Chiapas: CDHFBC denounces arbitrary kidnapping and lack of due process for BAEZLN

December 27, 2015

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In a bulletin published on 18 December, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) reported on the arbitrary kidnapping and lack of due process during the arrest of José Alfonso Cruz Espinosa, a support-base for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN). Since December 2012, the Good-Government Council “The Path of the Future” at La Garrucha (Caracol III, “Resistance for a New Dawn”), which administers the region to which Cruz Espinosa belongs, denounced the fabrication of charges against his person.

According to the CDHFBC, the BAEZLN was arrested on 10 November 2015 in Ocosingo by “police dressed in civilian clothes who did not identify themselves, specify the reason for arrest, or even show an arrest-order. They simply put him on a truck and transferred him to the command center of the specialized police in the center of the municipality.” After being incarcerated in the State Center for the Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced no. 16 El Encino (CERSS no. 16), he was transferred via helicopter the next day to the State Center for the Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced no. 14, El Amate.

The CDHFBC reported moreover that “at all times we were denied access to the detainee and our credentials as his counsel were also rejected. The State argued that he had already been transferred, which was untrue.” The CDHFBC added that “the charges placed against him are ecocide and looting due to the events that took place on 16 November 2012 […]. However, José Alfonso was not at the place of the incidents that took place that day.” The Center stressed as well that Cruz Espinoza was placed at the disposition of those judged for serious crimes, this despite the fact that none of the charges against him are serious. Bail was set for him at 136,122.96 pesos for both charges, being “an excessive amount that prevents bail from being posted,” as the CDHFBC noted. On 20 November, he was released with caution after bail was posted, such that the process in his case will continue.

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín: Privación Arbitraria de la Libertad y violación a garantías judiciales a Base de Apoyo del EZLN. (CDHFBC, 18 de diciembre de 2015)

Denuncia el Frayba la arbitraria detención de Alfonso Cruz Espinosa (La Jornada, 19 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Update regarding forced displacement of EZLN support bases belonging to the La Garrucha caracol (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: Forced displacement of EZLN support-bases belonging to La Garrucha caracol (29 August 2014)


Chiapas: Lawyer of the ejidal committee of those affected by the Chicoasén II dam arrested

November 19, 2015

(@Frayba)

(@Frayba)

On 21 October, state police arrested Arturo Ortega Luna, an activist opposed to the construction of the Chicoasén II hydroelectric dam and lawyer for the affected ejidatarios, “accused of the crime of mutiny following an investigation headed by the Chiapas Attorney General’s Office (PGJE).” This was the denunciation made by the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) in a communique from 23 October. The lawyer was arrested at a checkpoint in Tuxtla Gutierrez and is currently being held in the El Amate prison in the Cintalapa municipality. According to the communique, the penal denunciation was submitted by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), which “seeks to criminalize protest amidst the arbitrariness perpetuated by the federal and state governments.”

Arturo Ortega Luna has joined the defense of the ejidatarios to prevent the construction of the dam, which would affect more than 180 hectares of ejidal lands used for agricultural purposes by Zoque indigenous people. Ecologists have denounced that “the project will deteriorate and fragment the Grijalva River, this only to satisfy the energy demand of the eastern region of Mexico.” According to a bulletin published by the CDHFBC following a press conference on “Violations of agrarian rights and the judicialization of those affected by the Chicoasén II dam” on 27 October, “the ejidatarios affected by the Chicoasén dam have carried out various peaceful and legitimate actions to avoid the progression of the construction of the hydroelectric project that would affect their lands.” On 9 October, the ejidatarios won a legal motion before the Collegiate Tribunal that demanded the suspension of the existing construction plan, though this ruling has gone ignored to date. 52 individual legal motions in process remain pending, and all involve the detained lawyer. The CDHFBC has held that his arrest “is an act of criminalization and harassment that corresponds to his actions in defense of the lands amidst looting […] which if carried out would imply the displacement of dozens of families.” The ejidatarios are confronting harassment due to their defense of their agrarian rights, though there exist formal agreements that were signed in July 2015 whereby the Chiapas state government committed itself to not prosecute those who defend their agrarian rights.

For more information (in Spanish):

Criminalización a ejidatarios afectados por presa Chicoasén II (Frayba, 27 de octubre de 2015)

Violaciones de derechos agrarios y judicialización a afectados por la presa Chicoasén II (26 de octubre de 2015)

Exigen libertad inmediata a abogado de afectados por presa Chicoasen (Desinformémonos, 25 de octubre de 2015)

Aprehenden en Chiapas a activista opositor a la presa Chicoasén II (La Jornada, 24 de octubre de 2015)

Detienen a abogado del Comité Ejidal de afectados por la presa Chicoasen (Frayba, 23 de octubre de 2015)

Encarcelan a abogado defensor de indígenas opositores a la presa Chicoasén II (Tiempo y Forma, 23 de octubre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: International socio-environmental seminar, the Open Veins of Contemporary Chiapas (12 November 2013)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER and EDUCA present report on “Paso de la Reina” (19 July 2013)

Chiapas: the International Day against Dams is celebrated (24 March 2012)

 


Chiapas: Salvadorean migrant denounces human-rights violations

July 23, 2015

@ChiapasDenunciaPública

@ChiapasDenunciaPública

On 17 July, an open letter was published on the Chiapas Public Denunciation webpage, authored by Alejandro, a Salvadorean migrant who finds himself “in prison #14, El Amate, in Chiapas State, since 3 April 2014, accused of the crime of damages against health in transport.”

In his letter, Alejandro relates how he was arrested as he was driving the car in which he works. He was thereafter kidnapped, tortured, and subjected to extortion by Mexican State agents, he claims, and finally transferred to the Amate prison, where he was formally charged with damages against health via kidnapping. In the letter, Alejandro observes that “I am unjustly being held, as I did not commit this crime. On 1 April 2014 I was intercepted by a vehicle without license at the entrance of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, on the highway to Chiapa del Corzo. Said vehicle carried five individuals, three up front and two in back. Upon overtaking me, the three subjects riding in the front blocked my exit, raised their firearms against me, and told me I was under arrest. Another subject then got out of the truck, identifying himself as commander of the Federal Ministerial Police. He ordered me to be taken from the taxi, as my job is to be a taxi-driver, and then one of them opened the driver-seat door and removed me violently, all the while pointing guns at me.”

The Salvadorean migrant affirms that he is being held in El Amate for “a crime that I did not commit. I am ill, and I have problems with my knees, as well as high blood pressure, all of this as a result of the tortures carried out by men who take advantage of their authority to invent charges and so justify their work, or to incarcerate innocent persons instead of actual criminals […]. I request protection for my family, since, if these men are capable of inventing crimes, what else can be expected of them?”

For more information (in Spanish):

Migrante salvadoreño denuncia fabricación de delito, tortura, encarcelamiento y extorsión (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 17 de julio de 2015)

Migrante salvadoreño denuncia fabricación de delito, tortura, encarcelamiento y extorsión (Regeneración, 18 de julio de 2015)


Chiapas: Sit-in, hunger-strike, suturing of lips, and simulated crucifixion for the release of Florentino Gómez Girón

December 15, 2014

Foto @ Raúl Vera/Chiapas Paralelo

Photo @ Raúl Vera/Chiapas Paralelo

Since 10 November, relatives of Florentino Gómez Girón (who has been held in the no. 14 prison of El Amate in Cintalapa since 1 May, on the charge of robbing cattle) and members of the “Ricardo Flores Magón” Popular Front have maintained a sit-in before the Chiapas state-congress in Tuxtla Gutiérrez to demand the release of Gómez Girón. Some days later, after having denounced “governmental indifference” and suffered police harassment and the threat of displacement using public force, those who comprised the sit-in began a hunger strike, sutured their lips, and participated in a mock crucifixion before the congress.

Filemón Gómez reported that the health of seven of the ten hunger strikes has declined, adding that they are presenting fluctuations in blood pressure, weakness of the extremities, nausea, dizziness, risk of infection, and gangrenous symptoms due to the sutures.  In this way, she added that protestors had had no contact with state authorities to address the case.

Juana Gómez, daughter to Florentino, mentioned that her father was arrested in Tuxtla Gutiérrez after a teachers’ march by two persons dressed in civilian clothes.  He was neither accused of any crime nor provided any evidence of having done so, and to date, no convincing evidence implicating Florentino Gómez has been revealed.  Furthermore, she affirmed that he was targeted for his political activism.

For more information (in Spanish):

Se crucifican indígenas en el Congreso de Chiapas (Milenio, 2 de diciembre de 2014)

Debilita ayuno a seguidores de líder preso en Chiapas (Imparcial Chiapas, 2 de diciembre de 2014)

Ante indiferencia gubernamental, mujeres de Chiapas se costuran los labios (Chiapas Paralelo, 27 de noviembre de 2014)

Familiares de presos político inician huelga de hambre para exigir su libertad (Chiapas Paralelo, 19 de noviembre de 2014)

Policías de Chiapas detienen al activista Florentino Gómez (Proceso, 1 de mayo de 2014)


Chiapas: Denunciation of torture for 3 arrested members of the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido

October 1, 2014

Conferencia de prensa, 24 septiembre 2014 @ SIPAZ

Press conference, 24 September 2014 @ SIPAZ

On 16 September, three indigenous persons from the Virgen de Dolores community located within the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido were arrested by municipal police of Chilón, being adherents to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle.  Those arrested denounced having suffered torture and cruel and inhumane treatment toward the end of having them confess under compulsion to the crimes with which they had been charged.

The indigenous persons of Bachajón indicated that the operation was a revenge attack, given that one of the police who arrested the three Tseltales is a close friend of Sebastián Méndez Hernández, who is imprisoned in the El Amate jail for having participated in the murder of the indigenous man Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano on 21 March 2014.  On this occasion, the residents of Virgen de Dolores captured the murderous police officer and handed him over to the authorities, such that they claim that this fabrication of crimes (torture and kidnapping) is in reality vengeance from the municipal police.  Beyond this, one of the arrested is a brother to Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano.

In the end, a judge from Ocosingo assigned a bail of 300,000 pesos to each of the detainees.  This is an amount that is impossible to cover, given the economic situation of those arrested.

For more information (in Spanish):

Información urgente de Comunidad Virgen de Dolores‏ (Blog Viva Bachajón, 20 de septiembre de 2014)

Denuncia del Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón (Enlace Zapatista, 29 de septiembre de 2014)

Boletín: Tortura a indígenas tseltales Adherentes a la Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

Denuncian tortura tres prozapatistas presos en Chilón (Proceso, 19 de septiembre de 2014)

Denuncian captura y desaparición de tres tseltales en Chilón (Chiapas Paralelo, 17 de septiembre de 2014)

Fijan fianza de $300mil pesos a detenidos de La Sexta Bachajón (Koman Ilel, 18 de septiembre de 2014)

Denuncian agresión de policías a tres ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón (La Jornada, 18 de septiembre de 2014)

Torturan a los tres indígenas tzeltales reportados como desaparecidos en Chilón, Chiapas (Somos el Medio, 20 de septiembre de 2014)


Chiapas: AI concerned for security and health of imprisoned activist Adela Gómez

October 25, 2013

© proceso

© proceso

On 15 August, federal and municipal police arrested Adela Gómez Martínez and her partner Noé Hernández Caballero without presenting any arrest-order at all.  The two now find themselves in the Center for the Social Reinsertion of the Imprisoned no. 14 (CERSS No. 14) in El Amate, Cintalapa.

Toward the end of September, Amnesty International (AI) pronounced itself on the case, indicating that its “concern that her imprisonment could signify a reprisal for her activism. Adela Gómez Martínez and Noé Hernández Caballero are members of the National Organization for People’s Power (ONPP), an activist base organization founded in 2006.  On 8 August, the ONPP and another political organization from Chiapas organized a march that occupied an international bridge to demand action on the part of the state government.  On the day of teh arrests, the authorities canceled a meeting with Noé Hernández Caballero and Adela Gómez and presented charges of disturbances and extortion against both, presumably in connection with the 8 August protest.”

AI reports that “Adela Gómez has not received adequate medical attention during her imprisonment, despite suffering a serious chronic illness that affects her bones and requires specialized medical treatment.  She also suffers from a second-grade burn in the left hand from before her arrest, and AI calls on the authorities to guarantee that, while she remains imprisoned, Adela Gómez Martínez receives the necessary medical attention.”

Lastly, AI requested an exhaustive, immediate, and impartial investigation regarding the arrest and the denunciations of abuse and death-threats to which she has been subjected in jail.

On 26 September, the Fray Bartolome Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) pronounced itself on the case, indicating that it “responds to a pattern of criminalization and judicialization of social protest in Chiapas, where once again justice responds to interests which transcend the juridical sphere.”

For more information (in Spanish):
Preocupa a Amnistía Internacional seguridad y estado de salud de activista detenida en Chiapas,  Amnistia Internacional, 26 de septiembre de 2013

Exigen liberación de Adela Gómez, activista presa en Chiapas, Proceso, 1 de octubre de 2013

Criminalización de la protesta social práctica recurrente en Chiapas, CDHFBDC, 26 de septiembre de 2013

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: State police arbitrarily arrest ONPP members 16 September 2013


Chiapas: strikes and denunciations from several prisons of the state

February 8, 2012

El Amate (@escrutiniopublico.blogspot.com)

On 11 January, dozens of prisoners being held in the state prison El Amate in Cintalapa carried out a protest inside the CERSS 14 toward the end of demanding better conditions for those incarcerated there, including better quality of food, medical services, and respectful treatment of their visitors.  In accordance with information from the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights (Limeddh), all those protesting dressed in white, concentrating themselves in the “plaza” of the prison, and carried out a one-day hunger strike.

Two days later, those held in CERSS 17 in Playas de Catazaja also carried out a hunger strike and a peaceful sit-in to demand better conditions.  They demand the sacking of the director due to the prison conditions under which prevail harassment and sexual violence against families who visit.  They detail that “We undertook a peaceful hunger-strike because we are afraid that the director will transfer us, and the demand we have is that he be removed from office.  Beyond this, he violates our rights and oversees that the revision of those who visit us be drastic: they review them, disrobe them, and touch them all over.  Moreover 5 or 6 days ago, there was a group of prisoners who are Maras Salvatruchas no. 18; they beat 3 comrades, and half of the population was restricted to one area.  The director now wants to introduce this to the interior.”

For more information (in Spanish):

– Denuncia La Voz del Amate la grave situación de prisioneros indígenas considerados políticos (La Jornada, 13 January 2012)

– Presos del Amate se manifiestan en contra de condiciones deplorables en prisión (Boletín de prensa de la Limeddh, 13 January 2012

– En Huelga Presos en Playas Catazaja: denuncian hostigamiento y violencia sexual (denuncia pública, 13 January 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: End of hunger strike (14 November 2011)

Chiapas: Two more prisoners join the hunger strike; concentration of family-members at sit-in (4 November 2011)

Chiapas: National and international support for Patishtán and the prisoners fasting and on hunger strike (26 October 2011)

Chiapas: Prisoners fasting and on hunger strike (4 October 2011)