Chiapas/National: National and international day for political prisoners, from 6 to 13 December

December 26, 2015

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From 6 to 13 December was held a national and international action in solidarity with political prisoners in Mexico and the world. In recent dates, the Network against Repression and for Solidarity (RvsR) called for a national meeting with adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, students from the Zapatista Escuelita, communities, groups, and organizations in solidarity, toward the end of developing accords and tasks to “continue the struggle for the freedom of our comrade political prisoners.” From this National Meeting of the RvsR for Our Political Prisoners and the Eurozapatista Meeting of Barcelona came the call for this week of action that seeks to build bridges of dialogue with all those who “also build from their spaces places for struggle, because the struggle for our comrade political prisoners is not something to forget, but instead is a basic act of justice.” The action called on adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, students from the Zapatista Escuelita, communities, groups, and organizations in solidarity to carry out actions “in solidarity and camaradery with our friends taken by power.”

The action served to commemorate the men and women who have been politically imprisoned in Chiapas, Mexico City, Tlanixco (Mexico State), Guerrero, Michoacán, Oaxaca, and the U.S. whom the “capitalist system seeks to eliminate, using tools of isolation and forgetting.” This was accomplished through different events, meetings, expositions, murals, chats, flyers, performances, and conferences throughout Mexico and the world.

Presently, Chiapas has four political prisoners who adhere to the Sixth Declaration: Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, Emilio Jiménez Gómez, Esteban Gómez Jiménez, and Santiago Moreno Pérez. The families, ex-prisoners, friends, and comrades of Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, a Tsotsil indigenous man and a “struggling prisoner” who adheres to the Sixth Declaration, held a press-conference on 14 December regarding his case and transfer on 10 September to the Federal Center for Social Readaptation (CEFERESO) in Villa de Comamtitlán, Chiapas. At the press-conference, which took place at the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, the relatives, “ex-prisoners, friends, and comrades” of Alejandro denounced that “he finds himself in isolation, with a very limited ability to communicate with the outside […]. He is held all day in his cell, with only 30 minutes outside, without access to readings, photographs, and much less correspondence. Neither does he enjoy any right to an education, nor does he have access even to paper and pencils.”

In its communique, the RvsR reaffirmed its “commitment to not giving up the struggle for a world without political prisoners, repression, marginalization, exploitation, or plundering: in sum, for a world that is just, free, and democratic.” Besides, amidst the power of the “Capitalist Hydra that uses repression as one of its basic pillars, we are not intimidated, but rather we will learn how to respond with organization, rebellion, and resistance.”

For more information (in Spanish):

JORNADA NACIONAL E INTERNACIONAL POR NUESTR@S PRES@S DEL 6 AL 13 DE DICIEMBRE (Red Contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

Jornada Nacional e Internacional por Nuestr@s Pres@s del 6 al 13 de diciembre (Enlace Zapatista, 2 de diciembre de 2015)

Presos Políticos (Red contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad)

Jornada por Nuestr@s Pres@s: Audios y Videos (Radio Zapatista, 8 de diciembre de 2015)

Red Contra la Represión: Actividades dentro de la Jornada Nacional e Internacional por Nuestr@s Pres@s y pláticas con familiares de Nuestr@s Pres@s (Enlace Zapatista, 12 de diciembre de 2015)

“No olvidamos a los hombres y mujeres que el sistema capitalista pretende eliminar, bajo sus instituciones de aislamiento y de olvido”, jornada x pres@s polític@s. (Radio Pozol, 14 de diciembre)

Los presos del Ejido de San Sebastián Bachajón, del municipio de Chilón. (6 de diciembre, Kolectivo Zero)

Alejandro Díaz Santiz (Kolectivo Zero, 8 de diciembre de 2015)

Sin acceso a lecturas, imágenes, correspondencia y con visitas cada 15 días, mantienen preso injustamente a indígena tzeltal en Chiapas. (Radio Pozol, 15 de diciembre de 2015)

Pronunciamiento de Solidaridad y comunicado de los familiares y amigxs de Alejandro Diaz Santiz (Espoir Chiapas, 15 de diciembre de 2015)

Álvaro Sebastián (8 de diciembre de 2015, Subversiones)

Audio del mitin de solidaridad con Ostula y por la Libertad de Semei Verdia Comandante Comunitario.Casa de Michoacan en DF (Noticias de Abajo ML, 14 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and 386 other prisoners transferred to high-security prison (8 October 2015)

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz expresses his solidarity with the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa and their families (30 December 2014)

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Chiapas: Day of action for the release of Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and Mumia Abu-Jamal

November 21, 2015

Evento por la liberación de Alejandro Díaz Sántiz y Mumia Abu-Jamal. Foto: @Sipaz.

Event for the release of Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and Mumia Abu-Jamal. Photo: @Sipaz.

On 7 November there was held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas an event for the release of political prisoners Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and Mumia Abu-Jamal. The event was organized by the “We Are Not All Present” Work Group (GTNET), together with the participation of relatives of prisoners who organize to affirm their rights in different Chiapas-state penitentiaries. At the event, there was read several communiques and an art-making activity was installed to express support for the liberation of both prisoners.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is a U.S. journalist and former member of the Black Panther Party. He was incarcerated in 1982, accused of having murdered a police officer, though there is no evidence for this, and indeed considering testimony from witnesses who have come forward to declare that they were pressured into holding him responsible for the killing. Mumia was condemned by the judge “who is known to have condemned more Blacks to death than any other judge in the U.S.,” according to Nodo 50, in a country gripped by racism. During his 33 years in prison, Mumia has written nine books and produced more than 2,000 radio addresses. In March of this year, Mumia suffered serious health problems that were caused by a diabetic crisis, as the administration had denied him the necessary medical treatment. At present, he is slowly recovering.

Alejandro Díaz Santiz is an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle issued by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), being the only member of those in solidarity with the Voz del Amate who continues behind bars. Incarcerated since 1999, “he has not given up and while in prison he politicized himself and organized […] by participating in hunger strikes. To date, he has lent his voice to denounce the abuses that the authorities commit in the prison,” notes the GTNET. On 10 September, Alejandro was transferred without warning to the Federal Center for Social Reinsertion (CEFERESO) in Villa Comaltitlán, close to Tapachula. GTNET theorizes that “this forcible transfer is political vengeance from the bad government against Alejandro, punished for having supported and raising the consciousness of other prisoners. This brutal way of changing one’s prison, after having remained many years in the same place, is psycho-physical torture because it distances the prisoner from his family and network of friends.”

During the event, the conditions experienced at the state and national levels were also denounced, given that, according to a report from the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), “there is at present a 25.4% over-crowding of the prisons,” meaning that Mexican prisons hold more than 51,000 people beyond their capacity. In this way, the third visitor general of the CNDH argued that the crowding of prisons “is the result of the unmitigated use of imprisonment” amidst “excessive penal sentences,” leading to “violence, torture, abuse, and lamentable states of health and hygiene.”

For more information (in Spanish):

En Solidaridad con Alejandro Díaz Sántiz: nos organizamos contigo (CGT Chiapas, 9 de noviembre de 2015)

México: Jornada por la libertad de Alejandro Diaz Santiz y Mumia Abu Jamal (Amigos de Mumia México, 6 de noviembre de 2015)

México: Expresiones de solidaridad por Alejandro Díaz Santiz, preso injustamente y trasladado a un penal de máxima seguridad (Kaos en la Red, 16 de sepiembre)

Nuevo penal viola garantías de chiapanecos; “Velasco no quiere contradecir a su jefe EPN”: abogado (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 14 de abril de 2015)

El negocio del nuevo penal de Chiapas:”cualquier capo podrá pagar para tener menos vigilancia” (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 15 de abril de 2015)

El Estado hace uso excesivo de las cárceles: CNDH; hay un 25.4% de sobrepoblación, alerta (Sin Embargo, 14 de octubre de 2015)

La historia de Mumia (Nodo 50, sin fecha)

El lento asesinato de Mumia Abu-Jamal (Ojarasca, abril de 2015)

Carta abierta por la vida, salud y libertad de Mumia Abu-Jamal (SubVersiones, 14 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and 386 other prisoners transferred to high-security prison (8 October 2015)

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz expresses his solidarity with the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa and their families (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: new denunciation from prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis upon concluding fast (26 October 2014)

Chiapas: Prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis fasting to demand justice (11 October 2014)

Chiapas: 13 days of fasting and praying by Alejandro Díaz Santís to demand his release (14 July 2014)

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz announces 10-day hunger strike to protest 15 years’ imprisonment (May 16, 2014)

Chiapas: day of fasting and prayer for Alejandro Díaz on International Political Prisoners’ Day (29 April 2014)

 


Chiapas: Chiapas state government refuses to investigate claims of torture in its prisoners

October 10, 2015

(@alainet.org)(@alainet.org)

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) and the Collective against Torture and Impunity (CCTI) have denounced obstructions in the documentation and application of the Istanbul Protocol, which is recognized by Mexico as a means of avoiding the use of torture. Between 21 and 25 September, the government inhibited the entrance of two independent investigations into the Istanbul Protocol and members of the CCTI, as accompanied by Frayba personnel, in three state Centers for the Social Reinsertion (CERSS), so as to complete documentation and application work. Previously, eleven prisoners had denounced torture during their detention or within the Chiapas prisons—being in the majority indigenous. Those releasing this information presented different levels of harm with regard to their physical and mental health due to lack of medical and psychological attention, especially when in urgent need. Another aspect that left many indigenous prisoners more vulnerable has been the lack of adequate interpretation, both in their judicial processes, as in the prisons proper.

Despite the efforts made by the CCTI and Frayba to meet with several authorities regarding the denunciations that have emerged, these officials denied the experts access to the prisons. For Gilberto Hernández from Frayba, “this way of acting corresponds to an interest of maintaining impunity and avoiding all forms of investigation.” Among the prisoners who went to visit the experts was included Alejandro Díaz Santiz from the Voz del Amate collective, who on repeated occasions has denounced the miserable conditions faced by his comrades held in the CERSS. After his declarations, he was transferred on 11 September from the prison no. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to a new Federal Center for Social Reinsertion (CEFERESO) no. 15 in Villa Comaltitlán, being a maximum-security prison. According to the information from the “We Are Not All Present” Workgroup (GTNET), this forcible transfer “is political vengeance from the bad government against Alejandro, who has been punished for supporting and raising the consciousness of other prisoners.”

Within the context in which the General Law on Torture is being discussed, the Chiapas state authorities have failed to express their interest in investigating acts of torture among prisoners, and so to provide greater credibility in terms of the protection of human rights of torture survivors.

For more information (in Spanish):

Presos denuncian malos tratos, discriminación e injusticias (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 29 de septiembre de 2015)

Niega gobierno de Chiapas investigar casos de tortura en sus penales (Desinformémonos, 28 de septiembre de 2015)

Gobierno de Chiapas obstruye la documentación de violaciones a los Derechos Humanos (Pozol, 25 de septiembre de 2015)

Indígena tsotsil es trasladado a penal de máxima seguridad, pese a “compromiso” de Velasco por obtener su libertad (Pozol, 13 de septiembre de 2015)

De la tortura al protocolo de Estambul (Amnistía Internacional, 9 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and 386 other prisoners transferred to high-security prison (8 October 2015)

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz expresses his solidarity with the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa and their families (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: new denunciation from prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis upon concluding fast (26 October 2014)


Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and 386 other prisoners transferred to high-security prison

October 8, 2015

Foto de archivo @ Revolución Tres Punto CeroArchive photo @ Revolución Tres Punto Cero

In the morning of 10-11 September, the political prisoner Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, being held at Jail No. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, being a member of the Voz del Amate and an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, was transferred together with 386 other prisoners from 13 state jails to the Federal Center for Social Reinsertion (CEFERESO) No. 15 in Villa Comaltitlán, close to the city of Tapachula. According to the Diario del Sur and other media, despite the risks posed to the prisoners due to ongoing construction at the CEFERESO, located on unstable ground, and the intense popular mobilizations opposed to the construction of the prison, the unit opened its door just days before the mass-transfer. It is capable of holding 2,500 prisoners. According to the “We Are Not All Present” Work Group (GTNET), the transfer was carried out by more than 2,000 police. During the operation, “high-risk” prisoners were prioritized for transfer, a claim that the GTNET characterized as “political vengeance from the bad government against Alejandro, punished for having supported and raising the consciousness of other prisoners,” given that Alejandro had carried out a work in favor of the defense of human rights within the prison’s walls. The GTNET indicated that “during this transfer the laws and codes of the proper System were violated, for Alejandro Díaz’s crime is not federal, and his life in prison cannot be considered as justifying the label of ‘high-risk.’”

Beyond this, prisoners from the San Cristóbal, including Roberto Paciencia Cruz, Lucio Hernandez Patishtán, and Juan de la Cruz Ruíz, have denounced the transfer and called on the “independent state organizations, national and international, to add your voices to our demand for the return of our comrade in struggle to this center.”

Beyond this, Alejandro Díaz, while on a 13-day hunger strike in July 2015, recalled Chiapas Governor Manuel Velasco Coello that he had two years prior committed himself to “finding those means or links with the authorities from Veracruz to obtain my release, a promise which to date” he has not observed. “Once again I ask the governor to fulfill his word.”

For more information (in Spanish):

El negocio del nuevo penal de Chiapas:”cualquier capo podrá pagar para tener menos vigilancia” (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 15 de abril de 2015)

Trasladan a reos a nuevo penal (Diario del Sur, 11 de septiembre de 2015)

Presos injustos del CERESO 5 denuncian traslado de Alejandro Diaz Santiz, Solidario de la Voz del Amate (Koman Ilel, 10 de septiembre de 2015)

Indígena tsotsil es trasladado a penal de máxima seguridad, pese a “compromiso” de Velasco por obtener su libertad (Pozol Colectivo, 13 de septiembre de 2015)

Pronunciamiento del Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todxs “La lucha en las cárceles sigue“ (CGT Chiapas, 12 de septiembre de 2015)

Desde Europa: Solidaridad con Alejandro Diaz Santiz y los 400 presos que fueron trasladados a las prisiones de máxima seguridad (CGT Chiapas, 15 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz expresses his solidarity with the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa and their families (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: new denunciation from prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis upon concluding fast (26 October 2014)


Chiapas: Polluted water given to prisoners at Prison No. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

June 29, 2015

Foto @ Chiapas Paralelo

Photo @ Chiapas Paralelo

Alejandro Díaz Santiz, currently held in Prison No. 5 of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, who is organized in solidarity with the Voz del Amate and adheres to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, has called on the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) and the State Commission on Human Rights (CEDH) to intervene within the prevailing situation of lack of potable water being consumed in the institution. He denounced that the water comes from a deteriorated cistern that contains fissures, such that sewage from the prison enter. He postulated this as being the reason for diarrheal and dermatological diseases.

The promise made by director Pascual Martínez Cervantes is that he will resolve this problem; however, this problem has existed for a long time, and we have seen an increasing trend of more ill prisoners,” he explained to Chiapas Paralelo. He added that within the prison purified water is sold, but the prisoners lack the means with which to buy it.

For more information (in Spanish):

Reos del penal de San Cristóbal consumen agua contaminada, piden intervención de CNDH (Chiapas Paralelo, 15 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz expresses his solidarity with the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa and their families (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: new denunciation from prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis upon concluding fast (26 October 2014)

Chiapas: Prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis fasting to demand justice (11 October 2014)

Chiapas: 13 days of fasting and praying by Alejandro Díaz Santís to demand his release (14 July 2014)


Chiapas: Denunciation of death threats in Prison No. 5 of San Cristóbal

December 8, 2013

Imagen @ CGT Chiapas

Image @ CGT Chiapas

Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, prisoner in solidarity with the Voz del Amate, who continues to be held in Prison No. 5 of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, made public a denunciation on 28 November regarding the situation of the prisoner Miguel Antonio López Santiago, who on 19 November initiated a hunger strike to demand justice and freedom.  “During the 10 days he has been [on hunger strike], he has only received death-threats and psychological torture from the Lobo group [Wolf], the chief of security Juan Gabriel Soberano Pimentel, saying that they will force him to eat if he does not cancel his protest.”  He continues: “with this we ask that his rights be respected, because each prisoner has the right to protest insofar as that be peaceful.”

For his part, Alejandro Díaz called on state governor Manuel Velasco Coello to observe his commitment to find a means of connecting with the authorities of Veracruz to obtain freedom for Díaz Sántiz, “but to date no response has been had.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia de Alejandro, Solidario de la Voz del Amate (CGT Chiapas, 28 de noviembre de 2013)


Chiapas: Global action to demand the release of Alberto Patishtán and justice for political prisoners

August 20, 2013

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From the San Cristóbal de las Casas prison, professor Alberto Patishtán has called for global action on 21 August “to demonstrate against unjust incarceration of political prisoners, but also the common prisoners who [are incarcerated] for being indigenous and poor.  Justice in Mexico is bloodied by us.”

Alberto Patishtán, member of the Voz del Amate, an organization of prisoners who adhere to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, has spent 13 years imprisoned on the charge of having participated in a massacre of police in 2000.  Teachers from the first Collegiate Tribunal of the Twentieth Circuit in Tuxtla Gutiérrez are expected soon to review his case.  The action for 21 August will call for his release, as for that of Alejandro Díaz Santíz, Antonio Estrada Estrada, and Miguel Demeza Jiménez, prisoners who similarly adhere to the Sixth Declaration.

The call to global action for 21 August has been supported by the Abejas of Acteal, the Movement of the People of El Bosque (the municipality of Patishtan’s origin), and collectives associated with the Sixth Declaration, all of which agree that he is being held “for having organized his people in El Bosque against the corruption of the mayor; for this reason and due to the vengeance of the authorities, they invent a federal crime and sentence him unjustly to 60 years’ imprisonment.”

The invitation calls for the realization of “peaceful actions everywhere, with the slogan ‘In Chiapas we are missing four.'”  On this day, there will also be held a pilgrimage in Tuxtla Gutiérrez to the Palace for Federal Justice, in which will participate the Believing People of the Tsotsil zone (a process which pertains to the diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas).

For more information (in Spanish):

Patishtán convoca acción mundial para demandar justicia a presos políticos (La Jornada, 7 de agosto de 2013)

Convocatoria del profesor Patishtán (Alberto Patishtán, 4 de agosto de 2013)

Convocatoria del Movimiento del Pueblo del Bosque, Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, Colectivos y Adherentes a La Sexta a la acción del 21 de agosto de 2013

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 9 prisoners in solidarity with the Voz del Amate released, but Patishtán will remain imprisoned (20 July 2013)

Chiapas: March in Cerss no. 5 of San Cristóbal de Las Casas for prisoner Rosario Méndez (5 March 2013)

Chiapas: New sentence of 25 years for Rosario Díaz Méndez (5 February 2013)

Chiapas: Pilgrimage by the Believing People for the release of professor Alberto Patishtan (23 April 2013)

Chiapas: Petition from the CDHFBC to release Alberto Patishtán (15 April 2013)