Chiapas: A year since the “unjust” incarceration of communal defender from Salto de Agua: Chiapas Denuncia Pública

October 8, 2015

Rueda de prensa @ChiapasDenunciaPú

Press conference @ChiapasDenunciaPública

At a press conference held on 14 September, families, catechists, and human-rights defenders from the local diocese demanded the release of the Ch’ol indigenous man, Salomón Vázquez Sánchez, who has been imprisoned for more than a year, accused of the crime of kidnapping a federal police officer. At the press-conference, held at the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba), those assembled said that the “unjust” incarceration took place eight years after the events took place in 2006, when Salomón was working as a rural municipal agent from the Suclumpa ejido, municipality of Salto de Agua.

Nicolás Méndez Arcos, coordinator of the Valle Tulijá Communal Committee for Human Rights, affiliated with the Salto de Agua parish, affirmed that “we as promoters of human rights affirm that there was no crime, because the behavior of Salomón conformed with the communal law as deliberated internally within the ejido, in accordance with the uses and customs that prohibit the carrying of firearms, as well as the Organic Municipal Law.” He also expressed that Salomón, who is being held in the El Amate prison, located in the Cintalapa municipality, “is accused of being responsible for the five thousand pesos that were charged [the police officer] for his rescue, but this is not true, as this was in conformity with a fine based on the uses and customs that sanction the firing of weapons within the community.” Isabel López Sánchez, the prisoner’s wife, demanded his release because “he did not commit any crime,” and she said that her six children “have suspended their studies due to the lack of economic resources, given that our only familial income was what my husband made.” The catechist Agustín Peñate Jiménez expressed that “from the word of God we see that the incarceration of brother Salomón is unjust, because the crime of which he is accused is totally false.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Salomón Vásquez Sánchez encarcelado injustamente (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 15 de septiembre de 2015)

Exigen en Chiapas liberación de indígena chol (La Jornada, 14 de septiembre de 2015)

Indígena preso por impedir que un policía federal disparará dentro de poblado (Chiapas Paralelo, 14 de septiembre de 2015)

Convocatoria a conferencia de prensa (Frayba, septiembre de 2015)

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Chiapas: Beginning of grand pilgrimage of the Believing People from Simojovel

April 10, 2015

Peregrinación del Pueblo Creyente, Simojovel, marzo de 2015 (@SIPAZ)

Pilgrimage of the Believing People, Simojovel, March 2015 (@SIPAZ)

On Monday 23 March, more than 5,000 members of the Believing People from Simojovel–an organizational process associated with the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese–undertook a grand pilgrimage (Easter Via Crucis), leaving from this city to arrive in the Chiapas state capital, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, on 26 March.  Through this peaceful mobilization, they seek to obtain greater security in the region, the closure of cantinas and brothels, an effective campaign against alcoholism and drug abuse, and an end to corruption.  Equally, they have pronounced themselves in defense of their priest, Marcelo Pérez Pérez, and the members of the parish council who have received threats due to their support of these demands.  In this sense, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights requested precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to guarantee their protection.

This first day, the pilgrims covered approximately 45 kilometers, stopping to sleep in Bochil before continuing on in the direction of Ixtapa, the destination for the second day of the pilgrimage.  In total, they plan to walk over 120 kilometers.

For more information (in Spanish):

Peregrinan 10 mil en Chiapas contra corrupción en zona norte (OEM, 24 de marzo de 2015)

“En Simojovel no hay agua potable, pero sí litros y litros de alcohol”(Chiapas Paralelo, 24 de marzo de 2015)

Marchan católicos contra alcohol y drogas (La Jornada, 24 de marzo de 2015)

Simojovel Chiapas: Importante, significativa y oportuna la Peregrinación del Pueblo Creyente (Radio Pozol, 23 de marzo de 2015)

Solicita CIDH medidas cautelares para sacerdote de Simojovel (Proceso, 18 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Believing People from Simojovel announce pilgrimage to Tuxtla to demand peace and justice (22 March 2015)

Chiapas: New threats against members of the Believing People in Simojovel after their fifth pilgrimage demanding security and peace (12 November 2014)

Chiapas: New threats against members of the Believing People in Simojovel after their fifth pilgrimage demanding security and peace (12 November de 2014)