dorset chiapas solidarity

September 19, 2013

Judicial Council Declines to Issue a Recommendation about Patishtán’s Case

Filed under: Political prisoners — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:03 pm

 

Judicial Council Declines to Issue a Recommendation about Patishtán’s Case

R. Garduño and E. Méndez

La Jornada, 19th September, 2013

IMG_8591The Federal Judicial Council (CJF) declined to issue an opinion or exhortation to the Twenty-First Collegiate Tribunal of the Twentieth Circuit which denied freedom to the Tzotzil teacher Alberto Patishtán Gómez. In response to a point of agreement issued on July 5th by the full Chamber of Deputies, in which it calls for a resolution linked to human rights, the CJF maintained that, like all judges and magistrates of the Judiciary, the tribunal referred to “relies on autonomy and independence for issuing its decision.” Therefore, it stressed that “[the CJF] cannot issue any recommendation, opinion or influence members of that tribunal.” In an official letter signed by Judge Luis Fernando Angulo, Secretary General to the President of the CJF, the Chamber is informed that any opinion “could disrupt judicial autonomy and independence, considering that the issue must be resolved by this authority, and that there are legal means to which (Patishtán) can appeal the decision in his case.”

 

September 18, 2013

Amnesty Law to Be Promoted for Patishtán

Filed under: Political prisoners — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:35 pm

 

Amnesty Law to Be Promoted for Patishtán

Enrique Méndez and Roberto Garduño

La Jornada, 18th September 2013

ImageProxy (1)The Commissioner for Dialogue with the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico, Jaime Martínez Veloz, agreed with the president of the Political Coordination Board of the Chamber of Deputies, Silvano Aureoles, to promote an initiative for an Amnesty Law that would allow the release of the indigenous teacher Alberto Patishtán Gómez, who has been in prison for almost 13 years for crimes that have not been proved.

The federal official promised to inform the Secretary of Government Relations, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, of the will that exists in the federal Congress to push an amnesty law during this regular session. Aureoles explained that he will promote support among the coordinators of political parties in San Lázaro [the Chamber of Deputies] for legislation of such magnitude that it would take into account not only the release of the Chiapas teacher, but also support for release of the thousands of indigenous people who are unjustifiably imprisoned in the country.

The Amnesty Law would annul the crimes that gave rise to the criminal proceedings and conviction of Patishtán, who would be released because there would be no reason for him to remain in prison.

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/09/18/index.php?section=sociedad&article=042n3soc

 

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Sign the Petition: Recognition of Innocence for Patisthán

Filed under: Frayba, Political prisoners — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:53 pm

 

Sign the Petition: Recognition of Innocence for Patisthán

c816236c7f1e2f7cb0f5716454dc6861

We award the recognition of innocence to the Tsotsil teacher, a recognition founded on truth and justice.

To all those who struggle for freedom and justice from below and who have expressed their support for gaining the freedom of Alberto Patishtán, we call on them to also express their recognition of his innocence by signing this petition.

https://secure.avaaz.org/es/petition/La_libertad_del_profesor_Alberto_Patishtan_preso_politico_en_Mexico/edit

A call for an act of justice for a political prisoner in Mexico. The judicial system keeps him arbitrarily deprived of his liberty through a sentence of 60 years for crimes which he did not commit. Professor Patisthán is a human rights defender of the highest moral quality, who has from prison denounced the abuses and violations of basic rights which are suffered within the prison system in Mexico, and who has managed to convoke solidarity groups and individuals to the cause not only of his own freedom, but also for that of all the political prisoners imprisoned unjustly throughout the world.

 

To be delivered to:

Enrique Peña Nieto, President of the Republic

Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, Secretary of Government

Congress of the Union of the Mexican Government

Emilio Álvarez Icaza, Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights

 

 

We raise our voices

We raise our voices today in profound outrage at the decision of the court to keep an innocent man in prison. Today we are all Alberto Patishtán.

Faced with the cowardice and insensitivity of the Court, we all say YES to the recognition of innocence of the Tzotzil Professor, a recognition founded on truth and justice.

We think that in our country of Mexico, understanding, listening and dialogue as paths to the future are being closed with violence, imposition, plunder, repression and imprisonment.

What happened to the teachers in Mexico City is an example of the arrogance of those who think they can do anything, even keep part of the country’s indigenous heart in prison.

The teacher’s family, Gabriela, Héctor and Génesis, the people of El Bosque, the Tzotzil people, and all the believing people need him back, to return to live among them, to continue teaching and living together.

To all those who struggle for freedom and justice from below and who have shown their support for gaining the freedom of Alberto Patishtán, we call on you all to also support the recognition of innocence which the powerful do not have the courage to acknowledge.

The Judicial Power of the Federation has closed the road to justice. It is in the hands of the power of the Federal Executive or the Congress of Union to free the teacher, or does justice have to come from international institutions?

“I cannot ask for pardon for something I did not do”

“My freedom is an act of justice”

Freedom for Alberto Patishtán!

 

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September 16, 2013

A War Without War Correspondents in Mexico

Filed under: Journalists — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:21 pm
A War Without War Correspondents in Mexico 
Written by Santiago Navarro F. 

Update: Gustavo Ruiz has now been released.

Journalists are beaten and arrested by police in Mexico City for doing their job. They are sentenced for alleged crimes such as disturbing the peace, the production and transport of potential weapons materials, possession of toxic and flammable substances, when in reality they are only using the equipment necessary to do their job. A member of Agencia Subversiones (Subversions Agency, an independent media outlet), Gustavo Ruiz, recorded his own arrest, which occurred after he asked the police a question about the arrest of individuals protesting the passage of an education reform made to the Mexican Constitution (the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) had recommended the reform to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.) The police did not respond and instead arrested, beat, and dragged him until one of his colleagues and fellow member of Subversiones was able to grab his video camera.

Gustavo was arrested for simply asking why detainees, including a fellow reporter, were being taken at that time. His colleagues shouted to police, “He’s a member of the press! He’s press!” and tried to help, but he was arrested anyway. Gustavo’s colleague who had managed to grab his camera also noted the description of the vehicle in which he was taken, and then rejoined the rest of the team. They immediately uploaded the video to the internet as proof of the injustice. A request was then issued to other human rights NGOs and alternative media outlets to follow the case, knowing that, as in previous cases, the consequences could be dire, including torture, disappearance, or death. The response was immediate and overwhelming.

Every day in Mexico it is increasingly dangerous to be a journalist. During protests or events criticizing the Mexican government, public security forces often take or even destroy journalists’ equipment. According to a list published by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Mexico is among the top twelve countries in terms of impunity for the murder, disappearance, and abuse of journalists.

Being a journalist in this country is dangerous, but as an independent journalist one is even more vulnerable. Even if they don’t document the war, there are many reporters that still have to take strict security precautions. Many have attended workshops and courses for war correspondents, since in the context of Mexico’s war there is no real security for those in this profession.

“It is important to attend these types of workshops because they help us identify our context and learn to understand the magnitude of the implications of our work,” explains Heriberto Paredes, journalist and photographer for the Subversiones Agency and Motley magazine. “We live in a context of war and are not war correspondents, and there will always be those who don’t like our work for the simple fact that we tell the truth. My colleagues are more prepared than before to the point of anticipating the possibility of arrest, physical aggression, or even death.”

The Subversiones team held a meeting the night before Ruiz’s arrest to talk about the possibilities of what could happen the following day. They realized that many of them could be arrested or injured, and this prompted them to launch their security and mobility protocol. They understand the legal and political tools at their disposal, even down to the length of time someone can be detained, and that everything depends on how quickly they move within the bureaucratic process. As this article went to press, the video Ruiz recorded had almost twenty thousand views in just four hours and has been picked up by other independent and mainstream media outlets. This has generated calls for solidarity in different parts of Mexico and abroad.

Óscar Montes de Oca, Mexico City’s Assistant Attorney General, confirmed in an interview with media outlet MVS that those who were arrested had press credentials, but that the government was still investigating whether or not they were actually members of the press. Ruiz has been charged with disturbing the peace, impeding the legitimate exercise of authority, possession, manufacture, and importation of potential weapons, and resisting arrest. The charges carry a minimum sentence of at least two and a half years in prison or a fine of between $2-3,000 (USD). Ruiz’s colleagues, along with collectives and organizations, are fundraising money to pay the fine. There are also independent lawyers available who work pro bono or who receive a symbolic payment in exchange for their assistance.

Article 19, an independent organization that promotes the defense of human rights, freedom of expression, and the freedom of the press, has been following the cases of journalists who have been arrested. They have called upon Mexico City authorities and police to respect journalists’ work, as it is important to cover these events to make sure that law enforcement carries out its duties properly and refrains from excessive use of force.

At the same time, Subversiones has circulated a statement asserting that the individual they consider to be directly responsible is Mexico’s president, since he is the one who issues such orders. The declaration has received overwhelmingly positive response from journalists, intellectuals, artists, and organizations, many of whom have signed on. This is an indication that there are many in the field who are tired of not being able to do their work freely. The current context has not only generated outrage among collectives, organizations, and journalists, but has also resulted in proposals for the immediate launch of workshops, talks, and spaces to exchange experiences.

The Subversiones team has been working long hours since the arrest of Gustavo and the other journalists. The team’s exhaustion is apparent, but they are doing everything within their power so that their colleague is promptly released and can continue with his daily work. They consider this to be an unfortunate part of their job, but they hope that in the future their working conditions will improve.

http://upsidedownworld.org/main/mexico-archives-79/4445-a-war-without-war-correspondents-in-mexico

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September 15, 2013

We raise our voices: Civil Society gives Recognition of Innocence to Alberto Patishtán

Filed under: Frayba, Political prisoners — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:46 am

Civil Society gives Recognition of Innocence to Alberto Patishtán  

We raise our voices

patish_ai_libertad-4-de-4We raise our voices today in profound outrage at the decision of the court to keep an innocent man in prison. Today we are all Alberto Patishtán.

Faced with the cowardice and insensitivity of the Court, we all say YES to the recognition of innocence of the Tzotzil Professor, a recognition founded on truth and justice.

We think that in our country of Mexico, understanding, listening and dialogue as paths to the future are being closed with violence, imposition, plunder, repression and imprisonment.

What happened to the teachers in Mexico City is an example of the arrogance of those who think they can do anything, even keep part of the country’s indigenous heart in prison.

The teacher’s family, Gabriela, Héctor and Génesis, the people of El Bosque, the Tzotzil people, and all the believing people need him back, to return to live among them, to continue teaching and living together.

To all those who struggle for freedom and justice from below and who have shown their support for gaining the freedom of Alberto Patishtán, we call on you all to also support the recognition of innocence which the powerful do not have the courage to acknowledge.

The Judicial Power of the Federation has closed the road to justice. It is in the hands of the power of the Federal Executive or the Congress of Union to free the teacher, or does justice have to come from international institutions?

“I cannot ask for pardon for something I did not do”

“My freedom is an act of justice”

Freedom for Alberto Patishtán!

The members of civil society who sign this statement award to Alberto Patishtán the:

Recognition of Innocence

We express our option for another justice. Join and send your email of recognition to accionesurgentes@frayba.org.mx

Héctor, Gabriela, Génesis, Ricardo (family of Alberto Patishtán), Movimiento del pueblo de El Bosque, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, Cocyp-Chiapas, Defensa Estratégica en Derechos Humanos,  29 de febrero – Huixtán, Colectivo Ik´, INICIA, Parroquia de Simojovel, No Estamos Todxs, Solidarios de la Voz del Amate, Espoir Chiapas, Semilla Digna, Sección VII de la Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE), Koman Ilel, José Luis Gómez (former prisoner of La Voz de Los Llanos), Michael Chamberlain, Stella Maris Figueroa (members of Amnesty International, Chiapas),Comité por la Libertad de Alberto Patishtán DF: Coordinadora Nacional Plan de Ayala (CNPA-MN), Consejo General de Huelga Ho Chi Minh, Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra de San Salvador Atenco, Frente Popular Francisco Villa Siglo XXI, Movimiento de Aspirantes Excluidos de la Educación Pública (MAES), Másde131, Movimiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad,  Serapaz, Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas, Tejiendo Resistencias, Unión Popular Revolucionaria Emiliano Zapata (UPREZ),

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Mexican Justice System, Unable or Unwilling to Correct Abuses: Amnesty International

Filed under: Political prisoners — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:27 am

 

Mexican Justice System, Unable or Unwilling to Correct Abuses: Amnesty International

Ángeles Cruz Martínez

La Jornada, 14th September, 2013

patishtanThe Mexican justice system is unable or unwilling to correct injustices, as is evidenced by the decision of the Appeals Court which refused to recognize the innocence of the Tzotzil teacher Alberto Patishtán, declared Amnesty International (AI).

This ruling, the agency warned, once again highlights the lack of protection for residents of indigenous communities and other vulnerable sectors of society.

The obsession with protecting the formal image of the justice system over and above the obligation to guarantee human rights is one of the most serious obstacles to ensuring equal access to justice in Mexico, they observed.

So, according to the judgment of the federal court in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Patishtán will remain imprisoned because of an unjust sentence, in which they did not take into account the accumulation of irregularities committed during the trial process.

Alberto Patishtán was arrested and sentenced to 60 years in prison after being accused of participating in an ambush in which seven policemen were killed in 2000.

Amnesty International emphasized that it could confirm anomalies during the trial, such as the admission of contradictory testimonies in the charge, and that evidence that Patishtán was not present at the scene of the crime was ignored.

The organization called on the Mexican government to take the necessary measures to ensure that there is justice in this case and that the justice system be reformed to ensure prompt and fair process to all persons, regardless of their economic status or membership of any indigenous group. 

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/09/14/index.php?section=sociedad&article=033n3soc&partner=rss

 

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September 14, 2013

They Should Ask for Pardon for What They Have Done to Me: Patishtán

Filed under: Political prisoners — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:03 pm

 

They Should Ask for Pardon for What They Have Done to Me: Patishtán

The day after his 60 year sentence is ratified, he insists he will not ask for pardon

Perhaps they denied my freedom because I am not blonde, said the teacher, accused of the killing of police officers

Foto

I have a clear conscience, Alberto Patishtán said yesterday at a press conference in the prison of San Cristobal de las Casas. In the picture, with his ​​granddaughter Genesis.
Photo: Elio Henríquez

 

Elio Henríquez

La Jornada, 14th September, 2013

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas – The day after the Federal Judicial Branch ratified his sentence of 60 years in prison, the Tzotzil teacher Alberto Patishtán Gómez repeated that he will not request a presidential pardon in order to be released, because he is innocent.

“I have always said that I am not going to appeal for pardon, because, what would I ask for pardon for? On the contrary, they should be asking me for forgiveness for what they have done to me. I only hope that justice is done, and nothing more,” he declared at a press conference held in the city prison.

–        If they were to offer you a pardon, would you accept it even though you didn’t ask for it?

–        I repeat: I just want them to release me because I am innocent; I am only asking them to release me, that is all.

He maintained that the judges of the first collegiate tribunal of the twentieth circuit, based in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, denied his liberation, “perhaps because of my colour, because I am indigenous; perhaps because I am neither a foreigner nor a blondie who speaks other languages​​, nor do I have the economic power to do other things.”

He said that he will have recourse to international courts to seek his release. “Sadly, I would say that we must leave Mexico to seek justice; it should not be. We have to go to Amnesty International.”

“I have told my truth, which cannot be unfounded.”

Accompanied by his daughter Gabriela Patishtán Ruiz and his granddaughter, Génesis, barely three months old, he said: “As you know, yesterday we were all hopeful that the government would show a little justice, but it was not so, quite the opposite,” he commented.

“The judges say that it is unfounded (the case for recognition of innocence). I affirm that I have spoken my truth, which cannot be unfounded, its basis is founded in the Word of God. I am not lying,” said the teacher who comes from the municipality of El Bosque, located in northern Chiapas.

“The authorities do not see it as I see it. If I could lend them my eyes, I believe that things would be different. If I could lend them the understanding that I have, then things would be different,” he said, while stressing: “I am not going to keep quiet. I will continue fighting and the truth has to be known one day. I am calm, a little angered by what happened, but here I am throwing out the desires to seek freedom.

“I have a clear conscience, and that gives me peace, courage and the strength to continue living; it doesn’t matter where you are, what matters is that we are alive,” he said.

When asked what he thinks of the judges who denied his release, he responded: “I’m just going to pray for them because we are not the criminals. I don’t hold hard feelings for any magistrate. If they do it, it is because they have no conscience. Hopefully, one day their hearts will be touched, and they will see things the way they should be seen, with a different Mexico, where we can all be in peace.”

Meanwhile, the governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello, stated that it is “unjust” that the First Collegiate Tribunal of the Twenty-first Circuit denied the liberation of Patishtán Gómez, and he added that “now he must proceed with a pardon.”

Patishtán has spent 13 years in prison, accused of murder and injury, damage to property and possession of prohibited firearms, for his alleged involvement in an ambush which took place in 2000 in El Bosque. In that attack, six state police officers and one municipal policeman were killed.

 

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/09/14/index.php?section=sociedad&article=033n1soc

 

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Indigenous Wixárika Win Court Injunction Suspending All Mining Concessions in Sacred Territory of Wirikuta

Filed under: Indigenous, Mining — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:52 pm

 

 

 Indigenous Wixárika Win Court Injunction Suspending All Mining Concessions in Sacred Territory of Wirikuta

Angélica Enciso L.

La Jornada, September 13th, 2013
wikirutaIn a decision that will set a precedent for the recognition of the spiritual rights of an indigenous people, the Wixárika (Huicholes) have obtained the suspension of mining authorizations granted to Canadian corporations and to Frisco in the region of Wirikuta, their sacred land. Representatives of the Regional Wixárika Board for the Defense of Wirikuta confirmed the suspension decision from the district court of San Luis Potosí.

In a press conference they explained that with this judicial resolution things will remain as they are; the corporations will not be able to undertake explorative nor exploitative activities until the heart of the matter is resolved, since the authorities should not give any type of permission.

The document also indicates that “all authorities are obliged to ensure ample protection of fundamental rights” with respect to the people and communities, which includes “the preservation of the elements that constitute their culture and identity.”

Santos de la Cruz, of the Front in Defence of Wirikuta, stated that last year 38 authorizations for the First Majestic company were suspended, of which 22 were inside the sacred area of Wirikuta. On September 2nd an extension of the demand was granted resulting in the suspension of 40 other authorizations for the Universo project, the Revolution Resources company, and others from a plan of Frisco, “at which point all of the authorizations had been suspended.”

In a press conference he explained that the awarded suspensions cover 98 thousand hectares but this does not mean that the projects have been cancelled, so they are still evaluating whether to turn to international agencies to defend the rights of the Wixárika people. The holy land of Wirikuta spans about 140 thousand hectares of the municipalities of Catorce, Charcas, Matehuala, Villa de Ramos, Villa de Guadalupe and Villa de la Paz, in the state of San Luis Potosí.

Six representatives from four Wixárika communities in Jalisco and Durango participated in the conference. There they explained that to “protect the sacred land of Wirikuta in an integrated way from mining and agro-industrial threats, the Wixárika people filed for an amparo [legal protection, injunction] before the Federation’s Judicial Power demanding respect for the rights that the Mexican state has promised to protect on a national and international scale.”

The resolution that they presented is the result of these judicial proceedings; it also otes that “indigenous territorial rights should include not only the land where the people live, but also the habitat and environment, involving the integrity of their natural elements.”

For the Wixárika people, the land of Wirikuta “represents the place where one finds the essence of life and the birth of the Sun. It is an element of the cosmology and cultural identity indispensable for their survival and continuity as original people.”

 

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/09/13/index.php?section=sociedad&article=038n1soc&partner=rss

 

From a translation by Leila English

 

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September 13, 2013

The Blessing of Having a Prisoner Father – Hector Patishtán

Filed under: Political prisoners — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:51 pm

 

The Blessing of Having a Prisoner Father – Hector Patishtán

Alberto Patishtán’s children, Héctor and Gabriela Patishtán
(Photo: Germán Canseco)

 

Juan Pablo Proal

 

Proceso, 13th September, 2013

Mexico City – For as long as he can remember, Héctor has only known his father behind bars. Alberto Patishtán’s arrest occurred when he was four years old. At the age of eight, their mother abandoned him and his sister María Gabriela. Since then, he has had only one mission in life: to see his father free.

Yesterday he received the foul news, as all that he has obtained from the Mexican judicial system. Judges of the First Circuit Court of the Judiciary of the Federation ratified his father’s 60-year prison sentence. When I spoke with him the night before he didn’t have much hope: “I’m a realist. It isn’t the first time this has happened. Unfortunately, we have always been left with injustice.”

On June 12, 2000, the bilingual indigenous teacher Alberto Patishtán was accused of participating in an implausible event that, in retrospect, is viewed like an avenger extracted from a Hollywood myth. The Chiapas government blamed him for killing, by himself, seven state police and wounding two more. The charges included: organized crime, intentional homicide, possession of weapons for exclusive Army use and aggravated assault. He was arrested without a warrant. When he made ​​his statement at the offices of the State Attorney General in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, he did not have a lawyer at his side.

The days before, the police were patrolling the town of El Bosque, Patishtán’s hometown, because they had heard that armed civilian groups wanted to take over the town offices. On June 12 on the road near the community of Las Limas, a commando ambushed a patrol of nine people, led by the son of then mayor, Manuel Gómez Ruiz.
When the ambush occurred, Patishtán was participating in an assembly in the town of El Bosque.

“We were at the feast of San Antonio; several people spoke with the teacher. I personally spoke with him,” reported Julio Marcos, one of the many testimonies given by the civil association Strategic Human Rights Defence.

Not only did the teacher not know how to handle weapons but geographically he was in a very different place from the crime scene. None of this was taken into account by the blind, disjointed and classist judicial system.

Once imprisoned, Alberto Patishtán led a hunger strike along with other teachers unjustly imprisoned. They called their movement: “The voice of rebel dignity.” Pablo Salazar, then governor of Chiapas, (upon leaving office he was imprisoned and accused of corruption by his successor, Juan Sabines), promised to release the teacher if they would end their protest. The indigenous kept their word; Salazar did not.

On February 15, 2008, Patishtán led an indefinite hunger strike in El Amate Prison, which was classified as “dangerous”. The movement spread to more prisons, including San Cristóbal de las Casas, Playas de Catazajá and the prison at Tacotalpa, Tabasco. Hundreds of souls–unjustly detained prisoners held in crowded spaces, where human rights are a dead letter–clamoured for their freedom. The strike ended 41 days later when the government of Chiapas released most of the strikers, but not Patishtán.

 

During these 13 years, torture has been Alberto’s unconditional partner. Human rights monitors have documented nudity, deprivation, poor and even denial of medical care, nine months in solitary confinement, poor food, humiliation during reviews, constant surveillance, sensory deprivation…. Although the Mexican authorities have been bent on destroying his hope, the indigenous teacher responds with love. He has been a teacher-trainer in El Amate Prison. He has been appointed a minister of the Eucharist by the Diocese of Tuxtla, and he teaches Spanish to monolingual indigenous prisoners. For his heroic example, in January 2010 late Bishop Emeritus Samuel Ruíz awarded him the jTatik Samuel jCanan lum recognition.

Hector, his son, travels every two weeks to see his father. Patishtán has been transferred on three occasions; it takes an average of three hours [travel] for two hours of time together. The time is shared with lawyers, human rights defenders and other visitors who come to see Alberto Patishtán.
Since the age of fourteen Héctor has lived alone with his sister, who is now a mother, working and studying in San Cristóbal de las Casas. Defending his father is full-time work. He dropped out of high school and sold the only asset that Alberto had inherited: an area of ​​about one hectare.

Despite everything, Héctor notes that the arrest of his father brought some good:

“As they say, all evil brings a good. If he had not already been imprisoned, we would not be here today fighting, not only for my dad, but for the country’s other injustices. I would be an ignorant boy, normal, who only breathes and walks, but that’s not living.”

The night before ratification of the 60-year prison sentence, social organizations held an evening meeting to demand the release of Alberto Patishtán. There I spoke with Héctor. I put two questions to him.

Proceso: What if they release your father?

“I haven’t thought about it; for me it’s going to be emotional yet something strange. I’ve never been outside enjoying him or eating together. I have never lived with him in the outdoors. I would talk with him, father to son, talk as long as possible about everything that I haven’t said during these 13 years.”

Proceso: What if the ruling is unfavorable?

“Regardless of what the judges say, I personally will not stop fighting. I swear my dad is going to come out, whatever it takes, so may my life be.”

The Mexican judicial system, the same one that has granted more freedom to foul predators and destroyed the lives of thousands of miserable innocents, decided that Patishtán must serve the 60 years in prison.

His son Hector plans to complete high school and study law in order to prevent, if possible, more tragedies like the one his family has suffered:

“I ​​have the courage that I inherited from my ancestors and what my grandfather, the elders of my people and my father have taught me: never to give up, to fight for what we want, not to conform to what the government gives us.”

 

http://www.proceso.com.mx/?p=352657

Translation by Jane Brundage

 

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Patishtán: Consummate Injustice

Filed under: Political prisoners — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:28 pm

 

Patishtán: Consummate Injustice

Editorial, La Jornada, 13th September, 2013

1185213_626223337421959_918367395_nYesterday an Appellate Court based in Chiapas rejected the release of Alberto Patishtán, the Tzotzil teacher wrongly imprisoned for almost 13 years and sentenced without reason after being found guilty of participating in the killing of seven policemen in Chiapas community of El Bosque. Judiciary officials dismissed the evidence presented by the defence in their request for recognition of the innocence of the Chiapas activist–the application had already been rejected by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation–and ratified the sentence of 60 years in prison against him. With this decision, they closed all the country’s legal channels for achieving the release of an individual who, by all evidence, is innocent.

As various national and international humanitarian agencies have noted and documented, Patishtán’s record is full of irregularities from the moment of his arrest, held seven days without a warrant after the killings in question. Additionally, he suffered numerous abuses during the process and imprisonment: the denial of medical attention for his health conditions and unfair transfer to prisons far from his home. To make matters worse, the main evidence against him–the incriminating testimony of the only survivor of the attack–was invalidated by the judicial authorities themselves responsible for the case, to the point where another defendant in the episode was released, because the witness “is not telling the truth”; in contrast, the judiciary did not consider the evidence that indicates that the Tzotzil professor was in a place other than the site of the police ambush at the time of the events.

Beyond the deep injustice committed against Patishtán, in a national environment of many disgruntled people and just when this cause had been gaining followers and demonstrations of solidarity in Mexico and the world, yesterday’s aberrant ruling is an act of insensitivity and political stupidity that offends not only those immediately affected, but also the indigenous communities as a whole (whose members regularly suffer abuse and assaults by police and judges); and public sectors that demanded release of the accused. In addition, the inadmissibility of yesterday’s ruling deepens in an undesirable way the disrepute of the courts and of the political institutions as a whole, at a time when such disrepute coexists with social unrest and increasing social explosiveness.

In the short term, the avenues available for the possible release of Alberto Patishtán are not exactly encouraging: presentation of the case before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and the consequent beginning of a process that could take several years. Another avenue is activation of the legal concept of pardon or amnesty, something that Patishtán himself has resisted to the extent that it would imply that he assume guilt for a crime he did not commit. In sum, the judges with their ruling have contaminated the Tzotzil indigenous case beyond repair, and they have caused similar damage to justice in the country and to the authorities responsible for providing it.

 

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/09/13/index.php?section=opinion&article=002a1edi&partner=rss

Translation by Jane Brundage

 

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Alberto Patishtán: Message from the State

Filed under: Political prisoners — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:13 pm

Alberto Patishtán: Message from the State

Luis Hernández Navarro

La Jornada, 13th September 2013

1236207_526159394126746_751108016_nAlberto Patishtán is not a French kidnapper like Florence Cassez, nor a drug trafficker like Rafael Caro Quintero, nor one of the assassins of the Acteal massacre. He is a Tzotzil teacher, a member of the Other Campaign, who has been unjustly imprisoned for the last 13 years. She, they and he are not the same. The justice system set Cassez, Caro Quintero and the paramilitaries from Chenalhó free even though they are guilty, while it keeps the teacher Patishtán in prison despite his innocence.

The judiciary at this time had the possibility to make amends for the damage done to the indigenous Tzotzil from the municipality of El Bosque. But on Thursday, the First Collegiate Tribunal of the Twentieth Circuit based in Chiapas declared the evidence by which his lawyers sought to obtain his acquittal to be unfounded.

Adding dishonour to shame, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation decided to be an accomplice of injustice and washed their hands. Only last March, their First Chamber decided, by three votes to two, not to retain jurisdiction over the motion for recognition of the teacher’s innocence. The case was returned to the tribunal which declared the evidence in favour of Patishtán to be unfounded.

In a country where the administration of justice has a strong political bias and where the judges are rarely independent of the Executive, the decision of the judges of the First Collegiate Tribunal of the Twentieth Circuit, Freddy Gabriel Celis Fuentes, Manuel de Jesús Suárez Rosales and Eduardo Arturo Garduño Zenteno, can only be interpreted as a message from the State. A message sent both to the prisoner himself and to those who see him as emblematic of the struggle against injustice. The teacher is a hostage of power.

Alberto Patishtán is not just any detainee: he is the country’s most notorious political prisoner. He is an emblematic figure of the indigenous movement, in whom racial discrimination, procedural carelessness and the partisan use of justice to deprive original peoples are all summed up; a symbol of dignity against the abuse of power.

Literally thousands of voices inside and outside Mexico have demanded his immediate liberation. The Believing People, the EZLN, the indigenous movement, the National Coordinating Committee of Education Workers (CNTE), Amnesty International and hundreds of human rights organisations and public intellectuals are convinced of his innocence and demand his freedom. It is to these that the State delivered its last word: your reasons do not matter to me; I hear you, but I take no notice.

The story is well known. On July 12, 2000, in the hamlet of Las Lagunas de Las Limas, Simojovel, seven policemen were ambushed. On that day and at that time, Patishtán was many kilometres away from that place. It did not matter. They held him responsible for the murders anyway. He was sentenced on charges of organized crime, intentional homicide, possession of weapons for the exclusive use of the armed forces, and bodily injuries. There were no translators at his trial. The witnesses lied and did not present solid evidence of his guilt. The judges did not care. He went to prison.

Throughout the country, the indigenous peoples resist environmental devastation and dispossession of their lands, territories, waters and seeds. To defend themselves in the face of public insecurity, they have formed community police. Keeping Patishtán in prison is a warning from the Mexico of above about what may happen if they continue to persist with the same obstinacy in the defence of their natural resources and of their ways of exercising justice.

Hundreds of thousands of teachers are demanding the repeal of the labour reforms recently approved by Congress disguised as reforms of education. In their demonstrations and their list of demands, they insist that the detained teacher, one of their own, be released. Refusing to release him from prison is a warning of what awaits them if they do not stop their acts of disobedience.

The Zapatista movement is determined to be self-governing and to keep its weapons, on the periphery of government institutions. It continues to be a source of inspiration and example to many indigenous communities in the country. Having a member of the Other Campaign behind bars is a warning that the war against the rebels in south-eastern Mexico has not ended.

In a country where the law is regularly applied contrary to justice, the Mexican State does not care whether Alberto Patishtán is innocent or if his trial was full of irregularities. It does not trouble them that his imprisonment is an international scandal. The State wants, plainly and simply, to send a message to those who sympathize with the teacher and his cause to take warning. It will not succeed. Like Patishtán, the many who stand in solidarity with him resist, and will continue resisting.

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/09/13/index.php?section=politica&article=021a1pol

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COMMUNIQUÉ FROM THE EJIDO SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJON, CHIAPAS, MEXICO, SEPTEMBER 9th, 2013

Filed under: Bachajon — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:15 pm

COMMUNIQUÉ FROM THE EJIDO SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJON, CHIAPAS, MEXICO, SEPTEMBER 9th, 2013

EJIDO SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJON ADHERENT TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, CHIAPAS. MEXICO

To the people of Mexico and the world

To the compañer@s adherents to the sixth declaration of the Lacandon Jungle

To the mass and alternative media

To the Good Government Juntas

To the Zapatista National Liberation Army

To the Indigenous National Congress

To national and international human rights defenders

To the compañero political prisoner Alberto Patishtan Gómez

To public opinion

solidaridad-activaCompañeros and compañeras in struggle, our people of San Sebastián Bachajón raise our voices against the injustices of this bad government that seeks to destroy our peoples, our culture and territories. This bad government does not respect the diverse cultures of this country, it only wants to impose the culture of the market and of capitalism, with its reforms to the Constitution and the laws, privatizing the oil, the wind, the beaches, education, raising taxes, taking away workers’ rights and benefiting national and foreign corporations so that they can exploit natural resources at will with impunity, even at the cost of the lives of the peoples.

The law is not respected in this country by the officials of the bad government, what rules is the law of money and the power of the caciques, finqueros and entrepreneurs who have made ​​the call to the political class and who see only their personal benefit and who obey interests contrary to the dignity of communities, peoples and society in general, those who work to live and to achieve dignified conditions in which to raise their families. In this country the majority of the population lives in poverty and unemployment, with only a few who live on stolen wealth and the exploitation of others, and who reproduce inequality and discrimination in order to remain rich at the expense of the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

Our struggle as Tzeltal people is not for political or economic power, it is a struggle for dignity and autonomy, because we want to remain who we are, even though the government does not like this, even though they want us to change our ideas and thoughts, we are dignified and proud of the heritage of our grandfathers and grandmothers, because the nations and tribes who have lived in these sacred lands for hundreds of years have the right to be respected and to defend mother earth. But the bad government does not question or ask permission from the communities and towns about the projects or businesses that they say are for our benefit, it has no respect for our culture, because what it does is buy some authorities of our communities, such as the former ejidal commissioner Francisco Guzmán Jiménez (aka the goyito ) and the current commissioner Alejandro Moreno Gómez, who do not understand struggle or love for their people, and it does business with them to divide the community, or orders the imprisonment or killing of social activists. It uses public forces, such as the state preventive police, the army and the federal police to terrorize communities and so imposes terror to achieve its goals.

The bad government has sown division in the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, by buying with money the ‘officialist’ [government-supporting] ejidal commissioners, who have been in office since 2007, this is why our movement of adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista National Liberation Army arose, because we can see that the hand of the government has great aspirations for the natural resources of the ejido and wants to finish off the organization politically, because it does not want to have resistance, so that the people will easily hand over their land for the building of large luxury hotels, golf courses and aeroplane runways for rich tourists. The bad government has caused and continues to generate the problem of the dispossession in San Sebastián Bachajón using indigenous brothers to confront the resistance, but it is not a problem just between indigenous, as the bad government says, this is the same excuse as always, with which the government wants to wash its hands so that its corruption and true intentions will not be seen, just like it said when the Acteal massacre took place on December 22, 1997, and it is saying now about the displaced families from colonia Puebla, in the municipality of Chenalhó, Chiapas.

We hold responsible for the dispossession of our land, for the cowardly murder of our compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán  who fell in the struggle for the defence of his people, and for our political prisoners Antonio Estrada Estrada and Miguel Demeza Jiménez, the president of the republic Enrique Peña Nieto, the Chiapas state governor Manuel Velasco Coello, the former Secretary General of government Noe Castañón Leon, the mayor of Chilón Leonardo Guirao Aguilar and the political agents of the three levels of government, as well as the former ejidal commissioner Francisco Guzmán Jiménez (aka the goyito) and the current officialist ejidal commissioner, manipulated by the goyito, whose name is Alejandro Moreno Gómez.

Our organization is in struggle with the will to win victory in the defence of our people, we know that we are not alone because there are many peoples who are fighting with us for our lives and dignity; we talked and we met together at the Tata Juan Chávez Alonso seminar of the National Indigenous Congress, we hear our struggles and we see that we have a common enemy who wants to destroy our cultures and seize our territories, so we also see that we must continue to strengthen our organizations, our cultures and our autonomy which will enable the transformation of this world which is held hostage by the capitalist mentality.

We are not going to allow the government to do as it pleases with our people and our territory. Our compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán gave his life for the people and the land, which is why his blood must not be shed in vain, because we will defend it whatever the cost, it is our right and the government must respect it, enough of so much injustice and abuse from the bad government.

We continue to defend our amparo 274/2011 from the Seventh District Judge in Tuxtla Gutierrez, because Alejandro Moreno Gómez and Francisco Guzmán Jiménez are getting false meeting minutes in order to throw out the amparo, without the signatures of the General Assembly of Ejidatarios, they are fabricating these minutes in obscurity with the complicity of the Secretary General of the State Government of Chiapas and other officials of the bad federal, state and municipal governments who advise them, but they have not been able to  throw out the amparo despite the support of the Seventh District Judge Jose del Carmen Constantino Avendaño, from a family of caciques known for exploiting the indigenous, such as Constantino Kanter. Hence our request on August 20th, 2013, to the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, that they consider our amparo and protect our territory.

We call on the First Collegiate Tribunal in Tuxtla Gutierrez that on September 12th, 2013, they order the release of our compañero and brother Alberto Patishtan Gomez, a social activist and defender of the rights of his people in El Bosque, not one more day in prison because he is innocent.

We demand the immediate release of our compañeros ANTONIO ESTRADA ESTRADA prisoner in Playas de Catazajá and MIGUEL DEMEZA JIMENEZ prisoner in El Amate; they were tortured and unjustly accused. Compañero Antonio was accused by 6 members of the state, specialized and federal police of wanting to attack them in the early morning of August 8th, 2011; these corrupt police kidnapped him on August 7th in the community of Sasamtik, municipality of Chilón, Chiapas, for being from our organization and this is why they fabricated his crime; they planted a discharged .38 calibre pistol and two machetes with which he allegedly assaulted the group of police who were traveling in their units; they tortured him for an entire day to make him plead guilty to all he was falsely accused of. Our compañero Miguel Demeza Jiménez is unjustly accused of robbery and kidnapping by the Special Prosecutor against Organized Crime and the Ocosingo ironmonger Emilio Adiel Argueta Ruiz and his friend from El Salvador Ruben Anibal Ramirez Monge. Compañero Miguel is innocent and is demonstrating it, because on August 13th he won an injunction which shows the serious human rights violations committed by the bad government.

Never again a Mexico without us,

From the northern zone of Chiapas, receive an embrace from the women and men of San Sebastian Bachajón,

Attentively

Land and Freedom!

Hasta la victoria siempre!

Freedom for Political Prisoners!

Freedom for Alberto Patishtan Gomez!

Juan Vazquez Guzman Lives, the Bachajón Struggle continues!

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Freedom is denied to Patishtán

Filed under: Political prisoners — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:48 am

Freedom is denied to Patishtán

In the last resort within the judiciary in Mexico, the Collegiate Court refused the motion to recognize the innocence of the Tzotzil teacher. Although an executive pardon is a possibility, “neither Alberto Patishtán, nor we as his defence, will ask for it,” said the lawyer Leonel Rivero.

Desinformémonos

!cid_part1_04010008_06050601@cgt_orgMexico, DF. “Neither Alberto Patishtán nor we as lawyers will ask for his pardon” from the executive, says Leonel Rivero, lawyer for the Tzotzil professor, minutes after the release of the decision of the First Appellate Court, based in Chiapas, which rejected the recognition of his innocence. Having spent 13 years in prison, out of a sentence of 60, this was the last judicial resort in Mexico to achieve the release of Patishtán, a native of El Bosque, Chiapas.

Accused of involvement in the killing of seven policemen in 2000 in the hamlet of Las Limas, in Los Altos de Chiapas, Patishtán Gomez is imprisoned in San Cristobal de las Casas. It is not yet known yet if he is aware of the court ruling, his lawyer says. “Now the only recourse remaining is the interamerican system of justice,” adds Rivero in a telephone interview with Desinformémonos from Tuxtla Gutierrez.

The ruling “is an insult to all Mexicans, and we will not give in,” said Trinidad Ramirez, of the Peoples’ Front in Defence of the Land from Atenco, on receiving the news at the sit-in vigil established in the City of Mexico since September 11, outside the Council of the Judiciary of the Federal Power. The Committee for the Freedom of Patishtán state that they will continue to work for the freedom of Alberto Patishtán “based on what he says. We will respect what he decides,” says Rogelio Rueda, a member of the Committee.

 

 

 

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September 11, 2013

Adherents to la Sexta call for release of activist

Filed under: Movement for Justice in el Barrio, Political prisoners — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:56 pm

 

 Adherents to la Sexta call for release of activist

Protest at the consulate in New York

Hermann Bellinghausen

La Jornada
Wednesday September 11, 2013, p. 20

fotoa2Migrants from Movement for Justice in El Barrio in New York, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, held a protest at the Mexican Consulate of the U.S. city to demand the release of Alberto Patishtán Gomez. “During the protest, representatives from the consulate came out, and we demanded the immediate and unconditional release of this great social activist”, said the organization.

Patishtán, an “indigenous political prisoner from El Bosque, Chiapas, has endured over 13 years of unjust and retaliatory imprisonment”, they said.

“Although we are geographically far away from our beloved Mexico, the border will not stop us continuing to fight for justice and freedom for our brother”. The fight for his freedom “continues in our hearts in a profound and spiritual way”.

“We are outraged. The whole world is watching the progress of this case with concern. Our union without borders will continue until Alberto is free”.

They recalled that this week, the first collegiate tribunal of the twentieth circuit in Chiapas “will make the final decision” on the case. The judges should reflect on the innocence of Alberto in the context of the great historical debt that the state, especially its legal body, has accumulated with indigenous peoples. It is this history that must be remembered, as it has given birth to the current situation of injustice, racism, systemic oppression, violence and total impunity”.

Outside the consulate, the migrants insisted on the “immediate and unconditional” liberation of Patishtán Gomez, since “his arrest and the time that he has spent behind bars have been absolutely unjust, because the teacher never committed any crime. Alberto is only guilty of fighting for justice, dignity and democracy”.

Similar protests have been held in recent days in Barcelona, ​​Paris, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Bogota and several cities in Mexico (Veracruz, San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico City and Cuernavaca). Up until Tuesday, more than 16,000 people had signed Amnesty International’s letter demanding freedom for the Tzotzil teacher.

 

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/09/11/index.php?section=politica&article=020n2pol

 

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