Chiapas: Outbreak of COVID-19 in San Cristobal Las Casas Prison

May 23, 2020

solidariosPhoto: chiapasparalelo

The Ministry of Health has confirmed an outbreak of COVID-19 in San Cristobal de Las Casas prison. Those affected so far are eight indigenous Tzotzil prisoners, all members of the organization Solidarios la Voz de El Amate (The Solidarity Voice of Amate) but more people could be infected. They have been quarantined since midnight on May 20th. During the previous weeks they had asked for sanitary control measures several times to avoid this situation.

“Our family members no longer enter the prison. We were told that this is a measure to prevent coronavirus disease from spreading to us. But the risk of contagion comes from the jailers themselves”, a group of prisoners reported by telephone. This is because, they affirmed, the jailers, or personnel on duty, do not use any protective measures when entering the area of ​​cells and patios where the inmates are located, nor gloves nor face masks. After this complaint, the Ministry of Public Security and Citizen Protection, which is in charge of prisons, said that the complaint of the inmates was false, and argued that there was a protocol to avoid contagion.

Meanwhile, relatives of the police officer Artemio Jimenez Estrada, who worked in San Cristobal de Las Casas prison, reported that he allegedly died of COVID-19: “His last wish was to report the lack of medical attention he received from the command at CERESO number 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas, they never gave him permission to receive medical attention until the last day when he was already serious and could not fight the disease”, his family said on their Facebook accounts.

no estamos todos

On another note, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) demanded the implementation of measures to guarantee the life, health, integrity and freedom of prisoners on hunger strike in Chiapas. Since May 21st, members of the organization La Voz de Indigenas en Resistencia (The Voice of Indigenous in Resistance) and La Voz Verdadera del Amate (The True Voice of Amate) started a hunger strike from CERSS No. 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas and CERSS No. 10 in Comitan de Dominguez.

Therefore, the relatives of prisoners on hunger strike for their freedom filed an injunction on May 20th, 2020, before a Judge in Tuxtla Gutierrez. They claim that the state authorities fails the security and protection of the health of those who are in prison, suffering uncertainty regarding the increased risk of contagion.

The Colectivo Cereza Chiapas (Chiapas Cherry Collective), which accompanies the women prisoners in CERSS No. 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas, denounced that the women were gassed for protesting. For four days they had no phone to communicate with their defense or their relatives. They have been without a doctor since the beginning of March and lack basic hygiene and cleaning products. They are also afraid of the risks of contagion from COVID-19.

For more information in Spanish:

Brote de COVID-19 en penal de Chiapas, presos indígenas contagiados, Chiapasparalelo, 20 de mayo de 2020

Brote de Covid-19 en penal de San Cristóbal, Chiapas: 8 infectados, La Jornada, 20 de mayo de 2020

Denuncian brote de covid-19 en penal de San Cristóbal, Proceso, 21 de mayo de 2020

Firma por: Garantías de vida, salud, integridad y libertad a presos en huelga de hambre en Chiapas, Frayba, 21 de mayo de 2020

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Prisoners Start Hunger Strike over Health Fears Due to COVID-19 (May 21, 2020)

Chiapas: Prisoners Start Three-day Fast to Demand Freedom (March 23, 2020)

Chiapas: Exigen libertad para las 9 presos solidarios de la Voz del Amate, (6 /11/2019)

Chiapas:Presos del Cerss 5 son amenazados de ser reubicados si no detienen su protesta (6 de septiembre de 2019)


Chiapas: Prisoners Start Hunger Strike over Health Fears Due to COVID-19

May 21, 2020

voz

Several prisoners’ organizations in Chiapas have denounced the health situation within the San Cristobal de Las Casas prison. Some inmates have fever and cough and other symptoms that could be associated with COVID 19. On May 20th, the eight members of Solidarios de la Voz de Amate (Solidarity with the Voice of Amate) were taken to the infirmary and were informed that they should remain there for 14 days. Supporters of their cause demanded that the governor of Chiapas, Rutilio Escandon Gordillo, report on the prisoners’ health situation.

At the same time, members of the organization La Voz de Indigenas en Resistencia (The Voice of Indigenous in Resistance) and the organization La Voz Verdadera del Amate (The True Voice of Amate) announced that on May 21st they would start a hunger strike that would continue until June 5th to demand attention to their health and for their their release.

“The authorities of this center have denied the contagion of an officer, rank Commander and named: Alejandro and the alleged death of an officer named: Artemio”, they denounced.

“We also emphasize that the internal population is suffering from fever, muscle pain, diarrhea, which we do not know if it is the COVID 19 Virus or normal fever. Inmates are violating our rights to health. There is no way to take the COVID 19 test and there are also no medications for the inmates. Supposedly there is a high amount of fever symptoms in inmates. For this reason, we prisoners are in danger for the integrity of our health and life”, they also claimed.

For more information in Spanish:

Presos indígenas en Chiapas reportan síntomas de covid-19 y nula atención, Pie de Pagina, 19 de mayo de 2020

Piden intervención de autoridades por posibles casos de Covid en cárceles, Cuarto Poder, 19 de mayo de 2020

Piden reos de penal en Chiapas reforzar medidas sanitarias por Covid-19, La Jornada 18 de mayo de 2020

For more information form  SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Prisoners Start Three-day Fast to Demand Freedom (March 23, 2020)

Chiapas: Exigen libertad para las 9 presos solidarios de la Voz del Amate, (6 /11/2019)

Chiapas:Presos del Cerss 5 son amenazados de ser reubicados si no detienen su protesta (6 de septiembre de 2019)

 


Chiapas: Prisoners Start Three-day Fast to Demand Freedom

March 23, 2020

presos

The prisoners, members of the organization Solidarios de la Voz de Amate, announce three days of fasting to demand their freedom:

“Indigenous Prisoners “Solidarios de la Voz de Amate” adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the EZLN Lacandon Jungle, held in CERSS Number 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas.

Once again, we raise our voices because of the wave of injustices that exist in this state of Chiapas. Here we continue waiting for the “Fourth Transformation”, since we are still unjustly deprived of our freedom.

Enough mistreatment and discrimination against all of us who demonstrate peacefully to demand justice! Today, Wednesday, March 18th, 2020, we celebrate exactly one year of fighting for our freedom.

Here we continue with our family members, compañeros, and different organizations that have dignifiedly accompanied us in search for our freedom. For a year, the government of the state of Chiapas pledged before them that there would soon be a clear solution for our freedom. This promise has not come to this day, but on the contrary, it is a mockery and a deception.

For this reason, starting today, Wednesday the 15th, we announce that we will be fasting for three days, to demand once again our immediate freedom from the governor of the state of Chiapas, Rutilio Escandon Cadenas, as he is aware of each case and he knows that we are innocent, he clearly knows the violation of our rights at the time of our arrest, as well as in the trials.

Furthermore, to remind the President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, of his promise of “No more political prisoners.” One year and three months of his government, we continue waiting for this promise.

Our families have gone out knocking on doors at the state and federal levels, they have witnessed false promises, so we have decided to carry out this action.

Our 29-day strike last year will not go unpunished.

We will never be silent!

Freedom, freedom!

Finally, we invite the different local, national and international organizations to unite to demand our freedom, as well as that of the country’s political prisoners.”

The prisoners are: Mariano Perez Velasco, Martin Gomez Lopez, Marcos Gomez Lopez, Mariano Gomez Lopez, Felipe Diaz Mendez, Mario Diaz Rodriguez, Roberto Martinez Perez, Mario Gomez Lopez held at the State Center for Social Reintegration for Sentenced Persons Number 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas.

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Exigen libertad para las 9 presos solidarios de la Voz del Amate, (6 /11/2019)

Chiapas:Presos del Cerss 5 son amenazados de ser reubicados si no detienen su protesta (6 de septiembre de 2019)

Chiapas: After over 100 Days on Hunger Strike, Prisoners Need Appropriate Medical Attention and Continue to Demand Freedom (June 27, 2019)


Chiapas: Protesting Prisoners Begin Three-day Hunger Strike

February 9, 2020

On February 5th, it was announced at a press conference held at the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights that four indigenous prisoners from Chiapas began a hunger strike for three days on that day.

With this action they demand to speed up the review of their cases that are currently on the so-called Reconciliation Table and in the Mixed Court of Bochil, and then their release.

“They also demanded that their space of struggle be respected inside both prisons until their freedom is obtained; that the “psychological reprisals and threats of the prison director of San Cristobal, Jose Javier Sanchez Rios and Judge Maria Guadalupe Flores Rocha stop, as well as the provision of medicines and medical care in the corresponding área.”

The prisoners who started the three-day fast this morning are, Adrian Gomez Jimenez, and the brothers German and Abraham Lopez Montejo, who are imprisoned in San Cristobal prison and Marcelino Ruiz Gomez, interned in Comitan prison.

For more information in Spanish:

Con ayuno, presos tzotziles en Chiapas piden revisión de su expediente, La Jornada, 5 de febrero de 2020

Presos indígenas torturados inician huelga de hambre, chiapas paralelo, 5 de febrero de 2020

Denuncias de los presos: Chiapasdenuncia, 5 de febrero de 2020

video de la conferencia de presnsa https://www.facebook.com/CdhFrayba/videos/493698384679288/UzpfSTM3MjYxNDE5NjQ1NTM0ODoxMDIxNjAwNzE4MjIzMzU2/ 5 de febrero de 2020

audio de palabras de los presos, https://soundcloud.com/chiapas-denuncia-p-blica/presos-reiniciaran-huelga-de-hambre-en-chiapas 5 de febrero de 2020

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Prisoners in San Cristobal de Las Casas Denounce Theats and Negligence from Prison Authorities (January 28, 2020)

Chiapas: Death Threats against FRAYBA and Relatives of Prisoners (December 11, 2019)

Chiapas/International: Solidarios de la Voz del Amate Seeks Alliances with Other Processes in Latin America (December 6, 2019)

Chiapas: Freedom for Juan de la Cruz Ruiz (December 5, 2019)

Chiapas:Presos del Cerss 5 son amenazados de ser reubicados si no detienen su protesta (September 6, 2019)


Chiapas: Prisoners in San Cristobal de Las Casas Denounce Theats and Negligence from Prison Authorities

January 28, 2020

portada-campac3b1a-2-300x300-1

Since the beginning of the year, the Working Group No Estamos Todxs has published several complaints from prisoners imprisoned in the State Center for Social Reinsertion (CERSS) Number 5 of San Cristobal de Las Casas, who are organized in the Voice of Indigenous People in Resistance and The True Voice of Amate. In these communiqués, they state that they have been exposed to threats and negligence by the prison authorities.

In a statement dated January 22nd, they denounce “the constant threats of the director of this prison Number 5 named Jose Javier Sanchez Rios” through intimidation, review of their belongings and robberies among other things. They said that they will continue “the sit-in until they get freedom because to date there has been no response from the authorities.” In another statement from January 17th, they reported on the negligence of the prison authorities to access medicines they need and even extortion to effectively obtain them.

For more information in Spanish:

Los hostigaminetos y amenazas por parte del director del CERSS numero 5 a nuestros compañeros presos en lucha no paran (Grupo de Trabajo No estamos Todxs, 23 de enero de 2020)

Nuestro compañero preso en lucha German López Montejo denuncia a las autoridades del CERSS 5 por la falta de medicamentos y la corrupción al interior del penal (Grupo de Trabajo No estamos Todxs, 17 de enero de 2020)

Compañeros presos en lucha de la organización La Voz de Indígenas en Resistencia y de la Verdadera Voz del Amate denuncian que su integridad física se vio en riesgo por la negligencia de las autoridades penitenciarias (Grupo de Trabajo No estamos Todxs, 17 de enero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Death Threats against FRAYBA and Relatives of Prisoners (December 11, 2019)

Chiapas/International: Solidarios de la Voz del Amate Seeks Alliances with Other Processes in Latin America (December 6, 2019)

Chiapas: Freedom for Juan de la Cruz Ruiz (December 5, 2019)

Chiapas:Presos del Cerss 5 son amenazados de ser reubicados si no detienen su protesta (6 de septiembre de 2019)