Filed under: Incarceration, Indigenous, Political Prisoners, Southern Mexico
Statement from Indigenous Tzotzil prisoner in struggle, Marcelino Ruiz Gómez, denouncing the lack of basic hygiene supplies in prison, and the prison authorities taking advantage of the pandemic to further exploit and repress the prisoners.
CERSS No. 10
Comitán, Chiapas, Mexico
Public statement from the Indigenous organization, Vineketik en Resistencia
Adherent of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the EZLN
To the Public
To the National and International Media
To the National and International Sixth
To the Non-Government Human Rights Defenders
To the Network Against Repression and for Solidarity
To the People of Mexico and the World
With this communique, I want to make public the situation we are living through inside the prison in Comitán, Chiapas, and the different prisons in the state.
Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the governor of the state, Rutilio Escandón Cadenas, has given orders to take precautionary measures to prevent the disease from spreading in the prisons, banning our visitors, so that we do not have contact with the outside.
But what about the prison staff, like the prison guards and the other functionaries, that enter and leave daily without any preventative measures? We have contact with them all the time.
On the other hand, we see that the state has used this disease as a weapon, a disease created by capitalism. We have been more isolated than ever. Prior to this, we were already deprived of our freedoms simply because we are Indigenous and social fighters. The quarantine can only be carried out with guaranteed basic services. Here, like in all prisons, we cannot count on help from the government with our basic necessities, like personal hygiene products. We’ve always had to cover our basic expenses by means of the work we carry out making handcrafts.
However, amidst this pandemic, it is not possible to sell our handcrafts, which has become a major crisis for us.
When our families and friends bring us our things for personal use, the prison authorities do not allow the entrance of our things into the prison. They argue that there is a store in the prison where we can get these things. However, they have raised the prices of necessary items in the store, taking advantage of the situation to make more profit in the middle of this humanitarian crisis.
The health system of this prison doesn’t have basic medicine. If someone asks for medicine for a headache, you are given medicine for diarrhea and vice versa. The services are deplorable and inhumane.
That is why I want to share my word, as an Indigenous prisoner in struggle, about the context situation we are living through here in prison beneath the repressive yoke of the state.
I send strength and good vibes from the bottom of my heart to all of the political prisoners and prisoners in struggle in Chiapas, in Mexico, and throughout the world.
Freedom to the political prisoners and prisoners in struggle!
Marcelino Ruiz Gómez