dorset chiapas solidarity

March 27, 2013

Why does Patishtán remain a prisoner despite his obvious innocence? his lawyers ask

Filed under: Political prisoners — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:29 pm


Why does Patishtán remain a prisoner despite his obvious innocence? his lawyers ask 

** They highlight the “special interest” of the Secretary of Government, Noé Castañón, in the case

By: Hermann Bellinghausen,

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, March 24, 2013

koman-ilel-patishtc3a1nSince at least 2007, a question has been making the rounds among lawyers, bishops, human rights activists and observers of the legal process of Alberto Patishtán Gómez: if the evidence is so overwhelming that he was not involved in the ambush that cost the lives of seven policemen between El Bosque and Simojovel on June 12, 2000, why is he still in prison, sentenced to 60 years? If more blatant cases, with processes based on montages and illegal practices, resulted in the freedom of criminals who were caught in the act or who even confessed, when confronted by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN), what walls prevent the profe from going free? Who benefits from his  imprisonment? Who would be affected by his acquittal?

Why did the interest expressed by Margarita Zavala, wife of ex-president Felipe Calderón, have no effect? She twice received Patishtán’s family members at Los Pinos and assured them that she would strive to attain justice for the professor. Not to mention the abundant international support.

It is clear from the journalistic reconstruction of what happened around thirteen years ago at a place on the highway in the northern Chiapas Highlands (La Jornada, March 22 and 23), and the subsequent effects –the fabrication of charges, the police and ministerial mess, the coercion against any resistance–, that we should start looking at the state government at the time. Although, because of the severity of the alleged crimes, it is treated as a federal case, the court preparation and subsequent administration have been carried out by the state authorities, apart from the period when Patishtán was sent to a federal prison in Guasave, Sinaloa, at the request of Sabinas’ Secretary of Government, who now holds the same position in the Velasco government, Noé Castañón León.

In 2000, the state governor, interim for another interim (governor), was Roberto Albores Guillén, who took office after the Acteal Massacre. At the time of the massacre of his agents, he already had grave accounts pending with the official municipality of El Bosque and the autonomous municipality of San Juan de la Libertad. Weeks after the crime, his party, the PRI, lost the elections. Nevertheless, he never stopped holding power, despite the poor attempts of his successor, Pablo Salazar Mendiguchía, to investigate him. With the arrival of Juan Sabines Guerrero, Albores Guillén regained political space and was able to see his successor in prison. Now, his son, of the same name, is a senator of the Republic, a member of the Cocopa, and a precocious pre-candidate for governor.

The current Secretary of Government, Noé Castañón León, in charge of the state’s internal policy for four years, a member of the Albores Guillén political group, and father of the current leader of the state Congress, who has the same name, presided over the Supreme Tribunal of Justice of the State (STJE, its initials in Spanish) during the capture, processing and final imprisonment of Patishtán. As a magistrate, he also supported the de facto re-municipalization in the so-called “zones of influence” of the EZLN. He is remembered as one of the orchestrators of the “desertions” of alleged Zapatistas (impostors and even criminals), delivering their weapons and everything, on prime time television between 1999 and 2000, in natural settings.

The current Secretary of Government was the head of the STJE from 1995 to 2001, turbulent years in Chiapas. He survived three governors (Javier López Moreno, Julio César Ruiz Ferro and Albores Guillén); the fourth, Salazar Mendiguchía, before the first year of his government accused him of embezzlement of public money, abuse of trust and other crimes that would have been committed during the preceding administration. The four preliminary investigations that they initiated against him didn’t succeed, but he was removed from his position and left the state in December 2001. He would return as Secretary of Government with Sabines Guerrero in 2009, a position that he retains with Manuel Velasco Coello.

Having been at the head of the Chiapas tribunals both before and after the acts in Simojovel and El Bosque, Patishtán’s lawyers question whether any conflict of interest is implied by his current position of being responsible for the internal policies of the state, especially as the review of the case will soon be decided by a collegiate tribunal in Tuxtla Gutiérrez. He has shown a particular interest in the case.

According to what has been documented by Frayba, the official arranged for Patishtán’s transfer to the high-security prison in Guasave (he asked for Islas Marías) in order to stop him being the spokesperson for a hunger strike being undertaken by the Other Campaign prisoners in October 2011.



Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Monday, March 25, 2013

En español:


English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the: International Zapatista Translation Service, a collaboration of the: Chiapas Support Committee, California, Wellington Zapatista Support Group, UK Zapatista Solidarity Network





1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on .

    Comment by aboriginalpress — March 27, 2013 @ 8:01 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: