presos.png(@Chiapas Paralelo)

A group of seven indigenous prisoners, held in three prisons in Chiapas, joined the hunger strike that began on March 15th with another group of six prisoners. All of them demand their freedom, better prison conditions, and justice for acts of torture committed against them. Some have been imprisoned for 15 years, without receiving a sentence.

The lawyer of the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights Center (Frayba), Gilberto Hernandez, explained that they have reviewed the files of dozens of inmates, and in at least 60 cases there is evidence of arbitrary detention and torture as a method to obtain a guilty plea to crimes that they may not have been committed. Even so, he stressed that in the majority of cases, judges issue condemnatory sentences, violating due process. The most vulnerable to this type of situation are the indigenous, since in many cases they are monolingual and have few economic resources, he stressed. For this reason, Frayba requested that “the right to protest, meeting and expression of indigenous people on hunger strike is respected, investigation is initiated for possible acts of torture within the prisons, and adequate conditions are guaranteed for the people on strike, taking allowing for physical space, medical review and visits of relatives and advisors.”

However, Alberto Patishtan Gomez, founder of the Prisoners and Ex- Prisoners of Solidatity of the Voice of El Amate of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym), denounced that the prisoners who are on hunger strike in the Center for Social Reintegration for Sentenced Persons (Cerss in its Spanish acronym) No. 5 have not been able to receive any visits.

He held the director of Cerss 5, Juan Jose Trujillo Cruz, responsible as he remembered months ago when other compañeros were in the same situation, he sent a group of shock troops to break up the peaceful movement, “it is not worth a thing that we are supposedly living in a state of the fourth transformation, we are seeing the opposite.” For the same reason, he and other former prisoners demanded the dismissal of the director of Cerss No. 5 as well as the intervention of the president of the Republic.

For more information in Spanish:

Ex presos solicitan destitución de director del Cerss número 5 (Reporte Ciudadano, 20 de marzo de 2019)

Suman 13 los reos indígenas en huelga de hambre (Chiapas Paralelo, 20 de marzo de 2019)

Siete indígenas chiapanecos realizan huelga de hambre; hay un preso sin sentencia tras 15 años (Video, Aristegui Noticias, 20 de marzo de 2019)

Niegan visitas a presos en huelga de hambre (Chiapas Minuto a minuto, 19 de marzo de 2019)

Presos indígenas, sobrevivientes de tortura, en huelga de hambre en el Cereso de Comitán (comunicado, 19 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : seis presos indígenas inician huelga de hambre (16 de marzo de 2019)

Chiapas: Diego Lopez Mendez Freed, Prisoner and Member of Solidarios de la Voz del Amate

(March 15, 2019)

Chiapas: Luego de 10 años de Encarcelamiento es liberado Alfredo Goméz Lopez, Víctima de Tortura (21 de febrero de 2019)

Chiapas: Indígenas presos en San Cristóbal de Las Casas exigen revisión de sus expedientes (4 de enero de 2019)

Chiapas: Prisoners in San Cristóbal carry out fast to demand respect for their rights (January 4, 2019)


Chiapas: 30th Anniversary of “Frayba”

March 24, 2019

Frayba.pngPhoto @ SIPAZ

On March 19th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC in its Spanish acronym, better known as Frayba) presented on its 30th anniversary the report “Facing Violence, the Spiral of Struggles and esistance”. The report gives a historical perspective of the journey of Frayba and the panorama of struggle of the peoples in Chiapas in defense of their human rights. It details among other topics the serious situation of violence against women, the process of defending the Zoque territory and the municipality of Chicomuselo, and a systematization on the subject of torture.

“To the women and men who, with their path, have flooded life with dignity, and given meaning of the path of Frayba, that next to/beside you, pulsates the earth, with its resistances that make the light and the rebellions that summon us not to desist from the new world that is emerging,” Frayba recalled.

Frayba was created in 1989, at the invitation of the then bishop of the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Samuel Ruiz García, and with the passage of time became an indespensable reference for the defense of human rights, in particular indigenous peoples, not only locally, but nationally and internationally.

On the 27th and 28th of this month, as part of the anniversary, a “Festival of Human Rights” will also take place in San Cristobal de Las Casas.

For more information in Spanish:

Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas cumple 30 años en defensa de pueblos y comunidades indígenas (Chiapas Paralelo, 19 de marzo de 2019)

Frente a la violencia, la espiral de luchas y resistencias: Informe Frayba (Frayba, 19 de marzo de 2019)

Festejan en Chiapas los 30 años del Frayba; clérigos resaltan legado de Samuel Ruiz García (Proceso, 19 de marzo de 2019)

Frayba entrega informe de derechos humanos (Cuarto Poder, 20 de marzo de 2019)

Crisis de derechos humanos, legado de Peña y Velasco en Chiapas: Frayba (La Jornada, 20 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Frayba Presents its Annual Report “Paths of Resistance” (December 28, 2016)

Chiapas: 25-year anniversary of “Frayba” (March 30, 2014)


Chiapas: Diego Lopez Mendez Freed, Prisoner and Member of Solidarios de la Voz del Amate

March 15, 2019

Diego.png

On July 18th, after six years and eight months in prison, Diego Lopez Mendez, an indigenous Tseltal native from San Juan Cancuc, was released after an intense national and international campaign by his relatives, friends, activists and human rights defenders, who alleged that he was tortured to incriminate himself for a crime he did not commit. Lopez Mendez was part of the organization “Solidarios de la Voz del Amate”, adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle and in the last stage, he was imprisoned in San Cristobal de Las Casas.

In 2018, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights documented thirteen complaints of torture of six Tseltals, six Tsotsiles and one Chol, who are in prison. It affirmed that Diego’s case makes visible a recurrent practice of the ministerial authorities of trying to legitimize arbitrary arrest carried out in a context of torture as well as the “disinterest of the judicial authorities of being a counterweight in charge of reviewing the ministerial actions.”

For more information in Spanish:

Liberan a Diego López, indígena tseltal que fue torturado para autoinculparse en 2012 (Proceso, 12 de marzo de 2019)

COMUNICADO A PROPÓSITO DE LA LIBERACIÓN DE DIEGO LÓPEZ MÉNDEZ (Grupo de Trabajo No estamos todos, 12 de marzo de 2019)

Celebran libertad de Diego López Méndez (Cuarto Poder, 13 de marzo de 2019)

Dan libertad a indígena tseltal que fue torturado para autoinculparse (Regeneración, 13 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Luego de 10 años de Encarcelamiento es liberado Alfredo Goméz Lopez, Víctima de Tortura (21 de febrero de 2019)

Chiapas: Indígenas presos en San Cristóbal de Las Casas exigen revisión de sus expedientes (4 de enero de 2019)

Chiapas: Prisoners in San Cristóbal carry out fast to demand respect for their rights (January 4th, 2019)

Chiapas: Voice of Amate Supporter Moved to High Security Prison (November 27th, 2018)


Chiapas: One Dead and Two Wounded in Latest Confrontation in Aldama – Chenalho Conflict

January 29, 2019

aldama

In the early hours of January 22nd, an attack by residents of Santa Martha, municipality of Chenalho, against their neighbors from Aldama who were going to their plots to work left one person dead and two wounded by bullets, as a result of the old conflict over the dispute of 60 hectares between the two municipalities, government sources reported.

As a consequence of this conflict, at least 2,036 people from communities bordering Santa Martha (Xuxch’en, Coco, Tabak and San Pedro Cotzilnam) are displaced in camps far from the disputed area.

According to the inhabitants of Aldama, in 2009, Santa Marta and Aldama signed an agreement to end the conflict, by which the inhabitants of the first community received from the state government one 1,300,000 thousand pesos. However, this agreement has been broken and the situation has been growing ever more violent since 2016.

In view of the most recent events, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights urged the Mexican State to “adopt effective measures to guarantee the life and personal integrity of the population of Aldama, especially of the communities located in the territorial limits with Manuel Utrilla , Chenalho, as well as the municipal seat; investigate, sanction, disarm and dismantle the armed groups of Santa Martha, Manuel Utrilla, Chenalho; address the humanitarian emergency of the displaced population in the Chiapas Highlands region, Mexico; and cancel arrest warrants that criminalize representatives of displaced families.”

For more information in Spanish:

Un muerto y dos heridos, saldo de agresión entre Chenalhó y Aldama (La Jornada, 22 de enero de 2019)

Nuevo ataque paramilitar en Aldama, Chiapas, un muerto y dos heridos (Regeneración, 22 de enero de 2019)

Un muerto y dos heridos deja añeja disputa de tierra entre tsotsiles de Aldama y Chenalhó (Alerta Chiapas, 22 de enero de 2019)

Acción Urgente : Persiste riesgo a la vida en comunidades desplazadas, en Aldama, Chiapas (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 22 de enero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Se necesita atención al Desplazamiento Forzado Interno en Chenalhó y Aldama, ataque armado deja dos jóvenes heridos (14 de enero de 2019)

Chiapas: Sigue la violencia entre Aldama y Chenalhó (5 de enero de 2019)

AMLO sobre el caso de Desplazamiento Forzado Interno en el Municipio de Aldama, Chiapas. (18 de diciembre de 2018)

Chiapas: Frayba Denounces New Attacks in Aldama and Demands End to Violence
(November 19th, 2018)

Chiapas :Se mantienen amenazas y desplazamiento forzado en Aldama ; Frayba lanza acción urgente (October 14th, 2018)

Chiapas : Persiste riesgo a la vida de indígenas tsotsiles en Aldama, denuncia el Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (April 26th, 2018)

Chiapas: Violence increases in the Highlands of Chiapas, 747 displaced and 3 dead in Aldama (May 10th, 2018)

 


Chiapas: Two Members of Movement for Welfare, Peace and Common Good of Amatan and Independent Revolutionary Campesino Movement Murdered

January 28, 2019

Amatan.pngProtest in Tuxtla Gutierrez (@Chiapas Paralelo)

Fifteen days after the human rights defender Sinar Corzo Esquinca was murdered in the municipality of Arriaga, Noe Jimenez Pablo, member of the Ayala Plan Coordinating Independent Revolutionary Campesino Movement (MOCRI-CNPA-MC in its Spanish acronym) and Jose Santiago Gomez Alvarez, of the Movement for Welfare, Peace and the Common Good of Amatan, were found dead and with signs of torture in a garbage dump near the municipality of Amatan. These events occurred after the denunciation of the disappearance of 50 members of the Movement for Welfare, Peace and the Common Good of Amatan on January 17th, after an armed commando broke up the sit-in maintained by the organisation since last November, against the caciques Wilbert and Manuel de Jesus Carpio Mayorga (the latter currently mayor for MORENA). The other 48 people have already appeared alive.

On January 19th, the Movement for Welfare, Peace and Common Good of Amatan held a protest in Amatan. The following day, MOCRI-CNPA-MN marched with the coffins of the two murdered individuals in Tuxtla Gutierrez accompanied by social organizations, displaced families from Chiapas, human rights defenders and students of the Rural Normal “Mactumatzá” School to demand justice requesting that the Federal authorities investigate the case.

Within the framework of this protest, Jesus Gutierrez Valencia, spokesman for the MOCRI-CNPA, denounced that this crime occurred despite the fact that 31 people from that municipality were already being monitored by the Mechanism for the Protection of Journalists and Human Rights Defenders of the Secretariat of Government (SEGOB in its Spanish acronym), including Noe Jimenez Pablo. “We came here to Tuxtla, to march with their bodies and show them here in front of the doors of the Palace of Government, what they denied so much, the existence of paramilitary groups and the dead that they do not want to see or that nobody sees what happens daily in Chiapas,” Gutierrez said. He denounced that “at all times the state government denied the facts and was negligent in its investigative role, since it always protected the mayor and his armed civilian groups.”

The lawyer Leonel Rivero, legal advisor of the CNPA-MN, reported that the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) and the Attorney General’s Office already took on the case, and that “it cannot be investigated by Jorge Luis Llaven Abarca, Attorney General of the State, because in June 2001 he himself, as public prosecutor, arrested, tortured and kept Jimenez Pablo himself aprisoner, which earned him a recommendation from the CNDH.”

The lawyer also reported that there are currently threats from the same group aggressors against defenders of the Antonio Esteban Human Rights Center and against the parish priest of the municipality of Amatan, Jose Dominguez Dominguez, who has been an intermediary for the reconciliation of the people of Amatan and has already suffered attacks on two occasions.

Francisco Jimenez Pablo, Noe’s brother, blamed Rutilio Escandon Cadenas, governor of the state, and the Secretary General of Government, Ismael Brito Mazariegos, “because to date they have not had the will to resolve social conflicts, and despite being shown evidence of the operation of armed civilian groups, protected by state and municipal police, they continue operating with impunity and killing people at ant time of the day.”

Several social and civil organizations have condemned these murders. The Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights recalled that “Amatan is a strategic step for transferring drugs and weapons through its border with Tabasco, it is a corridor formed by the municipalities of Bochil, Simojovel, Pueblo Nuevo and Huitiupan, where the armed groups are linked to local caciques, who in turn are linked or protected by the municipal authorities and police, for the economic and political control of the region. The negligence that the government of Rutilio Escandon Cadenas maintains with caciques, as well as the unpunished activity of armed groups in several zones, has generated an outbreak of violence in different municipalities of Chiapas, generating fear in the population in general and high risk to the work that we exercise as journalists, communicators, social leaders and human rights defenders.”

For more information in Spanish:

Quince días después del homicidio de Sinar Corzo, otro activista es asesinado en Amatán, Chiapas (Sin Embargo, 19 de enero de 2019)

Asesinan al líder de la Coordinadora Plan de Ayala en Chiapas (La Jornada, 19 de enero de 2019)

Hallan ejecutado con huellas de tortura a líder de resistencia civil de Amatán (Proceso, 19 de enero de 2019)

Campesinos y estudiantes exigen justicia por asesinato de dos líderes sociales asesinados en Amatán (Proceso, 20 de enero de 2019)

Marcha fúnebre exige justicia para líderes campesinos y el pueblo de Amatán (Chiapas, 20 de enero de 2019)

Condenamos el asesinato de Noé Jiménez Pablo (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 19 de enero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: el Movimiento por el Bien Común, la Paz y Justicia de Amatán denuncia nueva agresión (18 de enero de 2019)

Chiapas: Grupo armado en Amatán intimida al párroco (17 de diciembre de 2018)


Chiapas: denunciation of criminalization against environmental activists in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

January 4, 2019

 

On December 27th, during a press conference that took place at the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, the board of Colonia Maya in the municipality San Cristóbal de Las Casas denounced the existence of arrest warrants against its members and demanded their immediate cancellation.

In June 2016, the construction of a housing estate caused a flooding that affected 20 families in Colonia Maya. As a reaction, various habitants started to organize themselves to defend their rights and the environmental rights.

Since then, the members of Colonia Maya’s board faced various threats and the criminalization of their movement to defend their district.

Three moths ago, the board met with representatives of Manuel Velasco’s government who proposed the construction of a rain drain in the settlement. The board responded that they could not take any decisions without the participation of the the Colonia’s assembly. The arrest warrants were released after that meeting.

In the words of the board about the criminalization: “We are in fear. Fear that justice one more will be bought. During the last days we have affirmed once more that the legal authorities in our country can be bought. We know that some of our members have received arrest warrants without committing any crime. We are being accused of kidnapping, when we only ever acted peacefully, consulting and respecting the settlement’s assembly.”

They solicited “that the hostility and the criminalization against human environmental rights defenders for the land and the territory are eradicated or cease as they are pillars of democracy and with their work they can promote and strengthen the civil participation”.

For more information in Spanish:

Cese la criminalización a defensores de la Madre Tierra (27 de diciembre de 2018, Chiapas Denuncia Publica).

Colonos de la Maya denuncian que les fueron inventados delitos (27 de diciembre de 2018, Noticias Voz e Imagen de Chiapas).

Se defienden activistas demandados (27 de diciembre de 2018, El Heraldo de Chiapas).

Criminalización por la defensa de la Madre Tierra (21 de junio de 2017, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas).

For more information from SIPAZ :

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14th, 2018)

Nacional : Se pospone entrega de concesiones de agua vía Internet por seis meses en medio de protestas. (17 de octubre de 2018).