Chiapas: Fear that Infected Prisoners in San Cristobal de Las Casas “Will only Come Out Dead”

May 26, 2020

presos@Diario del Sur

On May 25th, at a press conference held in the City of San Cristobal de Las Casas, the former political prisoner and founder of Solidarios de la Voz de Amate, Alberto Patishtan Gomez, denounced that the situation of the prisoner members of that group at the State Center for Social Reintegration for Sentences Number 5 (CERSS 5) remains delicate and they have not received medical attention. This occurs one week after they began to present symptoms of COVID-19 and contrary to the statements of the Ministry of Health that has affirmed that they have received attention.

Patishtan Gomez assured that the only thing that has been done is that these prisoners have been isolated inside the prison itself. He demanded their transfer “to a private or public hospital, but not to remain in the nursing area of ​​that penitential center, as although they have come to carry out studies on all, it is known that many are infected.” He requested prompt and timely medical attention to detect cases that require hospitalization or other specialized care.

He announced that they made an “international appeal in support of prisoners” that is being disseminated in several languages ​​to exert pressure for attention for their demands.

For more information in Spanish:

Temen a que presos “solo muertos salgan” por padecer Coronavirus: Alberto Patishtán(Diario del sur, 26 de mayo de 2020)

Exigen atención para infectados (Ultimatum, 26 de mayo de 2020)

Temen por la vida de presos contagiados de Coronavirus (NVI Noticias, 25 de mayo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Outbreak of COVID-19 in San Cristobal Las Casas Prison (May 23, 2020)

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: 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: “ Not Only COVID Threatens Life” – Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society

April 25, 2020

pozol@Radio Pozol

On April 22nd, within the framework of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre, Chenalho municipality, in which 45 people died in December 1997, the Civil Society Organization issued a statement in which it denounced that the context of the pandemic due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the “official plea to “stay home”, did not prevent feminicides from happening this month, it did not prevent violations of the human rights of migrants who cross our country; forced displacement continued in the case of Aldama, Chiapas, fellow Tsotsil Cristobal Santiz de Aldama was unjustly imprisoned.”

It warned that, in this same context, “what neoliberal governments have done together with the powerful in both Mexico and Latin America, is to take advantage of the COVID-19 emergency, for example they have made laws to reduce sentences in favor of the perpetrators of crimes against humanity, as in Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and Guatemala.”

It also denounced that, in Mexico, the government “has taken advantage of the pandemic to advance the construction of its “Maya Train”, despite the fact that hundreds of social organizations and indigenous communities demand to cancel it.”

For this reason, Las Abejas considered that the Covid-19 virus “is not life-threatening”. “It is useless for us to take care of the malignant disease if there are people who continue to be manipulated by the caciques and politicians who only think of their own interests and monetary gains at the cost of innocent lives,” they added.

Finally, they proposed that “this health situation we are going through is a message that makes us talk and think with our hearts and leads us to carry out new and healthy actions for us humans and for Mother Earth; because the way of life that the neoliberal capitalist system and colonialism have imposed on us, is useless, it is rubbish.”

For more information in Spanish:

«No sólo el Covid-19 amenaza la vida» (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de abril de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society Denounces Persecution and Murder of Human Rights Defenders and Protectors of Mother Earth and other Violent Situations (February 25, 2020)

 

Chiapas: “This year begins with a lot of violence and it is increasing” – Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society (January 28, 2020)

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal Hold Commenoration 22 Years after Acteal Masacre (January 13, 2020)


Chiapas/National: “Denying the Existence of Torture in Mexico Encourages Impunity”, CSO

April 20, 2020

200416_contralatortura_pronunciamiento@Frayba

In a bulletin published on April 16th, the Collective Against Torture and Impunity (CCTI), the World Organization Against Torture (WOAT) and the Group of Litigants in Latin America said that the statements of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) last April 5th, affirming that in Mexico “we have eradicated torture” contradict “what was sustained by various instances of the United Nations Organization (UN) on their different visits to this country who affirm that torture in Mexico is widespread and systematic”, a perception they share.

As an example of this, between January 2019 and March 2020, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) documented 18 cases of torture perpetrated in the current penal system in Chiapas.

“The practice of torture is rooted and propagated in Mexico. There is mistrust within the new penal system, specifically in the officials in charge of law enforcement for continuing to validate the acts of torture carried out by the police forces, which perpetuate this method as part of their practice of investigating crimes. This is due to the lack of education, training and awareness regarding the new judicial system, where we have verified the lack of technique to investigate, preserve evidence, guard evidence and take care of the chain of custody in the facts”, they maintained.

They also noted that “despite having a General Law to Prevent, Investigate and Punish Torture in Mexico, the Special Prosecutors for the Investigation of the Crime of Torture are unaware of it, which allows this violation of human rights to continue to be committed on a daily basis.”

They ended by urging “the President of the Republic not to use the public health crisis derived from the pandemic by COVID 19, to issue information that goes against the protection, respect and guarantee of human rights, since such circumstances contribute to the climate impunity and favors torture.”

For more information in Spanish:

Negar la existencia de la Tortura en México alienta la impunidad (OSC, 16 de abril de 2020)

AMLO da informe trimestral y plan económico para México por coronavirus (Milenio el 5 de abril de 2020)

Pestes, créditos y abrazos. Informe trimestral de AMLO en 23 frases clave (El Universal el 5 de abril de 2020)

Esto fue lo anunciado por AMLO para México en su informe trimestral (El Imparcial el 5 de abril de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Lopez Obrador Makes Fifth Trimster Report; Assures “We Will Prevail” (April 10, 2020)

National/International: “When Words Are Not Enough” – Amnesty International Report almost One Year after AMLO Takes Office (December 4, 2019)

International/National: Un Human Rights Committee Issues 48 Human Rights Recommendations for Mexico (November 12, 2019)

National/International: CAT Issues Recommendations on Torture in Mexico (May 22, 2019)


National: CNDH Requests Cautionary Measures for Cristobal Santiz Jimenez

March 30, 2020

Cristobal Santiz Jimenez@ Frayba

On March 26th, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) requested that the Governor of Chiapas, the Secretary General of the Government and the Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection of the state implement precautionary measures for Cristobal Santiz Jimenez, who has been deprived of his liberty since last March 14th at the State Center for Social Reintegration (CERSS) Number 14 “El Amate”. It should be noted that Cristobal Santiz Jimenez is a Tzotzil indigenous originating from the municipality of Aldama and a community defender and representative of the Permanent Commission of Communal and Displaced Peoples.

In this sense, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) reported the defender’s human rights abuses and violations and requested, after the arrest, precautionary measures before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to protect the life and safety of Cristobal Santiz Jimenez and his family. Likewise, Frayba explains that his arrest “occurs in the context of criminalization and threats to his life, liberty, security and integrity due to the constant denunciations of the omission of the Mexican State in the escalation of violence in the Chiapas Highlands region”, and he has faced threats “from the Mexican State that demanded his silence in exchange for his freedom; as well as death threats by the armed paramilitary group of Santa Martha, Chenalho,” said Frayba on its NotiFrayba news site.

According to the CNDH press release, measures are requested “with respect to acts or omissions that could constitute violations of the victim’s human rights, including protection of life, integrity, personal security and health.”

For more information in Spanish:

Solicita CNDH a autoridades de Chiapas, medidas cautelares en favor del señor Cristóbal Sántiz Jiménez (CNDH, 26 marzo 2020)

CNDH solicita al gobierno de Chiapas medidas cautelares a favor del activista Cristóbal Sántiz (Proceso, 26 marzo 2020)

Urgimos la libertad de Cristóbal Sántiz Jiménez
(Frayba, 15 marzo 2020)

Exhorta CNDH al gobierno de Chiapas a salvaguardar la vida, integridad personal y seguridad de las comunidades indígenas en conflicto por la disputa de tierras
(CNDH, 26 marzo 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Detienen a defensor comunitario de derechos humanos por presunto homicidio (March 17, 2020)

Chiapas: Authorities in Santa Martha and Aldama Denounce New Attacks (March 5, 2020)


National: Calls on Federal and State Authorities to Take Special Measures to Prevent Spread of Coronavirus in Prisons

March 25, 2020

Comunicado

In a statement released on March 19th, several civil organizations called on the authorities to take special measures in prisons to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). They recalled that “due to the close proximity conditions in prisons, incarceration generates the ideal conditions for contagion and these are aggravated when there is overcrowding, lack of water and hygienic conditions.”

They detailed that according to INEGI, “in Mexico there are currently 202,337 people in prisons and 37% of prisons are overcrowded. Nationally, 46% of people deprived of liberty share a cell with more than five people, and in some states the number of people per cell is much higher.” According to this same source, 11.2% of the incarcerated population “is over 50 years of age and among them there is a high incidence of diseases that can cause more serious forms of COVID-19.” The organizations also pointed out that “the lack of water and personal hygiene items make it impossible to achieve the hygiene conditions that would prevent mass contagion in the penitentiary centers.”

Among other things, they recommended adopting a policy of non-detention of people for non-violent crimes; release women today deprived of liberty for crimes that are not serious or that did not involve violence (a proposal that is part of the Amnesty Law presented in September last year, “which has already been presented in Congress and whose approval must be accelerated to safeguard them and their daughters and sons”); release older adults, or those at high risk of developing complications from COVID-19, including pregnant women, people with diabetes, hypertension and HIV; and adopt urgent measures within detention centers to guarantee the right to health of persons deprived of liberty.

They warned about the fact that “the suspension of visits is not a sufficient measure and before opting for it, governments must take into account that in several penitentiary centers it is families and not institutions that provide food, medicine, water and other items to the population. In this sense, denying entry to visitors will put people deprived of liberty at greater risks.”

It is worth noting that since March 14th, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) asked all the authorities of the penitentiary system to take at least preventive measures to prevent the coronavirus from spreading in the country’s prisons and to protect the life and health of persons deprived of liberty; of visits; prison staff, and service providers. However, its recommendations were mainly focused on information and awareness about the disease and ways to avoid contagion inside and outside the prison.

For more information in Spanish:

Reclusas en México elaboran mascarillas para afrontar crisis del coronavirus (El Imparcial, 22 de marzo de 2020)

México debe cambiar prácticas de detención y despresurizar sus cárceles ante pandemia de COVID-19 (OSC, 19 de marzo de 2020)

Crisis de COVID-19: mayor vulnerabilidad para las personas privadas de libertad (Asilegal, 19 de marzo de 2020)

Personas presas, en riesgo por coronavirus: ¿Qué están haciendo las cárceles para prevenir contagios? (Animal Político, 17 de marzo de 2020)

Pide CNDH prevenir contagio de coronavirus en cárceles del país (El Universal, 14 de marzo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: AMLO Sends Proposal for Amnesty Law to Congress (September 23, 2019)