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Jun 3, 20

Indigenous Prisoners in Struggle in Chiapas Complete Second Week of Hunger Strike

Update after two weeks on the hunger strike taking place in two prisons in Chiapas

 

The hunger strike launched by Indigenous prisoners in struggle in CERSS No. 5 and CERSS No. 10 in Chiapas has now completed its second week. At the launch of the strike the prisoners planned to end the strike on June 5. As of now, it is still unclear whether they plan to end the strike on June 5, or continue indefinitely. We will try to continue with updates as they come in.

The names of the participating prisoners and organizations are as follows:

CERSS No. 5

Organization: La Voz Verdadera del Amate

Germán López Montejo

Abraham López Montejo

Organization: La Voz de Indígenas en Resistencia

Adrián Gómez Jimenez

CERSS No. 10

Organization: Vineketik en Resistencia

Marcelino Ruiz Gómez

 

Below we publish translations of various updates from the prisoners and their family members over this past week of the hunger strike. For previous updates check these links:

Update after the first week of the strike here

Update after three days of the strike here

Declaration of hunger strike CERSS No. 10 here

Declaration of hunger strike CERSS No. 5 here

 

 

Communique from CERSS No. 5

May 28, 2020 (Day 8 of Hunger Strike)

To the Public

To the Networks of Resistance and Rebellion

To the National Indigenous Congress

To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the National and International Sixth

To the Networks Against Repression and for Solidarity

To the Mass and Alternative Media

To the Human Rights Defenders and Non-Governmental Organizations

To the Independent Organizations of Mexico and the World

Today, Thursday, May 28, 2020, the prison authorities put a lock on the bathrooms at night so that we do not have access to them. We were previously allowed nighttime access to these bathrooms in the medical area by the previous prison director, José Sánchez Ríos.

Today, the Subsecretary for the Execution of Criminal Sanctions and Security Measures visited us. We spoke to him about the bathroom situation. He told us that we could use the bathroom in the bedding area. The problem is that at 10:00pm that bathroom is locked. From that time on, we will not have access to a bathroom for whatever necessity. These are the irregularities we face from prison authorities.

We remain in struggle nonetheless. Our struggle is dignified. No walls nor bars will detain us. The state, and its appendage, the prosecutor’s office, have caused us much damage. I, Adrián Gómez Jiménez, have been robbed of 16 years of my life by the state and prosecutor’s office. They do not want to give me my freedom for my time served. It is better to die a rebel, than to die in silence in the face of these cruel, incompetent and corrupt authorities. Whatever they do, whatever comes next, even if the prison guards come to intimidate or beat us, we will continue. We have already suffered torture at the hands of the prosecutor’s office, but we will continue speaking out until we obtain our freedom.

We also want to share that the four compañeros imprisoned for the injustices of the prosecutor’s office, have ended their participation in the hunger strike, due to the repression and intimidation on part of the Subsecretary for the Execution of Criminal Sanctions and Security Measures. The prisoners were told that if they didn’t end the strike, arriving at some agreement, they would be transferred to another prison.

That is why today, the three of us Indigenous prisoners in struggle that make up the organizations, La Voz Verdadera del Amate and La Voz de Indígenas en Resistencia, will continue this hunger strike until June 5, no matter what. We don’t care. We have already suffered so much at the hands of the state prosecutor’s office. There is vile corruption there. It detains innocent people and the true criminals walk freely. They walk freely because they have large amounts of money to bribe the authorities. In consequence, the authorities search for innocent people to blame for the crimes, like they have done to us.

Lastly, we invite the independent organizations and human rights defenders to be attentive to our health. We are denouncing the anomalies that they are carrying out against us. We also invite you to continue demanding true justice and freedom for political prisoners, prisoners of conscious and prisoners in struggle.

Uniting the voices and forces of the prisoners and the Mexican people, true justice will triumph.

Respectfully,

Adrián Gómez Jiménez (La Voz de Indígenas en Resistencia)

Germán López Montejo (La Voz Verdadera del Amate)
Abraham López Montejo (La Voz Verdadera del Amate)

Communique From CERSS No 10

June 1, 2020 (Day 12 of Hunger Strike)

To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the National and International Civil Society

To the National and International Sixth

To the National Indigenous Congress

To the Believers

To the Media

To the People of Mexico and the World

Brothers and sisters, compas. Greetings from my space of struggle.

Twelve days ago, we began our hunger strike in two different prisons in the state of Chiapas.

The motive of our peaceful protest is to demand our freedom. We want to raise our voices once again demanding justice against impunity, so that there is less repression against Indigenous people. We don’t want inconsistencies in the deployment of justice, nor more human rights violations.

In these twelve days of struggle and resistance behind these four walls, we have not had any response from the governor of Chiapas, C. Rutilio Escandón Cadenas. Nor has the general secretary, Ismael Brito Mazariegos, responded in any way. This same general secretary told us during our first hunger strike in 2019 that he would provide a solution in 20 days. At that same time, the judge committed to giving me my freedom in two months. A year has passed and the judge, M. Guadalupe Flores Rocha, has not shown her face. She only toys with our sentiments and those of our families. We have spent much time in prison, serving unjust sentences for prefabricated crimes without evidence. We are victims of torture.

We demand that the governor, Rutilio Escandón Cadenas, take account of the situation because the only thing he is doing is repressing our freedom.

In the middle of this pandemic we run the risk of infection for the deplorable sanitary conditions and the lack of medicine and equipment needed by the doctors. On April 28 they couldn’t even check my blood pressure because the necessary monitor wasn’t working. It was broken.

I let them know of the necessity of this equipment. They responded that the medical area does not have a budget. We demand better medical attention.

Lastly, we call on the social organizations and collectives to unite in this struggle against injustice. We are thankful for the intervention and accompaniment of the human rights organization, Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, and other organizations.

Sincerely,

Marcelino Ruiz Gómez (Vineketik en Resistencia)

Communique from the Collective of Family Members of the Prisoners in Struggle

June 2, 2020 (Day 13 of Hunger Strike)

Statement from day 12 of the hunger strike being carried out by Adrián Gómez Jiménez, Abraham López Montejo and Germán Lopez Montejo in CERSS No. 5 San Cristóbal de las Casas, and Marcelino Ruiz Gómez of CERSS No. 10 in Comitán.

We want to share our feelings, our rage, our impotence, and our concern for our family members in CERSS No. 5. We are primarily concerned because twelve days ago they were tested for COVID-19, and until this date, the authorities have not given us any update. Furthermore, there has been no response from the authorities to the hunger strike. The compañeros are thus amidst an uncertain moment, worried to see the results of their tests.

This 15-day hunger strike is demanding medical attention for the health and well-being of the prisoners. Only through an act of resistance like this will they be attended to. Do they have to extend the hunger strike 15 more days so that there are results?

We want to remind everyone that healthcare is the right of all human beings without exception, prisoner or not, mestizo or indigenous, man or women, girl or boy. We are all equals. Nobody is more and nobody is less.

For this, we demand the intervention of the Secretary of Health, Dr. José Manuel Cruz Castellanos. We want the results as soon as possible to remove from us our anguish. We are extremely concerned as our family members are suffering in that horrible place paying unjustly for a crime that they did not commit. They are workers, victims of torture. We have children who sad for the situation of their fathers, dads with anguished hearts for having to live through this nightmare away from their worried children and wives.

They have already been on hunger strike for twelve days, consuming only water and honey. Their bodies are suffering the first symptoms which, from the experience of the last strike, leads to infection and diarrhea.

The authorities have prohibited use of the bathrooms at night, leaving the bathrooms locked. This is abuse. This prison doesn’t even provide the most basic personal hygiene, not even a sheet of toilet paper. Now they are even prohibiting use of the bathroom. We don’t know if there is more abuse to come.

For all these reasons, we demand that the governor of Chiapas, Rutilio Escandón Cadenas, grant immediate freedom to Adrian Gómez Jimenez, Germán López Montejo, Abraham López Montejo and Marcelino Ruiz Gómez. We hold the governor entirely responsible for the lives and well-being of our family members and compañeros. In their hands is the guardianship of each one of our family members, as well as the entire imprisoned population. We hold him responsible for whatever situation which threatens the lives of our compañeros for not implementing the necessary health precautions in the prisons.

We ask that everyone, within their capabilities, continue supporting, sharing and accompanying the struggle of our imprisoned family members, unjustly imprisoned and survivors of torture.

We thank you in advance.

Sincerely,

Collective of Family Members of the Prisoners in Struggle.

Communique from CERSS No. 5

June 3, 2020 (Day 14 of Hunger Strike)

To the Public

To the Networks of Resistance and Rebellion

To the National Indigenous Congress

To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the National and International Sixth

To the Network Against Repression and for Solidarity

To the Mass and Alternative Media

To the Human Rights Defenders and Non-governmental Organizations

To the Independent Organizations of Mexico and the World

Compañerxs, brothers and sisters, to everyone who has followed our struggle for justice and freedom, we send our fraternal greetings on part of Abraham López Montejo and Germán López Montejo of the organization La Voz Verdadera del Amate and Adrian Gomez Jimenez of La Voz de Indígenas in Resistencia. We are imprisoned in CERSS No. 5 in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.

With this phone call, we want to take the time to speak out about our situation. We are currently suffering from headaches, dizziness and stomach pains due to the hunger strike which we began on May 21. We have not been given medicine or pills. There has been no medical attention. We emphasize that we have had diarrhea, but they will not give us the pills nor serum to prevent dehydration. Rather, we are curing ourselves with medicinal plants.

We also denounce that they have not given us the results of COVID-19 tests that we took. Rather they have denied us the results. This is a violation of our rights. They have prevented us from using the bathroom in the medical area. It is true that they have provided us the bathroom in the bedding area, but they lock it at 10pm. This is the last time we have to use the bathroom. Beginning at 10pm, we do not have a bathroom. For whatever sickness or diarrhea, we have nowhere to go. We denounce these actions that they have taken against us. The sickness is stalking us every day. We see that there aren’t any preventative measures being taken against COVID-19.

With this communique we demand the results of our COVID-19 tests and a resolution to the situation with our bathroom. Right now, we do not have a bathroom to use at night.

Lastly, we invite the independent organizations and human rights defenders to continue demanding true justice.

Uniting the voices and forces of the Mexican people, true justice will triumph.

Respectfully,

Adrián Gómez Jimenez (La Voz de Indígenas en Resistencia)

Abraham López Montejo (La Voz Verdadera del Amate)

Germán López Montejo (La Voz Verdadera del Amate)

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