dorset chiapas solidarity

February 5, 2017

The Freedom of ex-Political Prisoner Roberto Paciencia Cruz is at Risk

Filed under: Frayba, Human rights, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:47 pm



 The Freedom of ex-Political Prisoner Roberto Paciencia Cruz is at Risk



San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas

February 2, 2017

Joint Bulletin:

The working group No Estamos Todxs and the centre of human rights Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas AC, express our concern regarding the risk to the freedom of our compañero Roberto Paciencia Cruz (Roberto Paciencia) who is an Indigenous Tsostil of Chenalhó, Chiapas and an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle.

Roberto was detained August 9th, 2013 and accused of abduction. During the moment of his detention and incarceration, acts of torture, arbitrary detention and unfair trial were documented, violating the rights of personal freedom and integrity, personal security and access to due process.

Since his detention, and throughout the judicial process that lasted three years and three months, Roberto did not cease his struggle against the injustices of the corrupt Mexican political system. On November 26, 2016, he was released by acquittal under the recognition of his innocence on part of the Judge of the criminal branch of the judicial district of San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

However, the public prosecutor has filed an appeal against the acquittal, despite not having been able to sustain the accusation against our compañero Paciencia during the trial, and in spite of the mentioned violations against him.

The arbitrary and unjust detention to which Roberto was subjected has brought physical and psychological consequences for him and his family, disrupting his life and generating poverty in his family.

According to available information, the study of the case and the proposal of appeal will be under the charge of Residing Judge C, of the Regional Mixed Collegiate Courtroom Zone 3, of San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Judge Ramiro Joel Ramírez Sánchez will head the case. The judges that integrate the courtroom will vote upon the proposal in the middle of February

The probability of his acquittal being modified has generated uncertainty, stress and anxiety for Roberto, as well as for his family. During the months following his release, Roberto has moved to San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where he has tried to continue his life together with his family. Right now he is working and continuing the struggle.

During the years that he was detained in CERSS Number 5, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, he continued to defend the right of the prisoners, showing solidarity and commitment to the imprisoned survivors of torture and politically motivated criminalization. He did not stop denouncing the many abuses committed by the authorities, like the unjust and corrupt penitentiary and judicial system that discriminates against people for being poor and Indigenous.

The working group No Estamos Todxs and the Centre for Human Rights Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas AC, reiterate our concern regarding the risk to the freedom of Roberto Paciencia and we urge the judge Ramiro Joel Ramírez Sánchez and the members of the Regional Mixed Collegiate Courtroom Zone 3, of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, to confirm the acquittal, for not having legal means to revoke the sentence.

To the adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle and the national and internal civil society, we ask you to be attentive to the resolution of the Regional Mixed Collegiate Courtroom Zone 3, and to carry out solidarity actions for Roberto Paciencia Cruz and his family

Working Group No Estamos Todxs

Centre of Human Rights Fray Bartolomé de las Casas AC

Translated by Palabras Rebeldes



November 27, 2016

After Three Years of Unjust Imprisonment, Indigenous Tsotsil Obtains His Freedom, Thanks to National and International Solidarity

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:25 am



After Three Years of Unjust Imprisonment, Indigenous Tsotsil Obtains His Freedom, Thanks to National and International Solidarity



San Cristóbal de Las Casas, November 24th, 2016

To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the Councils of Good Government

To the National Indigenous Congress

To the Sexta,

To the Free, Alternative, and Autonomous Media

To Those that Struggle From Below and to the Left

Today, our hearts are filled with joy and we want to share the happiness of receiving our compañero Roberto Paciencia Cruz in liberty. It has been three years and four months of struggle and resistance inside and outside the prison walls. Moments like this demonstrate that walking and planting the seeds of social and collective justice will end giving a harvest of the fruits of liberty.

Roberto, ex-prisoner and adherent of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle of the EZLN, is one of those people who will not remain silent, who will not legitimize barbarism, and who is willing to assume the consequences of his scream of consciousness and rebellion. Through his voice, Roberto has denounced the violations of human rights that the incarcerated population suffers at the hands of the prison authorities and he has inspired the awakening of other prisoners inside the prison walls.

This was another case of the racist and classist state justice system for which being poor and indigenous is a crime sufficient to be incarcerated. But also, it is an example of how prison can be another trench of struggle, where one can continue the work of those who have struggled before, and set an example for those that continue struggling for their freedom.

This week various events have taken place to spread information and accompany the case of Roberto. This was particularly important, as tomorrow was the deadline for the judge to give his sentence of conviction or acquittal. Yesterday an event was held where families and compañerxs of Roberto gave testimonies, inviting the people that move below and to the left to maintain alert to the impending judicial resolution. Today, since 9am, a concentration of people was maintained in front of the cathedral in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to make the case visible. Simultaneously, a commission was sent to the Central Estatal de Reinserción Social de Sentenciados (CERSS) No. 5 to accompany Roberto in person, and to provide pressure before the resolution of the judicial process. At one in the afternoon, the judge acquitted our compañero and at 5:30 they opened the doors for him to leave the prison behind, and to newly recover his freedom.

Amongst screams of “Freedom, freedom to the prisoners in struggle”, tears of excitement, happiness, and the sound of the Zapatista hymn, Roberto Paciencia arrived at the Plaza of Resistance at 6pm to reunite with his family, compañerxs, and friends. Today we managed to overcome a serious obstacle, but still, we reaffirm our commitment to struggle until everyone obtains their freedom.

Until all the walls are torn down!

For freedom to everyone!

Down with the prison walls!


Working group “No Estamos Todxs”

Translated by Palabras Rebeldes

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



November 23, 2016

Judge to Deliver Sentence for Roberto Paciencia

Filed under: Frayba, Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:57 am

!24 de Noviembre, 2016. Roberto Paciencia ya esta libre!

Judge to Deliver Sentence for Roberto Paciencia


 paciencia1Press conference for Roberto Paciencia Cruz. Photo@ChiapasDenunciaPublica

On November 10, relatives of Roberto Paciencia Cruz, Sympathizers with The Voice of Amate and the Working Group “No Estamos Todxs” (GTNET in its Spanish acronym) announced at a press conference at the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Centre (CDHFBC or Frayba) that on November 26, William Hernandez Ovando, Judge of the Criminal Law Section of San Cristobal de Las Casas District, will deliver a sentence on the case of Roberto.

Roberto Paciencia, indigenous Tsotsil, campesino and adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle; “Victim of Torture, Cruel, Inhuman and/or Degrading Treatment, Arbitrary Deprivation of Liberty and Violations of Due Process” was arrested on August 7, 2013, in the municipality of Pantelho, Chiapas, and transferred to the premises of the Specialized Prosecutor against Organized Crime’s Office (FECDO in its Spanish acronym) in Tuxtla Gutierrez. In this place, Roberto was physically and psychologically tortured for two days and locked in a punishment cell. He was later transferred to the State Centre for Social Reintegration of Sentenced Persons (CERSS) No. 5 of San Cristobal de Las Casas, where he is currently held, without sentence.

According to the CDHFBC, Roberto Paciencia, as a result of torture, “has physical and psychological scars, without receiving adequate medical care, and his prolonged detention has affected his life project, especially his family.” On numerous occasions “he has used his voice to denounce the injustices that the prison population lives in the prison where he is held” and the existence of other cases of human rights violations in CERSS No. 05. Relatives, the Sympathizers and the GTNET stated that regarding the delivery of a sentence, “the compañero’s innocence has been legally demonstrated on various occasions: the only prosecution witness has not appeared at any of the numerous hearings, and, on the contrary, there are witnesses who stated that Roberto was not present at the time at the scene of the crime of which he is falsely accused.”

In Chiapas, human rights violations committed against vulnerable populations “is a daily practice in the system of administration of justice, which keeps persons whose right to personal integrity and security is violated in jail in inhuman conditions.” Due to this, the relatives, Sympathizers and the GTNET denounced “the injustice of the deprivation of liberty of Roberto Paciencia and we make a call to stay alert to the judicial decision of the next few days demanding that finally justice be done for our compañero.”




November 14, 2016


Filed under: news, Zapatistas — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:53 pm


November 8, 2016

Originally published on It’s Going Down
By Scott Campbell


ezln-cni-conferenceZapatistas at the opening of the Fifth National Indigenous Congress.

On October 11, 500 delegates from the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the military command of the Zapatistas (EZLN) met in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas to mark the 20th anniversary of the founding of the CNI. The opening comments from the Zapatistas were largely a call for indigenous peoples to get organized. It was the closing statement that caught everyone’s attention though. The CNI and EZLN announced they would begin consultations with their communities on the EZLN’s proposal of naming “an indigenous woman, a CNI delegate, as an independent candidate to the presidency of the country under the name of the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army for National Liberation in the electoral process of 2018.”

The reactions were immediate. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the darling of the liberal electorate, was furious. He blames the Zapatistas for his losses in 2006 and 2012, and now they seem poised to interfere again with his presidential plans. Meanwhile, some anarchists pointed out that this proves the Zapatistas aren’t anarchists and that those who support the EZLN have been duped. Never mind that the EZLN has never claimed to be an anarchist group. On the authoritarian left, Mexico’s Socialist Workers Party could barely contain its glee over the news, emphatically endorsing the EZLN’s proposal.

The Zapatistas responded with a defensive and irritated statement largely arguing that this proposal is valid due to the impact it would have on the spectacle of electoral politics in laying bare the racism and sexism inherent in that process. A few days later, another statement communicated that the CNI and EZLN will announce the decision to run a candidate or not on January 1. They also said the “Zapatistas and ConSciences for Humanity” gathering will begin in Chiapas on December 25.

In reading and discussing these developments with compas in Mexico, the general attitude seems to be to wait and see what happens. Some feel it is a publicity stunt, designed to provoke just the sort of reaction it did, and that this will be made clear on January 1. On the other hand, if a joint CNI-EZLN candidate is put forward, then a re-evaluation by many anti-authoritarians would have to occur. While some of what they are proposing is interesting – to have an indigenous woman as president guided by the decisions of an assembly – to consider entering the electoral arena strikes many as a betrayal and is difficult to reconcile with the EZLN’s strident critiques of the system and power. To flirt with electoral politics even with the goal of détournement is to engage with a system fundamentally opposed to liberation, designed to consolidate power and legitimize repression. Such a move seems more akin to Michael Moore and his ficus plant than the Zapatistas and their uncompromising, decades-long struggle for autonomy and self-determination. Stay tuned.

In related news, a member of the CNI from the autonomous Tzeltal community of San Sebastián Bachajón was detained and severely beaten by a group led by a local government official. Two days later, on October 19, 800 police and 400 paramilitaries positioned themselves on the outskirts of that community. Fearing a raid, the alarm was sounded, but it appeared to just be an intimidation tactic. For other Chiapas news, be sure to check out Dorset Chiapas Solidarity’s Zapatista new summaries for September and October.




Originating from an Argentinian call for a general women’s strike, on October 19 actions occurred all over Mexico to condemn the ongoing crisis of femicide in the country and the system that facilitates impunity in the face of the epidemic murders of cis and trans women. El Enemigo Común has a round-up of the events of that day and provides context on femicide in Mexico. “The State of Mexico registered 1,045 homicides of women between 2013 and 2015, out of a total of 6,488 women killed country-wide, according to government statistics. Next came Guerrero, Chihuahua, Mexico City, Jalisco and Oaxaca, with 512, 445, 402, 335 and 291 homicides of women reported, respectively, in the same period.” Those numbers a likely low, as it is estimated an average of six cis women are murdered in Mexico daily. The actions on October 19 were given additional urgency following the murder of Alessa Flores on October 13. Flores became the third trans woman to be murdered in Mexico in 13 days, and the 22nd to be killed in 2016.

A week later in Oaxaca, women organized a shutdown of a taxi stand following the sexual assault of a woman passenger by a taxi driver. “We’re very angry and outraged by the increase in sexual violence against women in Oaxaca, but above all by the impunity that reigns and continues to get worse,” an organizer said.

Femicide was also the focus of a Day of the Dead march in Mexico City on November 1. With their faces painted like Catrinas, hundreds of people marched through the city centre. Said one of the marchers, “It felt very important for us to come out today to remember all the women killed by femicide in this country. Today we gather here as feminist women, brought together by the wave of femicides happening all over the country. We came out at this time of night because the streets are ours, the city is ours, the spaces are ours, and we came to prove it.”




On September 28, four anarchist prisoners in three different prisons began a hunger strike as an act of rebellion and in solidarity with the prison strike in the US. Throughout the strike, Luis Fernando SoteloFernando Bárcenas and Miguel Peralta wrote various letters, all of which are translated on IGD. Out of concern for deteriorating health and permanent injury, the hunger strike ended after 15 days, though they continue to fast until 1pm each day.

Around the same time the strike ended, a push was underway by liberals in Mexico City to pass an amnesty law for the city’s political prisoners, specifically the anarchists. Instigated by the MORENA party of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, it was an attempt to divert attention from the anarchist prisoners’ strike toward electoral ends and was roundly rejected by the prisoners themselves. Fernando Bárcenas wrote, “We don’t need amnesties because we don’t want or need laws to govern our lives…We want to see the insurrection spread everywhere that destroys centralized power, the common yoke that all of us poor carry on our backs.” And Luis Fernando Sotelo responded with, “I do not want any institution to recognize my freedom if it means that freedom is partial, if not illusionary…I don’t want to be forgiven or redeemed by the machine that torments the people.”

Anarchists in Mexico City expressed their solidarity with the prisoners’ struggle by making it a focus of their annual combative march on October 2, marking the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre – which is distinct from the symbolic, state-facilitated commemorative march on the same day. They also called for militant actions for the following week at two of the Mexico City prisons holding the comrades.

The indigenous Nahua community of San Pedro Tlanixco in the State of Mexico is restarting efforts to fight for the freedom of several of its residents criminalized for their defence of the community’s water. Three are serving sentences of up to 54 years, while three others have been held in prison for ten years without being sentenced. Two more have arrest warrants out against them.

On October 12, hundreds marched in Chilpancingo, Guerrero calling for the release of all political prisoners, in particular the 13 members of the indigenous community police (CRAC-PC) who have been jailed for the past three years on weapons charges. A similar situation is unfolding in the autonomous indigenous Nahua community of Santa María Ostula in Michoacán, where three arrest warrants are out against the commander of their community police. At the same time, drug cartels are reorganizing and threatening the community, who successfully drove the cartels off their lands in 2009. The Zapatistas and National Indigenous Congress also released a statement in solidarity with Ostula.


Students around Mexico continue organizing for a greater role in determining their own education, against state violence, and for access to education and to employment following graduation. As usual, it has been teaching college students (normalistas) who have been taking the lead. In Michoacán, where the state discriminates against hiring normalistas, students have been taking militant actions to demand jobs after they finish school, as well as to fight back against state repression. On September 27, 49 were arrested at a highway blockade in Tiripetío where state police also opened fire on them. In the days that followed, the students escalated their actions to demand freedom for their comrades by blockading train tracks with a burning truck, shutting down the town’s bus station, blockading the highway again, and detaining five police officers. Ultimately they were victorious, as by October 3, all 49 students were released, along with eight who had been imprisoned since August 15.

But events didn’t end there. On October 17, normalistas blockaded another highway, an action that was attacked with tear gas and rubber bullets by police and where 30 students, primarily women, were arrested. They were released shortly after. On October 22 and November 5, normalistas again attempted to blockade the train tracks that run near their school in Tiripetío, only to be repelled by police. Lastly in Michoacán, as of mid-October, aspiring students had occupied Michoacán University in the state capital of Morelia for 50 days, demanding the school accept and enrol more students and reduce application fees.



To the south in Guerrero, two normalistas from Ayotzinapa were murdered on October 4 while traveling on a bus back to the school from the state capital. Gunmen on board killed John Morales Hernández and Filemón Tacuba Castro and wounded three other passengers. The state is saying it was a robbery, though survivors indicate that the gunmen knew the two were Ayotzinapa students. In other Ayotzinapa news, the state announced on October 21 it had arrested Felipe Flores Vázquez, who was the local police chief of Iguala when the normalistas were attacked and disappeared there on September 26, 2014. The lawyers and parents of the normalistas are demanding the right to participate in the legal process against Flores, though the state has rejected this request. The government is playing up the arrest as a chance to learn what really happened that night, belying the fact that for the past two years it has actively worked to conceal the truth.

Since 2014, students at the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) in Mexico City and an affiliated high school, the Scientific and Technological Studies Center 5 (CECyT 5), have been organizing and striking against cuts and attacks on education and pushing for the removal of the university’s director. CECyT 5 students have been on indefinite strike and their encampment was attacked by 40 to 60 porros (paid thugs) on October 7, leaving many students with serious injuries. In response, students installed barricades around campus, condemning not only the attacks and the administration, but expressing solidarity with anarchist prisoners on hunger strike in Mexico and with the prison strike in the US.

After the disappearance and murder of students and an alumnus of Veracruz University on September 29, students there organized a march against violence and impunity in the state, during which an Amnesty representative commented that “Veracruz has a human rights crisis like we’ve never seen before in the history of this state or in Mexico.” And in Chiapas, 28 normalistas also demanding work were arrested on November 5 and hit with federal charges. Fortunately, word spread quickly and people mobilized, leading to their release the next day.


penasquito-blockade-mineBlockade of the Peñasquito gold mine in Zacatecas.

Actions in defence of the land continue around the country. In Acacoyagua, Chiapas, the municipality passed a declaration declaring it “mining free” and residents set up two blockades in early October to shut down the Casas Viejas titanium mine. Mining machinery was also set on fire. Around the same time in Zacatecas, twenty communities impacted by the Peñasquito mine, the largest gold mine in the state, blockaded all nine entrances to the mine. A few days later, police removed them from the main entrance, but the communities still held the eight other positions.

On October 22, the People’s Front in Defence of the Land (FPDT) in Atenco, State of Mexico, commemorated 15 years of existence. Formed to resist the construction of Mexico City’s new international airport on their lands, Atenco has come to symbolize militant self-determination and autonomy. “There were only two paths: to hand over the lands like merchandise and survive bent over, or to defend them with our lives if necessary. We decided to fight.” They defeated that attempt to build the airport, though are currently battling another. President Enrique Peña Nieto, who was formerly governor of the State of Mexico and whose police deployed severe violence against Atenco in 2006, including systematic sexual assault, the case of which is now before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, is trying again for an airport. Despite work being ordered suspended by the courts, construction continues in Atenco. On October 5, gunmen opened fire on community members as they tried to halt the project.

Clashes between indigenous Yaqui communities left one dead and eight wounded on October 21. The conflict was instigated by Sempra Energy, a corporation based in San Diego, CA, who through their Mexican proxy company, IENova, is attempting to build a natural gas pipeline through Yaqui lands. One community, Lomas de Bacúm, has installed a blockade to stop the pipeline. They were attacked by communities who support the construction, likely due to the benefits promised if they let it be built on their lands. Following the violence, the Zapatistas and National Indigenous Congress released a statement in solidarity with the pipeline resistance and condemning the internal division and violence caused by the state and multinationals.


Javier Duarte, the former governor of Veracruz who resigned on October 12, and Guillermo Padrés, the former governor of Sonora, are both on the run with warrants out for their arrests for corruption. Duarte fled in a state-owned helicopter, yet the government claims to not know where he is or how he got away. Priest and human rights defender Alejandro Solalinde indicated his likely location in Chiapas, but it has not been followed up on.

As many as 4,000 human bone fragments have been found on a five hectare site in Patrocinio, Coahuila. The state government says not to worry, they all belong to just three people. The group that searched the area begs to differ, as do the neighbors who said that SUVs drove into the site daily and huge fires were often seen burning on the land. PEMEX workers are organizing against the privatization of Mexico’s petroleum industry. A call has gone out among workers to fight back against firings and to take worker control of the Cangrejera plant in Veracruz to prevent its handover to private companies. There’s a good essay, translated into English, examining from a radical perspective the process of gentrification currently underway in Mexico City. In a recent example of that struggle, a group linked to the district government and escorted by police attacked and robbed vendors, who for 111 days had held an encampment in front of a Chedraui in Iztacalco, Mexico City. The vendors were protesting the opening of the big box chain store so close to their market.

That’s all the news for now. Insumisión will be back in about a month but keep an eye on IGD for more translations in the meantime.

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

Insumisión: Refusing Fear, Choosing Resistance




November 2, 2016

Procession outside CERSS No.5 to Demand the Release of Roberto Paciencia Cruz

Filed under: Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:10 pm



Procession outside CERSS No.5 to Demand the Release of Roberto Paciencia Cruz


pacienciaPedro Lopez Jimenez during the procession around CERSS No.5. Photo@SIPAZ


On October 29, the parish of St. Augustine of Teopisca, member of the Human Rights Committee “Jcanan Lum”, convened a Eucharistic celebration outside the State Centre for Social Reinsertion (CERSS) No. 5. The objective of the activities was to denounce the “bad administration of justice that exists in the Mexican State” and the resulting torture of innocents, in particular the case of torture victim Roberto Paciencia Cruz. “We demand the prompt and impartial investigation of torture perpetrated against Roberto Paciencia Cruz on the day of his arbitrary detention. Currently he is held in the CERSS 5, as an investigation by the Special Prosecutor for Combating Corruption is open into torture for the above stated.”

During the concentration, former prisoners, sympathizers of the Voice of Amate, demanded compliance with the memorandum of agreement of February 5, 2016, in which representatives of the State Government pledged to repair the damage caused by the unjust imprisonment and the streamlining of procedures to free Alejandro Diaz Santiz and Roberto Paciencia Cruz, both adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle.

Pedro Lopez Jimenez, one of the former prisoners, said representatives of the state government had then committed to achieving his release within a month regarding the release of Roberto Paciencia Cruz, and assured that the case of Alejandro Diaz Santiz would be analyzed and as a guarantee offered his immediate return to the prison located in San Cristobal. To date, no commitment has been fulfilled.

The concentration ended with a procession around the prison, in which over 300 participants with banners, blankets and shouting slogans in chorus such as “Roberto, brother, you are not alone” or “Freedom, freedom, freedom” demanded the release and of all political prisoners, unjustly imprisoned “just for being poor and being indigenous.”



October 24, 2016

Unjustly Imprisoned Roberto Paciencia Cruz Denounces the Denial of Visits for Second Time

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous, sipaz — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:14 am



Unjustly Imprisoned Roberto Paciencia Cruz Denounces the Denial of Visits for Second Time


pacienciaPilgrimage of the youth of Chenalho in support of the unjustly imprisoned. Photo @SIPAZ


On October 14, unjustly imprisoned Roberto Paciencia Cruz, Tsotsil indigenous, adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the EZLN, held in CERESO No. 5 of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, again suffered unfair treatment. In a letter, he publicly denounced that the prison director, Jorge Antonio Utrilla Muñoa, along with his guard, Ernesto Guzman Lopez, denied entry to his visits “although the director had authorized permission the day before so they could go inside the prison”. Roberto reported threats and intimidation on the part of the prison director in order to deny the inmates their right of expression and to [make them] suffer in silence the ill-treatment both to prisoners and their visitors “[…] he tells us, if we complain to some dependency he can move us to another CERESO (sic.)”. It is the second time in less than two months that Roberto has been denied his “sacred visits” arbitrarily. In his letter, Roberto declares that, “the injustices, humiliations, threats, psychological torture, is the daily bread that the authorities give us in different jails of the state (sic.)”.

It should be recalled that despite the numerous pieces of evidence of his innocence, more than three years after his detention Roberto Paciencia Cruz has still not had his sentence delivered, given that the prosecution has not presented [its case], although it has been called several times to testify before the judge.

According to the NIV News Group, the current director of CERESO No. 5, Jorge Antonio Muñoa Utrilla, had already been denounced by guards and custodians for mistreatment and abuse of authority while he was director of CERESO No. 8. Through a letter they sent to local media, the complainants claimed that Utrilla “behaves in a despotic and rude manner with the staff of the prison and the families of inmates”, that, under threat of dismissal or being moved to another prison if orders are not carried out, he makes guards do personal work of the direction, neglecting the security of the jail, that he uses “the prison vehicle for emergency transfers of inmates as if it were his personal bus” so that they have had to “bring the inmate in private cars to hospital, a situation that puts the safety of the transfer at risk .” According to the complainants, the worst is that Antonio Jorge Utrilla Muñoa “blames them for mistakes that he deliberately causes.” On February 22, 2015 in CERESO No. 8, “several inmates went on hunger strike and sewed their mouths to denounce Utrilla Jorge Antonio Muñoa’s abuse.” According to the NIV News Group, during Antonio Jorge Utrilla Muñoa’s term as head of CERSS Comitan No. 10 “there was evidence of corruption and drug trafficking.”

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



October 21, 2016

Government of Velasco Threatens Indigenous Prisoners

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:52 pm



Government of Velasco Threatens Indigenous Prisoners

Announcement of Roberto Paciencia Cruz




Centro Penitenciario No. 5 San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas

October 17, 2016

Unjustly imprisoned, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle of the EZLN, is held in the prison No. 5 San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. The injustices, humiliations, threats, and physical torture are the bread that the authorities give us each day, in different prisons of the country.

Unfortunately, this is the case in CERESO, where they want to prohibit the little that we have previously had, specifically our visitors.

For example, on October 14th, 2016, the director Jorge Antonio Utrilla Muñoa together with the guard Ernesto Guzmán López, completely ignored my visitors who wanted to see me and share breakfast that they have prepared with me. The employees did not give access to my visitors.

The director had authorized the permit a day before so that they could pass into the prison. But he did not value his word. He tells us that if we complain he can transfer us to another CERESO. Because of this I make this public announcement, asking the governor of Velazco Coello that he take account of the aforementioned problem, because it is not just that a worker prohibits our rights and intimidates indigenous prisoners.

On the other hand, I demand the president of the Republic, Enrique Peña Nieto, to urge the governor of Veracruz and Chiapas to release compañero Alejandro Diaz Sántiz.

Lastly, I invite all of the independent, local, national and international organizations to join in this cause and to demand the liberty of all of the political and unjustly incarcerated prisoners of the country.

Justice and Liberty!


Roberto Paciencia Cruz


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

Translated by Palabras Rebeldes

September 24, 2016

Report of beatings and harassment of political prisoner from Bachajón

Filed under: Bachajon, Political prisoners — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:21 pm



Report of beatings and harassment of political prisoner from Bachajón




Compañeros and compañeras we wish you all a good day; through this letter we are sending some urgent information from our compañero prisoner Esteban Gómez Jiménez and ask you to please circulate it.

Today, 21st September, 2016, we received the following information by telephone from compañero Esteban Gómez Jiménez from CERSS number 14 el Amate. Here is his word:

“Compañeros and compañeras, my name is Esteban Gómez Jiménez, I send a cordial greeting to my compañeros from San Sebastian Bachajón, the Indigenous National Congress (CNI) and social activists; I have been imprisoned since 2012, I was arrested in the ranchería Pamalha in the municipality of Chilon, when I was chopping wood, where the state police came to arrest me accompanied by a paramilitary; I was taken to playas de catazaja, cersso number 17 where they fabricated crimes against me. I am unjustly imprisoned in jail, they arrested me for organising and for defending mother earth.

This is why I am sending this message to help me get my freedom, because here in prison they treat us badly, so I request my freedom because I am innocent, I am imprisoned unjustly they charged me with a crime in which I was  never involved as well as with assault, murder, carrying a firearm, organized crime; my crime was to get organized and defend our mother earth, so I ask all the compañeros and organizations to help me get my freedom, because here in jail they treat us badly; yesterday afternoon 20th September, 2016 I was attacked by a person at about 5.30 pm, when I was talking normally to my compañeros and suddenly that person arrived, his name is José Guzmán Hernández, he started to to criticize and attack me verbally, saying that I am in an organization which is good for nothing, then he started to attack me physically, he hit me in the face, my nose started to bleed and my face was swollen, those who were in charge of the prisoner did not proceed to do anything when he was hitting me; I was not given medical attention, on the contrary I was charged  500 pesos for what happened, and it was not me who started the fight, I was the one they came to provoke and attack; the person who hit me gets along well with those in charge of those who are imprisoned, which is why they did not say anything; if I had not paid the 500 pesos they were going take me out of the place where I sleep, so a compañero lent me the 500 pesos and he watched so they would not throw me out; some people who know José Guzmán Hernández tell us that he was a prisoner in “Ocosingo” and then for his bad behaviour he was sent here to el “amate.” He was the one who physically attacked me, so for this reason I ask you to help me to demand my freedom because I’m afraid they could attack me again or they could kill me here in prison.”

We ask you all compañeros y compañeros, according to your customs and abilities, to offer what solidarity you can to compañero Esteban to protect his integrity and obtain his release as soon as possible.

combative greetings


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



September 21, 2016

“Help me get out of here,” pleads unjustly imprisoned and sick indigenous man from the ejido Bachajón.

Filed under: Bachajon, Political prisoners, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:18 pm




“Help me get out of here,” pleads unjustly imprisoned and sick indigenous man from the ejido Bachajón.




Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón

Compañeros and compañeros we hope you all have a good day

Here we share a message from our compañero Santiago Moreno Pérez, imprisoned in Playas de Catazajá, Chiapas, where he calls for helps from organizations asking them to show solidarity and demand his freedom; he also sends greetings to compañeros from the Indigenous National Congress CNI and other organizations:

I am Santiago Moreno Perez. What I would like to say is can you please help me to get out of here, I have already spent time as a prisoner in jail, now I am sick my back hurts and also my knees and I’m asking for medication but but the pain is not relieved by the pills they give me.

If you can you please help me to get out of jail, that is what I ask you and if you feel able to take my case, like today will not forget and when I leave I will see you again, so I ask you that great favour to help me out of here, it is very important, as I am not in good health, I’m asking for medicines in medical area but what they give me is not for my illness, so I remain unrelieved.

santiago-morena-perezI ask you to please help me get out of here, this is what I ask you, I have difficult days here and so does my family, my relatives who are outside are not happy because they are in poor health also, so I ask you to help me to get out.

Santiago has been a prisoner since 2009 in Playas de Catazajá, Chiapas on accusations made by members of the PRI from the community of La Pimienta, because at the time he was arrested he held the position of autonomous vigilance councillor for the other campaign and he was blamed for a crime he did not commit in order to remove him from his position.




Posted by: Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



September 15, 2016

Alejandro Diaz Santiz Reiterates His Demand for Freedom

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:55 am



Alejandro Diaz Santiz Reiterates His Demand for Freedom


alePilgrimage of Highland Catholics, San Cristobal de Las Casas, September 2016 (@SIPAZ)


Alejandro Diaz Santiz, the indigenous Tsotsil prisoner held in the CEFERESO No. 15, Villa de Comatitlan near Tapachula, Chiapas, has again demanded his freedom. In the last letter he wrote, the adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the EZLN denounced that he is the only sympathizer of the Voice of Amate not released on July 4, 2013, allegedly because his case had not occurred in the state of Chiapas but in Veracruz. “The bad governors that exist in our country and states live in pure lies only making promises of support that they never keep, especially Governor Manuel Velasco Coello,” Alejandro in his letter. He alleged that the state governor, Manuel Velasco Coello, pledged to see to his case and to seek his freedom with the Veracruz authorities more than three years ago but “to date has not achieved anything.”

On another note, Alejandro asked President Enrique Peña Nieto “to urge the Governor of Veracruz for my freedom that has been stolen for more than 17 years paying for a crime that I never committed.” Finally, he invited all national and international independent organizations to continue to demand justice and freedom for political prisoners and prisoners of conscience throughout the world.


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity on 15/09/2016



September 5, 2016

Visits Denied to Unjustly Imprisoned Roberto Paciencia Cruz, in CERESO No. 5

Filed under: Indigenous, Political prisoners — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:19 am



 Visits Denied to Unjustly Imprisoned Roberto Paciencia Cruz, in CERESO No. 5


robertoComplaint from Roberto Paciencia Cruz (Photo: @ Revolución TRESPUNTOCERO)


On August 28, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, an unjustly imprisoned Tzotzil indigenous in CERESO No. 5 San Cristobal de Las Casas and adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the EZLN, issued a complaint to report “the unjust humiliation and psychological torture” that all those who are in the different prisons of the state and country suffer, and to personally highlight the treatment and humiliation that he is suffering. In his complaint, he reports what happened on August 27 in the CERESO No. 5: “the warden Abelardo Mendez Gonzalez and guard Isidro Manuel Vazquez Hernádez […] with director Victor Manuel Vazquez Hernandez” completely refused the entrance of his visits. He states that, “As poor indigenous people they humiliate us like this.” Consequently, Roberto Paciencia Cruz demands that the governor Manuel Velazco Coello take action on the outlined issue regarding “officials who mismanage their positions.” At the same time he demands his freedom from the state government as soon as possible, as well as the release of his comrade Alejandro Diaz Santiz. Roberto concludes his complaint calling for “Justice and freedom.”

It is noteworthy that three years after his arrest, Roberto Paciencia Cruz is still awaiting sentencing.



September 1, 2016

Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, in solidarity with the Voz del Amate, from the CEFERSO at Villa de Comatitlán, Chiapas

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:34 am



Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, in solidarity with the Voz del Amate, from the CEFERSO at Villa de Comatitlán, Chiapas



To public opinion

To the state, national and international media

To the alternative media

To the nongovernmental defenders of human rights

To the national indigenous congress (CNI) and the EZLN

Tsotsil indigenous prisoner, Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, in solidarity with the Voz de Amate, member of the sixth declaration of the Lacandona Jungle of the EZLN, incarcerated in the CEFERESO No. 15 in Villa de Comatitlán, Chiapas. The bad governors that exist in our country and state live only by pure lies promising us support that is never fulfilled, especially the governor Manuel Velasco Coello. On his second visit to CERESO No. 15 in San Cristóbal de las Casas. When he freed all of my compañeros of the Voz de Amate on July 4th, 2013. I am the only one who wasn’t freed, under the pretext that my case is in another state, while he had promised to see my case or seek the means before the authorities of Veracruz to obtain my liberty—something that until now has not been fulfilled. Already three years have passed without any response, and this is why I am demanding the governor of Chiapas to fulfil his word.

alexdiazOn the other hand, I am asking president Peña Nieto to urge the governor of Veracruz for my liberty that has been robbed from me for more than seventeen years, paying for a crime I didn’t commit. Lastly I invite all of the independent state, national, and international organizations to continue demanding true justice and liberty for all of the political prisoners and prisoners of conscious in all of the world.

Together we can win true justice!


Alejando Díaz Sántiz

August 5, 2016


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

From a translation by Palabras Rebeldes



August 30, 2016

Denunciation of Roberto Paciencia Cruz, Unjustly Imprisoned Adherent of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle

Filed under: Indigenous, La Sexta, Uncategorized — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:45 am



Denunciation of Roberto Paciencia Cruz, Unjustly Imprisoned Adherent of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle



To public opinion

To the state, national and international media

To the alternative media

To the sixth

To civil society

To the brothers and sisters of the Pueblo Creyente

To the diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas

To the independent organizations

To the nongovernmental defenders of human rights

To the national indigenous congress (CNI) and the EZLN

Unjustly imprisoned, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle of the EZLN, incarcerated in the CERESO No. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas. The unjust humiliation and psychological torture we all suffer in the different penitentiaries of the state and country is what we are daily confronting. For example, Saturday August 27, I was denied my visitors, who wanted to see me and spend some time with me. The warden Abelardo Méndez Gonzéles and the guard Isidro Manuel Vázquez Hernádez completely denied my visitors. These employees along with the director Victor Manuel Vázquez Hernández did not take into account the effort made by my visitors. As poor indigenous people this humiliates us. Because of this I am making this public denunciation, demanding the government Manuel Velazco Coello to take action against the officials who have mishandled their professional positions. At the same time, I demand that the state government to give me my freedom as soon as possible, and also the freedom of my compañero Alejandro Díaz Sántiz.

Finally, I invite all the global organizations to continue reclaiming the liberty of all of the political and unjustly imprisoned prisoners of the country.

Justice and liberty!


Roberto Paciencia Cruz

Penal No. 5 San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas

August 28, 2016


Translated by Palabras Rebeldes

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



August 28, 2016

Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Centre Asks for Precautionary Measures for Woman Prisoner Who Was Tortured

Filed under: Frayba, Human rights, Indigenous, sipaz — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:15 pm



Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Centre Asks for Precautionary Measures for Woman Prisoner Who Was Tortured


patriciaPatricia del Carmen Paniagua Gomez (@PGJE)

In a bulletin on August 16, 2016, the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Centre (CDHFBC) reported that it had requested precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (CIDH) for Patricia del Carmen Paniagua Gomez, a woman prisoner since April 2014, whose life is in danger after the torture she was subjected to when arrested.

Within three months of entering prison she was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, a chronic degenerative disease. The CDHFBC said that given the inadequate and insufficient medical care by the prison authorities, “there is no metabolic control and a persistence of psychiatric symptoms that adversely affect” her general state of health which represents an imminent threat to Patricia’s life and physical and psychological integrity, “because she can fall into a diabetic coma and / or die at any time.”

In the background to the case, the CDHFBC mentioned that, in April 2014, Margarito Benjamin Zolano Gonzalez was arrested in the municipal capital of Teopisca along with Patricia del Carmen Paniagua Gomez and Maria del Rosario Zolano Gonzalez without an arrest warrant. The three people were tortured and accused of the death of Manuel Velazquez Hernandez, leader of the National Organization of People’s Power (ONPP), whose body was found in Teopisca municipal dump in February 2014.


Note: Since this was written, Patricia has been transferred to the prison of El Amate, far from her family. Previously she was imprisoned with her mother and her aunt who were able to give her some help with her psychological needs and her daily insulin treatment.

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity on 28/08/2016



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