The Authorities Also Know of Our Innocence, Say Chiapas Indigenous Prisoners

** All have documented arbitrary detention and fabricated charges, the Cerss 5 spokesperson points out

** They demand that Governor Velasco intervene in the face of the abuses committed in the prison since last Monday

By: Hermann Bellinghausen, Envoy

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, January 23, 2013

“More than a year has passed since our hunger strike and there is no response to the demand for our freedoms, nor reparation for all the judicial irregularities against us,” declared Pedro López Jiménez, in the name of the group of de prisoners of the Other Campaign in the State Center for Social Re-insertion of the Sentenced (Cerss) number 5. “The authorities know well about our innocence.”

We’re dealing with indigenous prisoners that serve sentences based on montages and irregularities throughout their processes. The best known are Alberto Patishtán, of the Voice of El Amate (la Voz del Amate), and Francisco Santiz López, base of support of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN), whose cases are of federal jurisdiction and promises more or less from the Chiapan governments, they will improperly sleep the dream of the just.

Also denouncing the prison conditions of the more than 500 prisoners in the los Altos prison, López Jiménez, from the group called those in Solidarity with the Voice of El Amate (Solidarios de la Voz del Amate), maintained that the new director of Cerss 5, Wenceslao Urbina Gutiérrez, “has restricted lots of things, violating the rights of the prisoners without respecting the uses and customs of everyone, a large majority of whom are indigenous.

“We demand that Governor Manuel Velasco Coello intervene in this situation of injustice,” he added. Since last Monday they have impeded their relative from sending in food, like bananas, pozol, tortillas). “We are poor, but our families bring us things that complete the prison diet, which is neither good nor sufficient, and now they prohibit us those rights.”

Additionally, the Cerss 5 authorities are restricting visitation, without any reason and in a bad way. “This situation affects the totality of the population, not only those who are organized,” the Tzotzil spokesperson declared.

Irregular procedures

The rest of the Other Campaign prisoners are Alfredo López Jiménez, Rosa López Díaz, Juan Collazo Jiménez, Juan López Díaz y Alejandro Díaz Santiz. All have documented arbitrary detention, torture, denial of interpretation in their language, corruption of the Public Ministry’s agents, forced confessions and fabrication of charges.

Meanwhile, Santiz López, Zapatista support base, continues a prisoner for no reason, and his case frozen, more like a political hostage that a prisoner. Professor Patishtán also hopes that the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation complies with its obligation to consider his case, another collection of procedural irregularities that condemn him to 60 years in prison (he has served 12) for a crime he did not commit.

Finally, in another inexplicable delay, the Simojovel judge, who must decide on the invalidity of the charges against Rosario Díaz Méndez, a member of the Voice of El Amate, has delayed his intervention for weeks, thereby failing to comply with successive legal timelines.

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