Chiapas: Roberto Carlos, Initiates Hunger Strike


August 5th, 2017

Roberto Carlos Ruiz Hernandez, prisoner in struggle in CERSS No. 5 of San Cristóbal de las Casas, initiated a new hunger and thirst strike on July 31st. In the first three days, he did not ingest solid food, liquid or any type of supplement to combat his dehydration. At this moment, he is ingesting only honey and water, which in no way signifies that he has taken a step back in the struggle for his freedom.

The health and physical integrity of the compañero has already been in a worrying state due to the two previous hunger strikes that he has carried out as a means of applying pressure in the demand for his freedom. Furthermore, he has had to face physical and psychological torture since the moment of his detention.

This past June 29th, through a press conference in the offices of FRAYBA, Roberto sent us a call demanding his immediate freedom and announcing that in the case that he was not released, he would start a new hunger strike. That is the situation in which he is currently found, due to the absolute negligence and indifference of the government that, based on complete arbitrariness and aversion, has kept our compañero kidnapped behind the walls of the prison and bureaucracy.

Roberto has been detained since May 22, 2013, accused of the supposed crime of extortion. He is a survivor of physical and psychological torture accredited by the Istanbul Protocol. His rights of due process during his trial have been violated, and he has never been able to count on legal assistance. After being sentenced to seven years, his case was presented in 2015 before the Table of Reconciliation of the Government of Chiapas. After reviewing it, they determined that he has to be freed.

Even though having years of his life robbed from him—today he has already served more than 70% of his sentence—the government authorities continue engaging the cynicism, arrogance and cruelty of which characterize them.

Despite being deprived of his freedom, nobody has ever signaled him as the author of the crime for which he is incarcerated. The sentence that Roberto is facing is also applicable to his compañera and his kids, as the inhuman reach of the prison not only punishes those whom are incarcerated, but all of those who surround the incarcerated. The prison has complete intention to do just that.

Beyond entering into the debate of innocence or guilt, we are totally conscious that the greatest crime of which our compañero is guilty is his poverty and vulnerability in front of the boundaries imposed by power and capital.

Roberto is just one of many other histories that we will never know, histories of horror and terror that they impose on us, with their turbid laws and their revolting power, which determine that people are expendable and, as such, disposable. But he also is an example of dignity, of resilience and strength. Even when everything forced him to bow his head and to submit to the vengeance of power, his actions and his voice force us to not be indifferent before a reality that surrounds us, and of which we have to take responsibility.

We demand the immediate freedom of our compañero.

We name responsible all the levels of government of whatever physical and psychological consequences derive from the hunger strike of our compañero.

We name responsible all of the levels of government for the life of our compañero, since the hunger strike not only puts in risk his well being, but his life too is in danger.

We call on everyone to carry out actions to demand the freedom of Roberto.

We reaffirm our commitment to the struggle for the freedom of our compañero, solidarity will always be our partner on this pathway, and with it, we will not stop until we pull Roberto from inside the walls of the beast.

Until we are all free!

Working Group No Estamos Todxs

August 7th, 2017

Update on the situation of compañero Roberto Carlos Ruíz Hernandez, prisoner in CERSS No. 5 of San Cristóbal de las Casas.

Compañero Roberto Carlos decided to lift his hunger strike this past Sunday because of his deteriorating health.  Due to the five days of hunger strike, three of them also as a thirst strike, serious consequences to his health were evident, including a risk of possible death:  Roberto suffered from strong muscle cramps, he was spitting blood, and has strong muscle, stomach and kidney pains.  Furthermore he suffers from extreme skinniness, accompanied by hypertension and a grave state of stress and anxiety, weakness and fatigue.  He was in a state of dehydration, paleness and purple lips due to the possible deterioration in his blood supply.

During the time in which ourcompañero carried out the hunger strike, the prison authorities kept him in the infirmary, using the excuse of his care.  However, this is truly a form of isolation in which practically his only contact is with the staff of the prison institution.  Throughout the time, these authorities have pressured him to abandon the hunger strike through different strategies of coercion, with all the stress this causes in Robert Carlos’ health.

Roberto Carlos has begun to ingest food, but his body is rejecting it.  He is also ingesting serum orally to confront “wasting syndrome” after the hunger strike.

The Secretary of Citizen Security and Protection, Sub-secretary of Prison Enforcement and Security Measures of CERSS No. 5, where he is imprisoned, released a detailed statement where they committed not to transfer our compañero and to carry out the necessary paperworkbefore the Table of Reconciliation of the State, before the Judge of the First Instance of theSentence Enforcement Court and other competent authorities.  Equally, they committed to respect his human and individual rights.

Needless to say, we have no faith in the words or acts that the prison institution says or writes.  The only thing we will do is continue demanding the immediate and unconditional freedom of our compañero who has already faced more than 80% of a sentence imposed by their cruelty, hatred and unreason.

Roberto is not alone, our voice and our acts continue accompanying his struggle and his dignity.

We demand the immediate freedom of our compañero.  We continue reaffirming our commitment to accompanying him and we call on everyone to be attentive to his situation and integrity.

We also call for the active solidarity that each considers appropriate to demand the freedom of Roberto Carlos.

Freedom to Roberto Carlos Ruíz Hernández and all of the prisoners in struggle!

Until we are all free!

Working Group No EstamosTodxs

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