Judge recognises that there are reasons to consider torture by municipal police of prisoners from San Sebastian Bachajón, Chiapas

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Desinformémonos

July 10. On 16th September, 2014, municipal police arrested Juan Antonio Gómez, Mario Aguilar and Roberto Gómez, who they tortured and held for nine hours or so before handing them over to the Public Ministry in Ocosingo, where the graduate Rodolfo Gómez Gutiérrez put a gun to, and a bag over, the head of Mario Aguilar Silvano.

Read Constitutional Judgment [1]

A judge has granted an amparo [order for legal protection] in favour of Juan Antonio Gómez Silvano, Mario Aguilar Silvano and Roberto Gómez Hernández from the community of San Sebastián Bachajón, Chiapas, who have been held in prison in Yajalón since September 2014. "The judgement of amparo recognized that for nine hours the indigenous were deprived of their liberty and warns that there are elements to consider and that the torture must be investigated. The criminal judge must issue a new writ of constitutional term, which defines whether they are free or the subject of criminal proceedings," informed the defence lawyer Ricardo Lagunes.

The Bachajón ejidatarios stated at the time that the imprisonment of their compañeros was the result of retaliation from the municipal police and judicial authorities for the imprisonment of a member of the Ocosingo municipal police accused of involvement in the murder of Juan Gómez Silvano, brother of one of the prisoners.

On 16th September, 2014, municipal police arrested Juan Antonio Gómez, Mario Aguilar and Roberto Gómez, who they tortured and held for nine hours or so before handing them over to the Public Ministry in Ocosingo, where the graduate Rodolfo Gómez Gutiérrez put a gun to, and a bag over, the head of Mario Aguilar Silvano.

After the arrest, explained Lagunes, the three indigenous appeared before a judge charged with causing injuries. The judge set bail of one million pesos for the three to be granted freedom, when the same charges normally result in bail of 10 thousand pesos.

"The judge of Ocosingo reclassified the crime of causing injuries as attempted murder and they were no longer entitled to bail. The case was reclassified with the same evidence as for injuries and without better arguments, and sets aside the medical evidence of torture," said the lawyer Lagunes.

For the lawyer, the charges against the indigenous from Bachajón were constructed by the municipal police of Chilón, because they acted as judge and jury in the case. "We hope that the resolution by the criminal judge is settled before September, for they will then have been a year in detention; we are now waiting to see whether or not the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) imposes an appeal against the amparo."

The judge who issued the amparo advised the criminal judge to consider that the detention was made in conditions which violated human rights and that they should exclude all the evidence that has been obtained through torture.

"It is an amparo which will probably lead to the freedom of Juan Gomez, Mario Aguilar and Roberto Gomez because apart from the indications by the municipal police, there is no other evidence against them," said Ricardo Lagunes in an interview with Desinformémonos.

If the MPF does not present an appeal for review, the judge from Yajalón should immediately redefine the legal status of the three indigenous, and the effect of the amparo would be more immediate and there would not be a second stage to prolong the criminal process and prevent modification, explained Lagunes.

For the lawyer defending the three inhabitants of San Sebastian Bachajón, the entire criminal process has been flawed from the beginning, the charge is sustained by torture and unilateral accusations, and the resort to amparo was the only real and effective way to defend them. "To face a criminal trial in circumstances of disadvantage and the violation of human rights, is to validate and legitimize the actions of the police."

Now the prosecution can see that the detention has been prolonged and in violation of human rights, it should give them their freedom, said the lawyer Ricardo Lagunes, even more so if evidence of torture was presented. "Given the conflict in Bachajón and its political work, they do not hesitate to continue the proceedings despite independent evidence."

The court in Ocosingo has not formalized any investigation into the case of torture, therefore the lawyer Lagunes filed a criminal complaint with the prosecutors, for public servants in Tuxtla Gutierrez to investigate, against the commander of the Municipal Police of Chilón because he was aware of what happened, against the staff of the public ministry that made the preliminary investigation, and against the police officers involved in the torture.

On 21st December last, ejidatarios from San Sebastian Bachajón recuperated the lands that were dispossessed from them in 2011, as well as the toll booth on the road to the Agua Azul waterfalls. The Ejido, one of the largest in Mexico, is of 70 thousand hectares, in an area of ​​great biodiversity and natural beauty. The land is rich in natural resources, green rainforest, wildlife and water. The spectacular waterfalls of Agua Azul, famous for their turquoise colour in certain seasons, cascade in the nearby municipality of Tumbalá, but, in order to access the Ecotourism Centre there, it is necessary to cross the Bachajón ejido.

Article printed from Desinformémonos: http://desinformemonos.org.mx

URL to article: http://desinformemonos.org.mx/2015/07/73035/

[1] Read Constitutional Judgment: http://sise.cjf.gob.mx/SVP/word1.aspx?arch=372/03720000160035500041032.docx_1&sec=ROSA_ELENA_MOLINA_COELLO&svp=1

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