Pardon as a Reparation Measure in the Face of Human Rights Violations
Placard during the procession for those unjustly imprisoned at CERSS No.5, October 29, 2016. Photo@SIPAZ
October 30 marks three years since the pardon of the teacher Alberto Patishtan Gomez. In this case, an addition to the Federal Penal Code made his release possible.
In an article published in Desinformémonos, Leonel Rivero, the lawyer who accompanied Alberto Patishtan Gómez, stated that the case “acquired an emblematic character due to the serious violations of human rights that the ministerial and judicial authorities (the common and federal law) committed in the inquest, the process, the second instance and direct protection trial.”
On October 30, 2013, the reform enacted by the Congress of the Union adding Article 97a to the Federal Penal Code was published in the Official Gazette, determining that “Exceptionally, of itself or at the request of the plenary of one of the chambers, the Head of the Federal Executive may grant a pardon for any federal or common crime in the Federal District where there are consistent signs of serious human rights violations of the sentenced person. “
In his article, Leonel Rivero reiterates that, “this kind of pardon (exceptional or necessary) tests the reliability of the judiciary (federal and state), […], the facts constitute a recognition of the serious flaws that exist within the judicial system and stand as guarantees of repair.”
Leonel Rivero recalls that, “arbitrary detention constitutes a serious human rights violation for the sufferer.” He ends his article stating that cases like the teacher Alberto Patishtan “serve as a parameter to highlight the serious failures of the systems of procurement and administration of justice, although inopportune, in a nation that takes pride itself as being democratic, the exceptional or necessary pardon will remain the only hope of people who were denied access to justice in its forms of reparations to victims of human rights violations, effectiveness, quality and professionalism.”
Today, Leonel Rivero is lawyer for Alejandro Diaz, Tzotzil indigenous, unjustly imprisoned in CEFERESO No. 15, Villa de Comatitlán near Tapachula.
Alejandro Diaz is an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the EZLN. In his last letter he denounced that he is the only sympathizer of the Voice of Amate who was not released in 2013. He alleged that the State Governor Manuel Velasco Coello, promised to see to his case and seek his freedom from the Veracruz authorities more than three years ago, “of which nothing has been fulfilled to date.”