Chiapas: Day of Action for the Liberation of Alejandro Diaz Santiz and Political Prisoners

April 23, 2016

Presos.pngDuring the cultural event in Plaza de la Resistencia y la Paz in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas. Photo: @Work Group “No estamos todxs”

In the framework of International Political Prisoners Solidarity Day, relatives of Alejandro Diaz Santiz organized a cultural event, a sit in and press conference for the freedom of the unjustly imprisoned [man] together with collectives and sympathizers. Diaz Santiz, who has been deprived of his freedom for 17 years, is an adherent of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and from prison has been organizing to denounce violations of his rights and those of other prisoners. Last September he was moved to the Federal prison at Villa Comaltitlan in Tapachula in spite of the fact that he had been sentenced for a local and not federal jurisdiction crime as well as not being a highly dangerous prisoner. According to his attorney, Leonel Rivero Rodriguez, he was transferred “in a totally arbitrary manner” and the move “had no type of basis.”

Antonio Diaz Velasco, Alejandro’s father, stated in the press conference that, in spite of the fact that his son’s visual health is deteriorating, he is not receiving medical attention in prison. “I saw that he is ill, his eyes are discolored, I asked him what was wrong, he said that they don’t give him medication, little food, beans and five tortillas.” He confirmed that the transfer is making family visits difficult because the distance from his community to the prison is long and they do not have the economic resources to pay for transport. Pedro Lopez Jimenez, member of the Supporters of the Voice Amate organization, added that they hope that “the authorities fulfill their promises and free Alejandro” as the State Government signed an agreement in February for the liberation of Diaz Santiz. For his part, Rivero pointed that Alejandro was subjected to an irregular trial, having “a bad or no defense” following his arrest. It should be recalled that Diaz Santiz is a Tsotsil indigenous who “at the time of his arrest did not speak Spanish, was tortured, never had access to an interpreter, and did not have enough money for an adequate legal defense”, the Work Group “No Estamos Todxs” (GTNET) statement said.

According to the attorney, Alejandro would currently have the right to parole for partial remission of the sentence – a reduction of his sentence for good behavior and participation in social reinsertion activities – for which a legal protection was lodged and is awaiting verdict. Lopez Jimenez announced that they expect the legal protection move to be successful and if it is not, they will continue with actions to demand the immediate release of their compañero. The release of Roberto Paciencia Cruz was also called for, unjustly imprisoned in the State Center for Social Reinsertion of Prisoners (CERSS) No. 5 at San Cristobal de Las Casas, and the San Bachajon prisoners at Amate CERSS, municipality of Cintalapa.

For more information in Spanish:

Conferencia de Prensa 18 de Abril ¡ Libertad Inmediata para Alejandro Diaz Santiz¡ (Grupo de Trabajo No estamos todxs, 18 de abril de 2016)

17 de abril: Día Internacional de los Presxs Políticxs (Grupo de Trabajo No estamos todxs, 18 de abril de 2016)

Exigen libertad de preso polìtico (Mural Chiapas, 19 de abril de 2016)

No pueden cerrar la voz: libertad para Alejandro Díaz Santis (Agencia SubVersiones, 10 de abril de 2016)

17 de Abril dia internacional de solidaridad con lxs presxs politicos (Europa Zapatista, 17 de abril de 2016)

Recibió CNDH mil 151 quejas en 2015 por falta de atención médica en penales (Proceso, 29 de marzo de 2016)

La crisis en las cárceles de México: 10 problemas urgentes sin atención (Animal Político, 13 de abril de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Exigen la liberación de Alejandro Díaz Santiz (11 de marzo de 2016)

Chiapas: Toman acuerdo Solidarios de la Voz del Amate para liberación de presos y reparación del daño (9 de febrero de 2016)

Chiapas: Jornada por la liberación de Alejandro Díaz Sántiz y Mumia Abu-Jamal (9 de noviembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Trasladan a Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, junto a 386 presos, a penal de alta seguridad (15 de septiembre de 2015)


Nestora Salgado Launches Campaign to Demand Release of Political Prisoners

April 7, 2016

Nestora.pngCall to the campaign. Photo: @Regeneración

On March 18 last, Nestora Salgado, commander of the Olinala Community Police, Guerrero, member of the Regional Coordinator of Communitty Authorities (CRAC in its Spanish acronym), was released after two years and eight months in prison. On leaving prison, Nestora called on the Government of Guerrero to release the nine members of CRAC who are still prisoners and assured that she would begin a campaign “for the freedom” of her compañeros. For April 10, International Day of Political Prisoners, she called for actions within the framework of the national campaign “Put a Face and Name on the Political Prisoners in Mexico”, to give visibility to the situation of prisoners and demand their release. She stated that, “We are missing 500 political prisoners and I’m going to fight to get them out. I am going to get the release of my compañeros. I will go wherever I have to because I am with you in your struggle and in all the struggles of the people.

Nestora added that only together will the citizens be able to achieve change, justice and the freedom of their compañeros and of those in the rest of the country. She intends to travel to other countries to “exhume what has been buried and give voice to the silenced.” According to El Sur newspaper, social organizations also denounced “the grave crisis of human rights in Mexico and the criminalization of those who defend territory, education, land, water, the air and life. For this reason they have called [on people] to join Salgado’s movement and international tour. “We are aware that Mexico is suffering the most ruthless attack by the interests of foreign capital. Currently the territories of indigenous peoples are pillaged and (their inhabitants) are being displaced from their lands through the violence of paramilitary groups, by organized crime, or the territory is being militarized by soldiers and the state police” as is outlined on the call.

It is worth noting that the social leader returned to her home in Seattle, USA. In Washington she visited the International Clinic of Human Rights of the Faculty of Law of Washington University, where she started the campaign. The clinic played an important role in the struggle for the Nestora’s release. During her stay in the US, the commander from Olinala plans to visit Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Washington. She intends to return to Guerrero soon as she is the representative of the Community Police and due to her post in CRAC.

For more information in Spanish:

Nestora Salgado convoca a campaña “Ponle rostro y nombre a las y los presos políticos en México” (Regeneración, 30 de marzo de 2016)

Nestora y los presos políticos de la CRAC (La Jornada, 29 de marzo de 2016)

Lanza Nestora Salgado una campaña para exigir la libertad de los presos políticos de México (El Sur, 28 de marzo de 2016)

Video de la campaña “Ponle rostro y nombre a las y los presos políticos en México” (YouTube, 25 de marzo de 2016)

Emprende Nestora Salgado campaña en EU por presos políticos (La Jornada, 22 de marzo de 2016)

“Nos faltan 500 presos políticos y yo voy a luchar por sacarlos”: Nestora Salgado (Aristegui Noticias, 18 de marzo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Nestora Salgado en libertad (18 de marzo de 2016)

Nacional/Guerrero: Exhorta ONU al gobierno mexicano a liberar a Nestora Salgado (24 de febrero de 2016)

Chiapas/Nacional: Jornada nacional e internacional por presos políticos del 6 al 13 de diciembre (15 de diciembre de 2015)

Guerrero: presos de la Policia Comunitaria “son presos políticos”, según general Gallardo (16 de julio de 2014)

Guerrero: Denuncian CRAC y habitantes de Papaxtla allanamientos violentos y decomisos (1 de junio de 2015)


National: Government rejects visit of UN Rapporteur for Torture

April 1, 2016

Tortura.png

Photo @ Desinformémonos

Having noted that torture is “a generalized practice in Mexico”, the Special Rapporteur for Torture of the United Nations Organization (UNO), Juan E. Mendez, has been denied a new visit to Mexico this year. The rapporteur sought a follow-up visit from September 2015, considering that his mandate finishes in October 2016. The government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores – SRE), rejected the request arguing that visits by other experts are already scheduled and he cannot be included before October when his mission ends. Later the SRE changed this version and said that “the visit cannot be agreed until the law against torture is approved by Congress.” Senator Angelica de la Peña Gomez recalled that last October, the President of the Republic, Enrique Peña Nieto, presented an initiative for a projected decree to expedite the General Law to Prevent and Sanction Crimes of Torture or other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatments and Punishments, which was criticized by other civil society organizations because “it doesn’t go far enough to eradicate this practice.” The senator stressed that “to eliminate the practice of torture in this country, its existence needs to be recognized first.”

It is worth remembering that in March 2015, Juan E. Mendez presented the report compiled after his visit to Mexico in April and May 2014, which was immediately disqualified by federal officials, who said it was “lacking professionalism and ethics.” Following the intervention of the expert, the Mexican Ambassador to the UN, Jorge Lomonaco, categorically denied his observations. “I can only reiterate that we do not share the view that torture is generalized in the country because it does not correspond to the reality”, Lomonaco claimed.

For more information in Spanish:

Se niega gobierno mexicano a recibir a Relator contra la Tortura de la ONU (Desinformémonos, 28 de marzo de 2016)

México aceptará al relator de la ONU contra la tortura hasta que el Congreso apruebe nueva ley: SRE (Eme Equis, 28 de marzo de 2016)

Gobierno de Peña Nieto rechaza visita del relator sobre tortura de la ONU (Aristegui Noticias, 26 de marzo de 2016)

Senado debe iniciar ya debate de Ley General contra la Tortura: Angelica de la Peña (El Sol de México, 16 de febrero de 2016)

Ley general contra la tortura (6 de febrero de 2016)

Relator especial alerta de tortura, malos tratos e impunidad en México (Centro de Información de las Naciones Unidas, 9 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Dudas de organismos de la sociedad civil por la iniciativa de Ley contra la Tortura (9 de febrero de 2016)

Chiapas: Gobierno de Chiapas niega investigar casos de tortura en sus penales (1 de octubre de 2015)

Nacional: 20 ONG critican el proceso para crear la Ley General contra la Tortura (7 de septiembre de 2015)

 

 


Guerrero: Nestora Salgado Free

March 22, 2016

Nestora.png

Nestora Salgado Garcia leaving prison. Photo: @Eduardo Miranda

After two years and seven months in detention, Nestora Salgado Garcia, who was a commander of the Community Police (la Policía Comunitaria – PC) in Olinala, Guerrero, has been released. Having obtained an order for formal release on the three main charges against her, last month she was informed that she was accused of three more charges: kidnapping, homicide, and theft. After an innocent ruling by judges on these accusations, she left prison in the PC uniform, in the company of relatives, community members and sympathizers.

It’s worth remembering that the commander was detained in August 2013 during a heavy-handed operation that included the participation of different police and army bodies. Following this, Salgado Garcia was imprisoned at the high security installation at Tepic, Nayarit, from where she was moved to the medical center at the Women’s Prison at Tepepan after a hunger strike demanding her freedom.

Since 2012, Olinala created its own Community Police after the appearance of organized crime and a lack of faith in the efficacy of the official justice system. It should be noted that the PC is based on ruling systems – the rules of traditional behavior which govern indigenous peoples in Guerrero – and are focused on the re-education of lawbreakers through community work as opposed to punishment and imprisonment. This system is recognized by the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (Organización Internacional del Trabajo – OIT), and Law 701 for Recognition, Rights and Culture of the Indigenous Peoples and Communities of the State of Guerrero.

After her release, Nestor declared that she would continue the struggle for the release of political prisoners in Guerrero and throughout Mexico. To do this, she called for the initiation of a campaign for the release of the estimated 500 people in the country denied their freedom for political reasons.

For more information in Spanish:

Liberan a Nestora Salgado, este viernes sale de prisión (Desinformémonos, 17 de marzo de 2016)

Nestora Salgado, libre (Proceso, 18 de marzo de 2016)

Nestora Salgado sale libre luego de dos años y medio en prisión (Animal Político, 18 de marzo de 2016)

Soy libre y es la libertad del pueblo”: Nestora Salgado (La Jornada, 18 de marzo de 2016)

“Yo soy la voz del pueblo”: Nestora Salgado llama a liberación de presos políticos (SDP Noticias, 18 de marzo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Tras órdenes de libertad, notifican otros tres cargos en contra de Nestora Salgado (17 de marzo de 2016)

Nacional/Guerrero: Exhorta ONU al gobierno mexicano a liberar a Nestora Salgado (24 de febrero de 2016)

Guerrero/Nacional: Nestora Salgado levanta su huelga de hambre (6 de junio de 2015)

 


Chiapas: Calls for release of Alejandro Diaz Santiz

March 19, 2016

Diaz Santiz.png

Press conference for the release of Alejandro Diaz Santiz, December 2015.
Photo @Red contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad

More than 70 organizations, collectives, networks, and individuals signed a statement demanding the release of Alejandro Diaz Santiz, who “has spent almost 17 years without seeing the open sky, locked up in different prisons in Veracruz and Chiapas.” The unjustly imprisoned 35-year-old Tsotsil indigenous was arrested in 1999, “accused of a murder he didn’t commit”, and moreover “didn’t speak Spanish at the time of his arrest, was tortured, never had access to an interpreter and didn’t have enough money for an adequate legal defense”, the statement claims. The prisoner, who is an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), and member of the prisoners’ collective Sympathizers of The Voice of Amate, has been organizing with others deprived of their freedom to denounce human rights violations inside the prisons and to seek justice in their cases. The members of the Sympathizers of the Voice of Amate have published many reports and organized actions, notably the 39-day hunger strike of 2011.

Currently Diaz Santiz is deprived of his liberty in the high security federal prison at Villa Comaltitlán, Tapachula, Chiapas. At this prison, “those sentenced for federal crimes are held, which is NOT the case of Alejandro Diaz.” The statement adds that, “the forced transfer to Villa Comaltitlán is political vengeance by the bad government against Alejandro, punishing him for supporting and raising the consciousness of the other prisoners and for not remaining silent in the face of abuses against those detained.” It also mentions that the state government did not fulfil its promise to release Diaz Santiz, as well as the fact that there are legal grounds to free him due to benefits he is legally entitled to. The statement ends with the demand for his immediate release and announcing upcoming activities and actions “so that this injustice ends.”

For more information in Spanish:

Chiapas: Toman acuerdo Solidarios de la Voz del Amate para liberación de presos y reparación del daño (9 de febrero de 2016)

Personas, colectivos y organizaciones exigen Libertad para Alejandro Diaz Santiz (Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todxs, 5 de marzo de 2016)

Piden libertad inmediata para tzotzil acusado de asesinato que no cometió (SDP Noticias, 9 de marzo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Jornada por la liberación de Alejandro Díaz Sántiz y Mumia Abu-Jamal (9 de noviembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Trasladan a Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, junto a 386 presos, a penal de alta seguridad (15 de septiembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz denuncia amenazas por parte del director del penal nº5 de San Cristóbal (17 de febrero de 2015)

Chiapas: nueva denuncia del preso Alejandro Díaz Santis al finalizar ayuno (24 de octubre de 2014)


Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia reports neglect of visual health

February 26, 2016

CERSS No. 5

CERSS NO.5, San Cristobal de Las Casas. Photo @ CGT Chiapas

On February 15, the unjustly imprisoned Roberto Paciencia Cruz publicly denounced loss of vision he is experiencing “from the blows of the torture I suffered in the installations of FECDO” during his detention. According to Paciencia, who has now been a prisoner for two years awaiting sentencing, “On September 24 last of the year 2015, they took me to hospital to an ophthalmologist, who prescribed spectacles.” He added that, “The director of the prison and the accountant told me that I would have to buy them, but unfortunately I am a poor prisoner and I don’t have the resources to buy them. For this reason I make this public denouncement. I blame the state for any complication that occurs.”

It is worth remembering that this prisoner, unjustly denied his freedom, has been denouncing the irregularities, such as lack of food, denial of visits, as well as his unjust detention and imprisonment, at the State Centre for Social Reintegration of Prisoners No. 5 (Centro Estatal de Reinserción Social de Sentenciados – CERSS- n°5) of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas. Furthermore, referring to the case, the state government promised to “release [Paciencia] as soon as possible in a period of less than a month after February 5 of this year” at the negotiating table with ex-prisoners, members of the organization Supporters of the Voice of Amate (Solidarios de La Voz de Amate), who are claiming for damages for their years of unjust imprisonment, along with the release of prisoners of conscience such as Roberto Paciencia Cruz and Alejandro Diaz Santis.

For more information in Spanish:

Roberto Paciencia exige su libertad (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 17 de febrero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Denuncia Roberto Paciencia escasez de alimentos y negación de visitas (27 de enero de 2016)

Chiapas: Preso de San Cristóbal, Roberto Paciencia, denuncia que le fabricaron su delito (28 de agosto de 2015)

Chiapas: Toman acuerdo Solidarios de la Voz del Amate para liberación de presos y reparación del daño (9de febrero de 2016)


Chiapas: Supporters of The Voice of Amate make agreement for freedom of prisoners and damages

February 9, 2016

Amate

Members of Supporters of The Voice of Amate in front of San Cristóbal de Las Casas Cathedral.

Photo: @Chiapas Denuncia Pública

On February 4 last, members of the ex-prisoners organization Supporters of The Voice of Amate, adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) released a message at a press conference of their demand for damages for having been unjustly deprived of their liberty. Those who were imprisoned for over a decade demanded that the state government “fulfills its promise to pay material damages and losses of goods and estate caused by the unjust imprisonments that we suffered with our families over a number of years.”

After the press conference they staged a sit-in in front of the San Cristobal de Las Casas Cathedral, where they remained until an agreement was signed with representatives of the State Government promising to meet the damages in staged payments, meeting the total by April 30 of this year at the latest. They announced the rest of the commitments on the part of the government through a communiqué, such as the liberation of Roberto Paciencia Cruz, unjustly imprisoned in the State Center for Social Reintegration (CERSS) No. 5, as well as finding a way to free Alejandro Diaz Santiz, member of The Voice of Amate, held at Villa Comaititan maximum security prison, near Tapachula, who is being immediately transferred to San Cristobal de Las Casas prison “as a sign of good will.”

For more information:

Expresos levantan plantón (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 8 de febrero de 2016)

Levantan ex reos indígenas plantón en la Plaza Catedral de San Cristóbal (La Jornada, 7 de febrero de 2016)

Expresos “solidarios de la Voz del Amate” continuarán su plantón (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 4 de febrero de 2016)

Comunicado de expresos solidarios de La Voz del Amate Adherentes a la Sexta (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 4 de febrero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Denuncia Roberto Paciencia escasez de alimentos y negación de visitas (27 de enero de 2016)

Chiapas: 11 aniversario de la fundación de La Voz del Amate (13 de enero de 2016)

Chiapas: Jornada por la liberación de Alejandro Díaz Sántiz y Mumia Abu-Jamal (9 de noviembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Trasladan a Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, junto a 386 presos, a penal de alta seguridad (15 de septiembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Liberan a 9 presos solidarios de la Voz del Amate, Patishtán seguirá encarcelado (5 de julio de 2013)

 


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