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

October 10, 2015


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: 4 prisoners are freed in Chiapas

February 25, 2009

On February 23, 3 prisoners, who are members of the “Voz de los Llanos”, and 1 prisoner from “La Voz de Amate” were liberated. According to the communiqué released by the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolome de las Casas (Frayba), which has worked on the case of the prisoners, Agustín Rodríguez Jímenez and Diego Rodríguez Hernández, who were incarcerated in the State Center for the Social Rehabilitation of Prisoners (CERSS) No. 5, were liberated under early release, while Tiburcio Gómez Pérez remains under house arrest waiting the final judgment. José Pérez Pérez, member of the organization “La Voz de Amate” in the CERSS No. 14 in the municipality of Cintalapa, was freed by having his sentence suspended.

Only days earlier, on February 18 Miguel Gómez Gómez, member of “La Voz de Amate”, was liberated after his innocence was proved in civil court, and his sentence was absolved.

It is important to remember that professor Alberto Patishtan Gómez (member of “La Voz de Amate” and incarcerated since June of 2000) remains in prison in the CERSS No. 14. Because his case is in federal court, his legal situation will have to follow a different process. Alberto Patishtan remains in fasting and prayer demanding that he be liberated and his innocence recognized.

For More Information (In Spanish):

Obtienen su libertad cuatro personas presas, boletín, Frayba (24/02/2009)

Miguel Gómez Gómez demuestra su inocencia en juicio y obtiene su libertad, boletín, Frayba (18/02/2009)

Chiapas: Marcelino Díaz González of “La Voz del Amate” released

October 17, 2008

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas) reported the release on 15 October, 2008, of Marcelino Díaz González, member of “La Voz del Amate”, an inmate organization and adherent to the Other Campaign based out of the State Center for the Social Reinsertion of Sentenced Prisoners (CERSS, Centro Estatal de Reinserción Social de Sentenciados) No. 14 “El Amate” in Cintalapa, Chiapas.

Marcelino Díaz González, born 2 June, 1980, from San Pedro Nixtal Uk’um, in the municipality of El Bosque, was a member of the campesina organization USISON and later became an adherent to the Other Campaign. He was detained 3 October, 2001 by the State Judicial Police (Policía Judicial del Estado) without an arrest warrant. According to Díaz’s testimony he suffered threats, beatings, and maltreatment such as the placement of a plastic bag over his head as well as being shut in a freezer for 12 hours. He was held under an administrative arrest (arraigo) for 30 days in an unofficial arraigo house, the Hotel Safari in Tuxtla Gutiérrez (no longer used to house individuals under arraigo).

The following link contains excerpts from an interview with members of “La Voz del Amate” (Spanish)

Audios de la conferencia de prensa por la liberación de un integrante de La Voz del Amate (Frayba, 15/10/2008)


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