Ocosingo Judge Omar Heleria Reyes issues detention order against Tzeltal indigenous who were forced to testify under torture

Chiapas, Mexico. September 24.


Ocosingo Judge Omar Heleria Reyes has issued a detention order against three ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, despite the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Centre (Frayba) documenting acts of torture and cruel, inhuman and/or degrading treatment committed by members of the Chilon Municipal Police against the Tzeltales. “The three Indians, who cannot read or write, were forced to put their fingerprint on the ministerial statement which was not read to them, and they also did not have a translator,” denounces the Human Rights Centre.

Frayba also requests the General Prosecutor of Justice of the state of Chiapas to “conduct the appropriate investigations against the Chilón municipal police and the prosecutor of the Public Ministry, Rodolfo Manuel Gómez Gutiérrez for the crime of torture”, as Mario Aguilar , one of the detainees, denounced that they tried to asphyxiate him with a plastic bag and gave him blows to the head with the palm of the hand, insisting that he make a confession regarding the firearm and incriminate himself with having shot and injured a Municipal policeman.

Moreover, in a press conference the indigenous from San Sebastián Bachajón, along with their legal representative, denounced that in the case of their compañeros, the prisoners Juan Antonio Gómez Silvano, Mario Aguilar Silvano and Roberto Gómez Hernández from the Virgen de Dolores community “the law was not respected, because they were not presented to the prosecutor from the public ministry who is 5 minutes away from the place of their arrest.” “They were nine hours in police custody without being brought before him” they reveal.

The three Tzeltal indigenous were arrested on September 16, by Commander Francisco Sánchez Guzmán, who accused them of shooting at police from Chilón municipality, even though the sodium radizonate chemical tests were negative. The arrests were made at 4:30 am and the officer presented them to the public ministry of Ocosingo at 1:30 in the afternoon, the defence lawyer reports.

“They were very badly beaten, on the face and body, with internal injuries that were certified by the prosecution” adds the lawyer. When the police were questioned about the reason for the delay in presenting the detainees, they replied that it was because they had to keep doing patrols in the county seat and because of the bad weather in the region, the human rights defender also explains and adds that the supreme court determines that all the elements resulting from an arrest like that of the Tzeltal indigenous are illegal.

During the press conference it was reported that they had reclassified the offence of the ejidatarios from Bachajón, from aggravated wounding to attempted murder, so they cannot get bail. The defence states that they will apply for an indirect amparo (order for legal protection or injunction) against the order for imprisonment, due the serious crimes invented against the indigenous.



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