On October 5, members of Services and consultancies for peace (Serapaz), in representation of the Space of Civil Society Organizations for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (Espacio OSC), and the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ) visited 16 of the 18 prisoners of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (Cecop) and the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities – Community Police (CRAC PC), held in the prison of Las Cruces, in Acapulco, since January 7. They were accompanied by the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center, which has assumed the defense of said prisoners.
At a press conference outside the prison after the visit, Alberto Solís Castro, director of Serapaz stated that the struggle that has led the Cecop has been emblematic for the country: “they have resisted for more than 12 years the onslaught of different governments and faced unfair situations and repressions. What we are seeing is a new effort to criminalize them, to stop them and attack them, because they fight for the land, because they oppose a dam megaproject that would end the environment and a good part of community life in the region”. He reported that they will issue a recommendation to the state government to release the prisoners and stressed that at least eight cases of torture during detention were documented. The complaints on those case have not been addressed, despite visits by representatives of state and national human rights organizations. He announced that next week they will report this situation to the person that will be in charge of the Institute of Indigenous Peoples, Adelfo Regino; to the next head of the Welfare Ministry, as well as to Senators Félix Salgado Macedonio and Nestora Salgado García.
Tommy Van Straten, member of Sipaz, indicated that as an international organization with a presence in Guerrero since 2005, they are concerned about the mistreatment of the detainees. He said that in this visit they documented the cases of torture inside the jail and the differential treatment the prisonners have received, including the isolation of the rest of the prison population. He also highlighted the situation and traumas of the prisoners’ relatives.
For his part, Rogelio Téliz García, Tlachinollan’s lawyer, said that the defense process is progressing, that there will be a new hearing on October 26 where the prisonners are expected to be released, such as a group of eight community members already was. He pointed out that there are 50 arrest warrants against the same number of community members in Cacahuatepec who, he said, are being persecuted by the government. He said that this happens despite the fact that the Crac-PC is protected by Law 701.
For more information (in Spanish):
Visitan ONG a los presos del Cecop; documentan 8 casos de tortura (El Sur, 5 de octubre de 2018)
Documentan ONG 8 casos de tortura a presos del Cecop en Acapulco (Quadartín, 5 de octubre de 2018)
Visitan activistas a los presos del Cecop en la cárcel de Las Cruces (El Sur, 6 de octubre de 2018)
Visita una ONG internacional a miembros del Cecop y de la Crac (La Jornada de Guerrero, 6 de octubre de 2018)
Visita SIPAZ a los presos del Cecop y la CRAC PC (La Plaza, 6 de octubre de 2018)
For more information from SIPAZ :
Guerrero: 50 arrest warrants against members of CECOP (September 24, 2018)