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July 20

Statement from Prisoners in Struggle in Chiapas After 126 Days of Hunger Strike

This communique comes from the Indigenous prisoners in struggle on hunger strike in Chiapas, Mexico. The strike has already lasted over 126 days and the state has refused to respond in any meaningful way to the demands of the strike. Meanwhile, the health of the compañeros continues to worsen. The original in Spanish was published by the Working Group No Estamos Todxs.

To the Public

To the CIG Networks of Support

To the National Indigenous Congress

To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the National and International Sixth

To the Media

To the Non-governmental Human Rights Defenders

To the Network Against Repression and for Solidarity

To the Independent Organizations

To the Indigenous Communities of Mexico and the World

To the People of Mexico and the World

Prisoners in struggle, Adrián Gómez Jimenez and Juan de la Cruz Ruiz, members of the organization, La Voz de Indígenas en Resistencia. Germán López Montejo and Abraham López Montejo, members of the organization, La Voz Verdadera del Amate. Both organizations adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the EZLN being held in Prison No. 5, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.

To the compañeras and compañeros, sisters and brothers, to the media, to the networks of support, to the journalists, to the human rights defenders, to all those who have followed our struggle taking place behind these prison walls, our trench of struggle. We send you all a combative greeting.

These are our words from inside of these walls. Our words move freely. Nobody can stop them. These are our words.

Prisons are designed to kill us slowly.

Prison daily feeds from pure sadness.

Prison is like a fire that burns on the inside.

Prison is like a graveyard that has consumed thousands of prisoners, and several prisoners have already died because the government and the public prosecutor fabricate crimes through torture.

Prison is organized extermination that ends the lives of innocent prisoners.

We are prisoners in struggle, held in CERESOS #5, located at kilometer 20 on the San Cristóbal- Ocosingo highway; CERESO #14 “el Amate” located in Cintalapa de Figueroa; CERESO #10 located in Comitán. Due to the anomalies and injustices that prisoners live through and suffer, as members of the organization, La Voz Verdadera del Amate, we decided to raise our voices. On March 15th of this year, we threw ourselves into an indefinite hunger strike. The strike was meant to demand the revision of testimonies of torture, the revision of the irregularities in due process that the incompetent judges did not take into account, and lastly to demand our absolute and immediate freedom.

The three levels of government promised many things during their campaign and the Mexican people voted for them because of those things that they promised. Amongst their promises was the freedom of political prisoners. Those were pure lies.

As we have seen firsthand from inside this prison, in this dungeon, the government of the State of Chiapas does not care about our lives. This is clear in the lack of response from the government after more than 126 days of a hunger strike. Furthermore, the cruelty of the authorities is clear as they are on vacations with their families and not interested at all in our situation.

The government of Rutilio Escandón Cadenas, and the General Secretary Ismael Brito Mazariegos, only make promises in meetings with our families. In May when we were on a fast, they promised to give us our freedom. Those were pure lies. These lies are like psychological torture for us, along with our families and the compañerxs that have accompanied us.

The three levels of government want to see us in coffin. The government wants to see us dead. The hunger strike has already lasted so many days that four strikers are already very sick.

Compañero Adrián Gómez Jiménez, member of the organization, La Voz de Indígenas en Resistencia, was taken to the Hospital of Cultures on May 22nd with serious infections. Afterwards, his pain intensified when on June 1st he had urine in his blood. He was handcuffed to the stretcher while he had intravenous serum pumped into his arm for a full day and night. That is pure torture in the Hospital of Cultures. They didn’t give him water or honey. Today, he has severe pain in his legs, stomach pain, headaches, shortness of breath, sweating and weakness. Furthermore, on July 15th, he was notified that his appeal was negated, and that his sentence of twenty years remains the same. However, the lawyer, Andrés Hernández Díaz, did not give him any document that calrifies this decision. The public defender asked him for his signature for the appeal, which he considers to be a trick, a psychological tactic of intimidation. There is no clear resolution. We denounce these anomalies against him, and the lack of a clear response to his appeal.

Furthermore, on June 29th, the compañero Juan de la Cruz Ruíz, member of the organization La Voz de Indígenas en Resistencia, was transferred to the Hospital of Cultures where Adrián Gómez Jiménez was also located. His health was in a very bad state, with stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting and cramps in his legs. There, he was diagnosed with a salmonella infection. In prison we are given all kinds of garbage. We are thus very sick with fatigue along with stomach pains in the mornings and daily headaches. Lastly, on July 14th, Juan was again transferred because he had a stomach ache accompanied by a fever. He was diagnosed with infections in the urinary tract, something of which all four of us have already been hospitalized. It is clear that the government is not interested in our lives.

As we have said from the beginning, it is better to die in struggle than be enslaved by governments.

The organization, La Voz Verdadera del Amate, and their member, Germán López Montejo, also took up the hunger strike this past March 15th in CERESO No. 14 “El Amate”. Afterwards, on May 2nd, he was transferred to CERESO No. 5 where he continued on hunger strike. On June 24th, he was taken to the infirmary where they gave him a serum and intravenous antibiotics. Later he was given antibiotic pills for an infection and diarrhea that was accompanied by headaches, muscle pain and fatigue. On that date, he was transferred to the Hospital of Cultures for the same infection along with diarrhea and a headache. Now the weakness has worsened. However, the government does not care about our health.

We are willing to die fighting because we do not want to remain kidnapped by the government.

Similarly, Abraham López Montejo, member of the organization, La Voz Verdadera del Amate, has had strong stomach pain, headaches, weakness, dizziness. He was also diagnosed with anemia by doctors who came to see him from the outside the prison. He furthermore is suffering from fatigue and vision issues.

The government wants to see us in a coffin. They have no interest in our lives. That is why we’re already sick.

Our struggle is just. No bars will stop us, no governments, no wardens, no directors nor public officials. Nothing and nobody will shut us up. It is better to fight than to eat trash in this prison.

Respectfully,

Organization: La Voz de Indígenas en Resistencia

Adrián Gómez Jiménez
Juan de la Cruz Ruíz

Organization: La Voz Verdadera del Amate

Abraham López Jiménez
Germán López Montejo

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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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