Guerrero: demand for release of political prisoners in observance of the eleventh anniversary of CECOP

September 2, 2014

Marcha del CECOP, 18 de agosto de 2014 (@Tlachinollan)CECOP march, 18 August 2014 (@Tlachinollan)

On 15 August, in observance of the eleventh anniversary of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota Dam (CECOP), thousands of campesin@s marched in Acapulco together with members of national and state social organizations, making for a mobilization in which nearly 3000 persons particiapted. The principal demand of the protestors was to demand the release of one of CECOP’s spokespeople, Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz, who was arrested last June. In parallel terms, protestors demanded justice in the case of the other political prisoners of the state, such as Julio Ventura Ascencio and Emilio Hernández Solís, also CECOP members, in addition to the commanders of the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC): Nestora Salgado, Arturo Campos, and Gonzalo Molina.

Abel Barreara Hernández, director of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, assured that the transfer of Marco António Suástegui to the federal prison in Tepic, Nayarit, was “illegal,” affirming that “we seek to show to the bosses of criminalization that they are imposing themselves on the state and the country in transferring comrades who are communal defenders, like Marco Antonio, to federal prisons and to isolate them in places where it is impossible for relatives to have contact with them, for lawyers to implement an adequate defense, and for the comrade himself to avoid greater vulnerability through isolation.”

Ignacio del Valle, director of the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land of Atenco, declared at the event that “we are here because it is necessary to unify our resistance efforts. It is enough of this form of governance; we have had enough of the imposition of these projects that have nothing to do with the necessities that are priorities for our peoples […]. We came to tell you that you are not alone, that what is happening here is not an isolated case, given that both in Guerrero as in other parts of Mexico, we are obliged to say enough to the looting of territory.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Marchan cientos en Acapulco; exigen liberar al vocero del Cecop (La Jornada, 16 de agosto de 2014)

Marchan Cecop y ONG en Acapulco; exigen liberar a Suástegui Muñoz (La Jornada de Guerrero, 16 de agosto de 2014)

Marchan organizaciones, pueblos y movimientos por libertad para defensor de los ríos y el agua (Nota Informativa de Tlachinollan, 15 de agosto de 2014)

Unas 179 órdenes de aprehensión hay contra cecopistas, dicen coordinadores (La Jornada de Guerrero, 18 de agosto de 2014)

Las arbitrariedades del poder: a once años del Cecop y a un año de Nestora Salgado (Tlachinollan, El Sur de Acapulco, 18 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: soldiers and policemen burst into the La Concepción Commmunity after a Cecop assembly in which the case of Marco Antonio Muñoz Suástegui was reported on (August 29, 2014)

Guerrero: 14 organizations march in favor of release of CECOP’s Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz (July 20, 2014)

Guerrero: Arrest of a leader of the opposition to the La Parota Dam (June 23, 2014)

National: After 8 years of impunity in Atenco, threat to build airport continues

May 16, 2014

Foto @ Regeneración Radio

Photo @ Regeneración Radio

8 years ago, on 3 and 4 May 2006, residents of San Salvador Atenco and Texcoco suffered a strong repression when Enrique Peña Nieto, the current president of Mexico, was governor of the state of Mexico.  As a result of this, 47 women were sexually assaulted by police, two youth were killed, and 207 were arrested.

On 5 May, the Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights presented the campaign “Breaking the silence: all together against sexual violence.”  The objective of the campaign is to make visible the torture–principally sexual–exercised systematically against women by security forces after these were arrested for protesting; the campaign also seeks to accompany these women and to continue denouncing the government’s strategy to see these women as “war booty.”  Norma Jiménez noted that nothing has been easy since they undertook this struggle to denounce the acts which took place 8 years ago, given that they were sexually tortured, but she observed that people in solidarity have given them the strength to carry on, though now they think that it is is important to express solidarity with other women, because “it seems that all of us are in a similar situation, as though they had arrested us all–that is because this is all a conscious strategy.”  For this reason, other women who have joined the campaign include Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo, Me’phaa indigenous women from Guerrero who in 2002 began another struggle to denounce the rights-violations and sexual torture to which they were subjected by soldiers in the Mexican Army.

Beyond this, the Front for Peoples in Defense of the Land (FPDT) recently accused the municipal government of San Salvador Atenco of organizing assemblies in which representatives of federal authorities have attempted to convince ejidatarios from Atenco and Texcoco to sell their lands for the construction of a new international airport for Mexico City.  Jesús Adán Espinoza noted that the federal government would face serious opposition if it attempted to carry out its urbanization plans for “Future City” and “Rescue of the Former Texcoco Lake,” as such works would only reactivate the project to build the new airport.  “These projects will only bring the further degradation of our traditions, customs, and our lands if we allow them to pass,” he declared.

For more information (in Spanish):

“Rompiendo el silencio:Todas juntas contra la tortura sexual”(Regeneración Radio, 6 de mayo de 2014)

Acusan a autoridades de Atenco de convencer a ejidatarios para aceptar construcción de aeropuerto (La Jornada, 28 de marzo de 2014)

A 8 años. Atenco no olvidamos: una mirada desde La Sexta (Coordinador Valle de Chalko, 8 de mayo de 2014)

“No insistan, no vamos a desistir en abandonar nuestras tierras y viviendas” (Reporteros en Movimiento, 5 de mayo de 2014)

Carta de Solidaridad con Atenco: ¡No olvidamos lo que pasó los 3 y 4 de mayo, tampoco la lucha en contra del aeropuerto! (Enlace Zapatista, 8 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Atenco five years on, raped women continue demanding justice (6 May 2011)

Atenco: repression in San Salvador Atenco, 4 years on (11 May 2010)

National: Actions to demand the release of Alberto Patishtán, 13 years after his arrest

June 25, 2013

Acción afuera del CERSS 5 @ SIPAZ

On 19 June, 13 years after his arrest, at least two events were held to demand the release of Alberto Patishtán Gómez, a Tsotsil professor from the El Bosque community who is presently being held in the State Center for the Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced (CERSS) No. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (Chiapas). Outside this prison, there was a mass offered by the priests of El Bosque, Magdaleno Sánchez Ruiz, and Simojovel, Marcelo Pérez Pérez.  Once the religious act ended, messages in solidarity were read, and hundreds of protestors held a march to emphasize their demand.  In Mexico City, there was organized a political-cultural event with the same demand, which was attended by members of different groups, including the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land (FPDT) from San Salvador Atenco, and the Mexican Union of Electricians (SME).  Different persons, such as the former rector of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Pablo González Casanova, and the local deputy for the Party of Democratic Revolution (PRD), Carlos de Jesús Alejandro, expressed their support and demanded the release of Patishtán Gómez, member of the Voz del Amate and an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the EZLN.  The PRD representative did not discard the possibility of requesting presidential pardon as a final gesture, in case of a failure from the federal tribunal in Tuxtla Gutiérrez in its decision on Alberto Patishtán, which is expected in the coming weeks.

For more information (in Spanish):

La Jornada: Exigen liberación de Patishtán con marcha en torno a penal (20/06/2013)

La Jornada: Podría quedar libre pronto: ONG (20/06/2013) “No tomaron en cuenta mis derechos”: Patishtán, a 13 años de encarcelado (20/06/2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

Chiapas: Forthcoming actions for the release of Alberto Patishtán (8 April 2013)

Chiapas: “Justice is its opposite,” declares Alberto Patishtán (20 March 2013)


Chiapas: Second phase of Freedom and Justice Campaign begins in Acteal

September 23, 2009


The second phase of the Atenco Freedom and Justice Campaign officially began on September 11th in Chiapas, where the People for the Defense of the Land (FPDT) chose to announce the beginning of their journey through 12 states. The purpose of the campaign is not only to educate people about Atenco, but also to get to know other struggles and the suffering of the people.

On September 11th the Abejas invited the FPDT to Acteal where they were welcomed with a banner that read “Welcome to the sacred land of Acteal, brothers and sisters of Atenco.” In response the FPDT walked down the stairs chanting, “Acteal, Atenco is here for you.” The FPDT went on to declare “the Supreme Court decision in the case of Acteal caused the same effect” as in many other cases, including Atenco, and “shows that institutions who are in charge of providing justice on all levels fill the role of guaranteeing protection and impunity to the ruling party and its repressive policies instead.”

The words exchanged spoke as much of the determination to keep up the fight as of the warmth between friends. There was dancing, speechmaking, and singing. Damian Camacho of FPDT said, “They want to get rid of this history because it’s not part of the official history… the history of the downtrodden people and their struggles.” The president of the Abejas, Sebastian, said it was a great honor for his organization to have the FPDT starting their campaign in Acteal. Damian replied that the honor was mutual, “You’ve opened paths and roads for us to follow and that’s what we’re doing… After awhile more roads had to be opened so that others could wake up and join us.” As expressed by Trinidad, the wife of Ignacio Del Valle, many agreed, “words are not enough to say thank you for your example of struggle, resistance and dignity. It strengthens us.”  After reading a letter to the Abejas from Ignacio del Valle as well as press releases from both organizations, symbolic gifts were exchanged: a machete to symbolize protecting the land was given to the Abejas by the FPDT, and a white flag symbolizing peace was given to the FPDT by the Abejas.

Within the context of this campaign, the FPDT are demanding “the impartial review of the cases of the nine prisoners in Molino de las Flores, as well as their immediate release for being political prisoners in Mexico; the immediate transfer of Ignacio del Valle, Felipe Alvarez and Hector Galindo to a jail close to their homes; the cancellation of Adan Espinoza’s arrest warrant, the release of 12 political prisoners, the revocation of their sentences; the unrestricted respect for the human rights of those detained and persecuted; the punishment of those materially and intellectually responsible for the repression and violation of human rights; a stop to the political persecution of Adan Espinoza; a stop to the criminalization of social movements in Mexico.” (FPDT press release)

Later the same day the FPDT delegation took part in a forum in San Cristobal de Las Casas where they were able to exchange with local individuals. They met with family members of the Ocosingo prisoners, the daughter of Alberto Patishtan (who is being held in prison CERSS #5), representatives from Innocent Voices, and the public. They also spoke with followers of the Other Campaign from Mitziton, who are presently mounting a campaign of resistance to the government highway project from San Cristobal to Palenque. The FPDT delegation explained their demands and denounced the worsening of prison conditions, contrary to the respect of human rights. They also denounced the degrading treatment of family members who visit their loved ones in prison.

On September 12th the FPDT delegation met with the Good Government Junta in Oventic, where the Zapatistas greeted them with expressions of solidarity. They finished off their tour through Chiapas by taking part in a march to mark the third anniversary of the Northern Region Autonomous Council.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del FPDT

Comenzó en Acteal segunda etapa de Libertad y Justicia para Atenco (La Jornada 12/09/09)

Atenquenses en campaña para la liberación de sus presos se reúnen con la JBG de los Altos (La Jornada 13/09/09)

Abreva el FPDT en la vida zapatista en intenso encuentro en el caracol de Oventic (La Jornada 14/09/09)

El Tercer aniversario del Consejo Autónomo de la Zona Costa participa el Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra de San Salvador Atenco. (Indymedia, 17/09/09)