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September 9

This communique comes from Indigenous prisoners in struggle in Chiapas, Mexico, announcing the beginning of a three-day fast demanding better treatment in prison and their freedom.

September 9th, 2019

CERESO No. 5

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas

September 9th, 2019

Prisoners in struggle of the organizations, La Voz de Indígenas en Resistencia and La Voz Verdadera del Amate, both Adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the Public

To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the National and International Civil Society

To the Indigenous Governing Council

To the National and International Media

To the National and International Sixth

To the National Indigenous Congress

To the Human Rights and Nongovernmental Organizations

To the Independent Organizations

To the People of Mexico and the World

To our sisters and brothers, compañeras and compañeros, as well as the state, national and international media that have followed our struggle from outside these prison walls. We want to thank you for being attentive to our struggle which has been ongoing since March 15th of this year. At the same time, we ask that you give us your full support.

The power of the bad government has caused so much pain toward the Mexican people, including the public officials of this prison who abuse their power against inmates. As Indigenous people, they humiliate us and take advantage of us. We have always been objects of mistreatment and humiliation, ignored by the bad officials and the bad government.

A clear example was on August 29th of this year when the judge, M. Guadalupe Flores Rocha, and the director of this prison, José Sánchez Ríos, came to threaten us, demanding that we return to the general population. They told us if we did that, they would give us benefits and our freedom. We, Juan de la Cruz Ruiz and Adrián Gómez Jiménez, have all the necessary requirements the judge asks of us, including certificates of primary and secondary studies, diplomas, working days and good behavior. We have given her these papers. It is not her job to force us to return to the general population. Her job is to watch over our well-being and our rights, especially considering we have already been imprisoned for many years.

On September 4th, the director of this prison came to our space of resistance. There, in the presence of Luis Carlos Gutierrez Costa and other public officials, the director threatened and humiliated us. He gave us 24 hours to abandon our space of struggle, at the same time padlocking the bathroom, forbidding us to enter and bathe. This is the first time he has carried out such humiliating acts against us.

Regardless, we told him that we will not let up because our struggle is just and dignified; because we were kidnapped by the state and have been unjustly imprisoned. Because there are many innocent Indigenous people in prison. Furthermore, we were victims of torture by the public ministry and its judicial agents. They tortured us in different ways, forcing us to sign blank pages. We signed them because we could not resist the beatings any longer. These testimonies which were obtained through torture were used to produce an order of imprisonment. Up to this moment we have been unjustly imprisoned for crimes that we have never committed. The bad system of judicial power has destroyed our lives, our dreams. It has taken from us our families and children.

In response, on September 9th, 2019, as members of the organizations, La Voz de Indígenas en Resistencia and La Voz Verdadera del Amate, both adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, we declare ourselves on a three-day fast which we will end on Thursday, September 12th.

The fast will consist of us taking in only water and honey. This is act of resistance against the injustice, against the threats and humiliations that we have received from this prison director. We have drafted five demands responding to the necessities of our well-being as human beings.

First: That the judge M. Guadalupe Flores Rocha gives priority to our cases and gives us our freedom. Our papers are already in her hands.

Second: A change in prison director here in Prison No. 5. We demand one who has ethics, and a sense of professionalism, watching over the well-being of the population, and who isn’t corrupt and mafia like.

Third: That they respect our physical well being as human beings and the space of struggle where we are today.

Fourth: That they allow us to enter to bathe, and that they remove the chain and lock on the bathroom.

Fifth: We demand that the President of the Court of Justice, Juan Oscar Trinidad Palacios, carry out the meeting that has been pending since July with our families. We demand the governor of Chiapas, Rutilio Escandón Cadenas, urgently respond to our demands, and issue instructions to the Judge M. Guadalupe Flores Rocha for our benefit and for our freedom. In this prison No. 5 of San Cristóbal de las Casas, the director, José Javier Sánchez Rios, has made threats against us.

Lastly, we invite all of the independent state, national and international organizations to continue demanding true justice and freedom for all political prisoners and prisoners in struggle throughout the world.

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

Respectfully,

Organization: La Voz de Indígenas en Resistencia

Juan de la Cruz Ruiz

Adrián Gómez Jiménez

Organization: La Voz Verdadera del Amate

Abraham López Montejo

Germán López Montejo

Both Adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the EZLN

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Written By:

Voices in Movement

Voices in Movement publishes translations and analysis – both contemporary and historical – to share strategy, solidarity and histories of resistance across imaginary divisions of nations and borders, drawing insight from struggles of below and to the left, where the heart is. They also author Revuelta Comunitaria, a semi-regular column on It's Going Down addressing social struggles and political repression in the territory of so-called Mexico.

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