Three Tzeltales accused of injuring Chilón police

** They are Sexta adherents; they allege political revenge

By: Hermann Bellinghausen


San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, September 19, 2014

Three indigenous adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle, from the community of Virgen de Dolores –Juan Antonio Gómez Silvano, Mario Aguilar Silvano and Roberto Gómez Hernández– were assigned (to prison) by the Public Minister (MP) ascribed to the Specialized Prosecutor in Indigenous Justice of Chilón today. As a consequence, these San Sebastián Bachajón ejido owners were sent to the mixed judge of Ocosingo, accused of the aggravated injury of members of the Chilón municipal police, for acts the occurred in the early hours of September 16.

Expeditiously, Ocosingo judge, Omar Heleria Reyes, set bail at 300,000 pesos for each one of the detainees. According to their lawyer, Ricardo Lagunes Gasca, this “is completely unconstitutional, because of being an amount disproportionate to the compañeros’ economic situation, which violates the principle of presumption of innocence.” Besides, it leaves the detainees “without the real possibility of enjoying the constitutional right to confront their criminal proceedings in freedom.”

According to the defense lawyer for the three Tzeltales, the three assure that “during the time that they were in the custody of members of the Chilón municipal police (the ones who apprehended them) they were subjected to cruel treatment and torture; they threw them to the ground and dragged them on the dirt road, provoking grave injuries on their bodies, while the police were laughing at them.”

The detainees point out that Rodolfo Gómez Gutiérrez, MP (prosecutor) ascribed to the Specialized Office in Indigenous Justice in Ocosingo, who aided the Chilón MP in the putting the investigation together, “tortured Mario Aguilar Silvano so that he would incriminate himself in the acts they impute to him and would sign a confession; he pointed a pistol at his head, placed a plastic bag on him to provoke asphyxia and hit him in the face with an open hand more than once.” That occurred during the afternoon of September 17, Lagunes Gasca points out.

At the same time, “the three Sexta adherents point out that at the time of their arrest, they identified one of the apprehending police as Agustín Sánchez, who lives close to Virgen de Dolores community, in Carmen Xaquilá, and who in turn is a close friend and neighbor of Sebastián Méndez Hernández, who participated in the assassination of Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano on March 21, 2014 and who is now secluded in El Amate Prison under criminal prosecution.”

Those detained assure that members of the Chilón municipal police “are taking reprisals against members of Virgen de Dolores community” for the arrest of a member of their (police) corporation.

The constitutional time period for resolving the legal situation of Tzeltal ejido owners Gómez Silvano, Aguilar Silvano and Gómez Hernández expires next Wednesday, September 24. “We will assert all means of defence to obtain their freedom within this time period,” the lawyer for the indigenous concludes.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Saturday, September 20, 2014

En español:

English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the International Zapatista Translation Service

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