Filed under: Incarceration, Indigenous, Political Prisoners, Southern Mexico
Statement from Indigenous prisoners in struggle in CERSS No. 5 in Chiapas denouncing prison authorities as COVID-19 continues to take its toll at the prison.
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 Media
To the Human Rights Defenders and Non-Governmental Organizations
To the Independent Organizations
To the Indigenous People of Mexico and the World
To the Civil Society of Mexico and the World
We are Indigenous prisoners, Adrián Gómez Jiménez, of the organization, La Voz de Indígenas en Resistencia and Germán López Montejo and Abraham López Montejo, of the organization, La Voz Verdadera del Amate. Both organizations are adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, EZLN. We are currently imprisoned in CERSS No. 5 in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas.
Compañerxs, brothers and sisters. We want to bring to light the situation we face as prisoners due to the health emergency brought by COVID-19, which has caused many people to lose their lives across the globe.
The coronavirus outbreak was first known here on May 21, 2020. After the death of a prison official, Artemio Jiménez Estrada, two other workers from this prison have already died. José, who was in charge of the tortillas in this prison, died of COVID-19. Also, Manuel Cordero, who worked in the labor area has also died of COVID-19. We used to order our materials from him.
Here in CERSS No. 5, there is an outbreak of COVID-19. Today, June 13, the inmate Mario A. has died. He was abandoned by the authorities who didn’t even realize he had died.
Mario A. should have been released from prison because he had diabetes and other illnesses. He fought for house arrest but the unjust authorities denied him that. He should have been released. These are the injustices we face in this prison, injustices caused by government officials. We will never know if the cause of Mario’s death was COVID-19 because we know that he was never tested. What we do know is that he died in prison, from abandonment and negligence, on part of the prison authorities, who treat us like disposable objects who can die in total impunity.
Previously, prison authorities denied the outbreak of COVID-19 here in CERSS No. 5. According to them, they had it under control with the safety measures they had in place. Let’s see what excuses and lies they come up with now regarding the death of this inmate.
We want to mention that they did not even inform us of the death of Manuel Cordero or José. They never appeared on the radio news. They want to maintain the image that everything is under control.
We will not remain quiet about what is happening in this prison where there is an outbreak of COVID-19. We don’t know who will be the next inmate to die victim of the coronavirus, but meanwhile we remain in danger. We continue denouncing that prison authorities have denied us our COVID-19 test results. We should be well-informed about this mortal pandemic, but it is quite the opposite.
If they continue denying us our test results, we will carry out an action to demand that we receive our documents, because we have the right to know the results.
Lastly, we invite the state, national and international independent organizations, the state, national and international human rights defenders, to continue demanding true justice and freedom for the political prisoners, prisoners of conscious and prisoners in struggle.
Uniting the voices of the Mexican people, true justice will triumph.
Adrián Gómez Jiménez
Germán López Montejo
Abraham López Montejo