Over 36 organizations from more than ten countries speak out against the unjust imprisonment of indigenous from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón

October 4, 2014


– International Organizations demand the freedom of the indigenous and hold the three levels of government responsible.

– The Network against Repression sends an invitation to the solidarity Brigade with San Sebastián Bachajón, which starts on October 10.

Mexico, October 3. More than 36 organizations and groups in countries like the United States, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Belgium, United Kingdom, Colombia, Germany and New Zealand are speaking out against the unjust imprisonment of indigenous from the community of Virgen de Dolores in the ejido San Sebastian Bachajón, Chiapas.

The internationals in solidarity explained that on September 16, 2014, Juan Antonio Gómez Silvano, Mario Aguilar and Silvano Roberto Gómez Hernández, members of the community of Virgen de Dolores, which is part of the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, were arrested and subjected to acts of torture and cruel, inhuman and/or degrading treatment committed by members of the Chilón Municipal Police, in order to force them sign a self-incriminating confession, as documented by the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Centre.

They add that the Tseltal indigenous were forced to put their fingerprint on a statement which was not read to them, although none of the three can read or write; and they did not have a translator, nor a lawyer they trust to assist them during their statement, although their mother language is Tseltal. They note that the three ejidatarios have now been sent to prison by the judge who issued the formal order for imprisonment for the crime of attempted murder, even though their confessions were obtained under torture.

The organizations demand the release of the indigenous and report that they will be monitoring the situation closely and will remain vigilant as to what may happen. “We hold the three levels of government, and especially Leonardo Guirao Aguilar, Manuel Velasco Coello and Enrique Peña Nieto, responsible for the security and integrity of the prisoners, and for any kind of violence, attacks, killings or harassment and intimidation that may occur,” they warn.

Meanwhile, the Network against Repression and for Solidarity sends an invitation to the Brigade of solidarity with San Sebastián Bachajón, which will leave the city of Mexico on Friday 10 October, to attend the Meeting of Peoples and Communities to be held on 12 October, in the Ejido Los Llanos, municipality of San Cristobal de las Casas, from 8.00. San Sebastián Bachajón, San Jose Los Llanos and El Porvenir will be at the meeting of “those who continue to defend the land and territory.” “Now they struggle against the construction of the San Cristóbal de Las Casas – Palenque highway,” the Network says.

At the same time, San Sebastián’s defence lawyer reports that in the session on September 29, 2014, the Third Collegiate Court in Tuxtla Gutierrez, in the resolution of Amparo in Review 224/2014, filed by the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle from San Sebastián Bachajón against the dismissal of amparo 274/2011 issued by the Seventh District Judge in Tuxtla Gutierrez, unanimously reverses that judgment and orders the case to be sent to the Supreme Court to exercise its power of judgement due to the relevance and importance of the matter in the International law of Indigenous Peoples.




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