Signatures for the freedom of the political prisoners of Bachajón!
Sign the letter to demand the freedom of the 5 peasants detained in Bachajón, Chiapas, Mexico, for defending their natural resources. This letter will be sent to:
- President of Mexico: Lic. Felipe Calderón.
- Governor of the state of Chiapas: Lic. Juan Sabines.
- General Secretary of Governance of the state of Chiapas: Dr. Noé Castañón León.
- President of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice of the State of Chiapas: Dr. Juan Gabriel Coutiño Gómez.
The past February the 3rd, 117 indigenous tseltal peasants (ejidatarios) from San Sebastián Bachajón, municipality of Chilón, in Chiapas, Mexico, were detained in an arbitrary manner.
The detained people, which are adherent to ‘La Otra Campaña’ said that, among the several irregularities in their legal process, they were not provided with a defendant lawyer or qualified translation to their mother language. Also, they were threatened by the local police and harassed by the Public Ministry personnel.
The detention of the peasants occurred near to the entry to ‘Cascadas de Agua Azul’ while they were on a meeting discussing their response to the local government about the offering of a dialogue round-table between the involved parts. The local police performed massive detentions, and went after the people who looked for safe in the houses of the neighbourhood.
The next day, February the 4th, the interrogation and the discharge of evidence started, the sodium rodizonate test was performed to the detainees, they were forced to give samples of urine to perform toxicological tests, and the peasants referred that during all the process they were not assisted by a lawyer or a qualified translator according their own culture and language.
Their testimonials refer that during their declarations at the Ministry of Justice, they were threatened by the police and harassed by the employees of the State Ministry.
According to sources, in February the 5th at approximately 02:00 hours, the local Ministry of Justice of the State of Chiapas freed 107 peasants and, at 20:00 hours, ten people were consigned –among them one underage boy- to the Penal Court ‘Playas de Catazajá’, and then sent to the state prison Centro Estatal para la Reinserción Social de Sentenciados No. 17 (CERSS No. 17) in the municipality of Playas de Catazajá, Chiapas, being accused of qualified homicide, attempt of homicide, attacks to the peace and to the corporal integrity and attacks to the State patrimony, all included in the penal file No 39/2011.
A few days later, 5 prisoners were freed, but 5 other peasants from ejido de San Sebastián Bachajón remained imprisoned.
Being conscious of the violation of the Human Rights of the peasants of San Sebastián Bachajón -adherents to ‘La Otra Campaña’- in their struggle for the preservation of their rights to territory and the right to be informed and consulted, we demand to the authorities of this country as well as to the Ministry of Justice the following:
1. The immediate freedom of Jerónimo Guzmán Méndez, Domingo Pérez Álvaro, Domingo García Gómez, Juan Aguilar Guzmán y Mariano Demeza Silvano.
2. A serious, exhaustive, and based-on-truth investigation of all the events that occurred in February the 2nd, and a sanction to the personnel in charge of the administration of justice in the state of Chiapas, who incurred in violations of the Human Rights.
3. The respect to the right to territory of the indigenous peoples, right which the peasants of San Sebastián Bachajón are vigorously working for.
4. The cease of the harassment and the aggressions towards the indigenous communities, grass-root social workers, and human rights defenders.
5. The respect to the human rights of persons and peoples.