Mexico: “Struggling with heart” indigenous Tzeltal people from the ejido Bachajon Chiapas, unjustly imprisoned
Published by the Pozol Collective, 24 March 2017
Chiapas, Mexico. 24 March. “A lot of doves are around the prison, we are an organisation from different states and countries, different places”, reflects Esteban Gomez Jimenez, imprisoned since 2013 in the Playas de Catazajá Prison, and currently in Cereso 5 de San Cristóbal. He is held for organising against the dispossession of the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, which borders on the tourist attraction the Agua Azul Waterfall. Esteban was accused by Manuel Jimenez Moreno, a Priista Verde Ecologista party member from Pamalha, of an assault he did not commit, but it’s on this pretence he was detained and later accused of other crimes.
“One day, at night, when I was asleep, in my dreams all of a sudden the image came to me of a lot doves of different colours and I said “Oh my God, what’s going to happen? I thought I was alone”. Esteban shared these thoughts in a letter published by the solidarity work group, We’re not all here (in Spanish, “No estamos tod@s”). “Oh Lord, I don’t know how the compas are getting along” was another thought that along with the imprisonment is a penalty the indigenous Tzetal prisoner lives every day: not being with his community, organising alongside them against mega-projects imposed on the region.
Santiago Moreno Pérez, a political prisoner from the same ejido Bachajón, requested “continued support for me because I am imprisoned in Playas de Catazajá Jail, I ask you to please share this information with your compas”. Santiago has been prisoner since 2009 in Playas de Catazajá, for accusations made by Priisstas from La Pimienta community. At the time he was detained he held the responsibility of Autonomous Security Advisor for the Other Campaign and he was accused of a crime he did not commit to strip him of his position. “The struggle continues, you too, compañeros, it’s necessary to keep fight on the outside, that’s how it is for me, struggle with my heart” shared Santiago, who is also an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle.
In the same spirit, the spokespeople from the ejido Bachajon announced on 18 March the release of one of the three political prisoners from their community, Emilio Jimenez Gomez. They also asserted that they are “resisting and fighting together to say enough already” and they insist that they are not “accomplices of a system that imprisons the poor”, they oppose to a system where for speaking up you are attacked and sent to jail, “because you don’t want to participate in corrupt business that sells our lands to private businesses to make themselves millionaires”.
“That is why we are building our autonomy, forging a new road of solidarity struggles, seeking a future in freedom” also stated the members of the National Indigenous Congress.