Alejandro Díaz Santiz’s report. Photo: @Chiapas Denuncia.
Unjustly imprisoned Alejandro Diaz Santiz, currently deprived of his liberty in federal prison No. 15 of Villa Comaltitlán, Tapachula, Chiapas, reported threats, abuse of power by the prison guards, as well as verbal and physical humiliation. In a letter, the adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and member of the “Sympathizers of the Voice of Amate” group, stated that “in the prisons of our country and states prisoners in different prisons or CEFERESOS (Centers for Social reinsertion) suffer ill-treatment by the authorities”, giving the example that “many of my colleagues have been beaten for almost no reason.” In his letter he detailed the physical abuse inflicted on an inmate who is about 60 years old, completely naked, for having disposable cups in his cell. Diaz Santiz’s letter ended asking the President of the Republic to exhort his freedom from the governors of Veracruz, as well as demanding the governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello, “to fulfill his promise in which he promised to see my case with the authorities of Veracruz “, which is almost three years without being fulfilled.
It should be remembered that Alexander has spent more than 17 years in confinement for “a murder he did not commit”, and also “at the time of his arrest did not speak Spanish, he was tortured, never had access to a translator and did not have enough money for adequate legal defense”, according to Sympathizers of the Voice of Amate. In September last year he was transferred from a state prison to a maximum security prison, although the crime for which he is serving a sentence does not pertain to the federal jurisdiction, nor is he a high risk prisoner. ‘No Estamos Todos Working Group called this move “political revenge” for “supporting and raising awareness among other prisoners and for not being silent about the abuses of the prison authorities.” The resolution of an injunction that could release Diaz Santiz for partial remission of his sentence is currently impending.
From the beginning of this year until May, the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH) received more than 800 complaints about the operation of national prison system and detention centers, according to La Jornada. The same media source said that complaints are over “poor medical care, torture and ill-treatment, poor nutrition, insufficient labor and educational activities, lacking facilities and lack of hygiene.” They shall also noted that Chiapas is among the six states in which 80% of the complaints received are concentrated.