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Sep 30, 17

Letter From Political Prisoner Miguel Peralta Betanzos

With everything and amidst everything…two disasters, thousands of realities….solidarity with the brotherly peoples! With the urgency to bring down these walls and be able to support, in whatever way…we continue!

Update and Denunciation of the Judicial Process of the Political Prisoners of the Assembly of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón

Nearly three years ago began this process filled with irregularities, both in the penal case, as well as in the actions of the officials in charge of imparting this circus of justice. After those called judges, magistrates, public prosecutors, and court clerk, insisted and demanded the appearance of the witnesses for interrogation, on September 22nd four witnesses came to the courthouse. These four people are key in the indictment and fabricated accusations against the compañerxs of the community assembly, those of us who have maintained our resistance from imprisonment and the others still persecuted by orders of apprehension.

On this occasion, the state police did not have any excuse and were forced to transport us from our prisons, to our hearing at the courthouse in Huautla, scheduled for ten in the morning. While the travel is nothing dignified or comfortable, to see the water running between the mountains reproducing community life, strengthens us. We arrived punctually at the hearing to remove the truth from the rubble of injustice.

Our first impression was the presence of a large number of state, ministerial and municipal police located both outside and inside the courthouse, as well as groups of men that work with the imposed municipal president, Elisa Zepeda. Like on the other occasions we have denounced, she has been bothered that our families and members of the community assembly accompany us to each hearing, where she and her family members who serve as witnesses had previously failed to arrive. This includes their latest strategy to justify their contempt of the multiple judicial warrants, by utilizing a paid notice in the newspaper lying again that our family members come armed with sticks and machetes to the courthouse. With this, their refusal to arrive was because their physical well-being was in danger; something completely false. The judge has already, in every moment, guaranteed their security and assured the necessary conditions for their presentation, such as not allowing the presence of our families in the courthouse, in spite of the hearings supposedly being public.

Finally, on September 22, four of the six witnesses who had been summoned came to the courthouse—the only evidence that supports the false accusations. During the course of the interrogations, the complicity that exists between the functionaries of the court and the Zepeda family was again evident. During the almost 13 hours of interrogation, it was visible that the judge is part of this game and simulation of justice. He was not present during all of the hearing. He only appeared when he had to confirm the legality and illegality of the prepared questions. That is to say, to discard the questions and not carry them out because in his opinion they were loaded and incongruous. That is also to say that this is one of the most blatant examples of corruption and influence or the “supplying” of textbook responses. Furthermore, he was there to disrupt the hearing, to find whatever excuse to scold the defense; for example, for bringing water into the courthouse, or for their physical movements that he thought represented an insult.

On this occasion, the court clerk and the public prosecutor participated (as social representatives of the “supposed aggrieved party”). Along with the judge, these two functionaries on multiple occasions focused on the responses, trying to accommodate what the witnesses had already said, to be congruent with the ministerial declaration or to make sense of responses. Supposedly, neither the public prosecutor nor the court clerk can participate in the answers, but in our hearing it seemed that was their job. And yes, that was their designed job, not beneath the law or codes of procedure, but in the interests of the Zepeda family.

These three people—the judge, the public prosecutor and the court clerk—together with two men that didn’t identify themselves, and the bodyguards of Elisa Zepeda and the police, tried in distinct ways to cancel the hearing. It was only evident that the two unidentified men came with the witnesses and police. They too were allowed to be inside the courthouse (contrary to what happened with those who came to accompany us who were located a block beneath the courthouse, as they were not allowed inside). These various peoples tried to provoke and intimidate us—our lawyers as well as my compañero prisoners and I—as we were the only that were allowed in the hearing. However, and in spite of listening to so many lies and observing the staged performance, our interest was focused on the interrogations, after having waited for so long for these people to come to the hearings, we could not allow them to cancel it.

I would have liked to been able to record everything that happened in the hearing; the great staging of lies, blackmail, manipulation, complicity, abuse of power and corruption that we observed for more than 11 hours. But those hours have translated to almost three years that we have lived inside this legal farce…and the years before 2014 where the history is the same, in the same court. Still, with all of the support that they have given to the witnesses to accommodate their responses, they failed to substantiate their declarations, as they are based in lies, in acts that didn’t happen. However, it is worrisome to know that it will be that same judge and that same court that will dictate the sentence. We know that at all cost, as they have done up until now, they will try to maintain our incarceration and the persecution of our compañeros.

For now, with these lines I share with you all, I share the courage to know that the country is collapsing not only for questions of nature, but because in itself, there is a rotten and decomposed system, that likes to organize pain. There isn’t anything to stop their lies, their abuse…but we tell them again that we don’t believe them, that we don’t trust them and that we will continue struggling and resisting until they cease to exist.

Solidarity with the brotherly peoples!

Miguel Peralta Betanzos

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