presos políticos

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Alberto Patishtán

Two Letters from Alberto Patishtán

To the international community of Zapatista collectives
Sixth International
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Amnesty International
Independent organizations and others

I, Alberto Patishtan Gomez, Political Prisoner of “the Voice of el Amate” (“La Voz del Amate”), adherent to the Other Campaign of the EZLN, from this federal prison CEFERESO No.8, Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico, would like to send you my combative greetings, wishing all of of you success in your struggles and hoping that God will always guide you all.

Compañer@s from the same cause, with the same hopes and the same love for True Justice; it is a pleasure for me to write a few words to you, my intention is to say that I am very grateful for your protective support and solidarity with my cause; I thank everyone for their many actions; believe me that your words have not only been heard, but even more, those who hear have been impregnated with the spirit which helps me always to bring the truth to everyone; as you can see the Mexican governments have wanted and still want to silence me, and to separate me from my lawyers, friends and family through my unjust transfer; in response to this I want to say that as long as there is injustice, not even death can silence me, for to die is to live through others; well, compañer@s, this is all my word, have much encouragement that you are not alone, move forward for the people need you, I will pray for you here.

God bless all of you, forgive me for not writing clearly because of my eye disease. Thank you.


The Voice of el Amate

Alberto Patishtán

“To die or to live for truth and justice”

From Northern Mexico, CEFERESO no. 8, Guasave, Sinaloa, April 11, 2012

To Public Opinion
To the state, national and international Media
To the Alternative Media
To the Sixth International
To Adherents to the Other Campaign of the EZLN
To independent organizations
To the Human Rights Defender NGOs:

From: “the Voice of el Amate” (“La Voz del Amate”), Alberto Patishtán Gomez, adherent to the other campaign, held in CEFERESO no. 8, Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico

In the federal rehabilitation centres in this country, there is an urgent need for Human Rights defenders to observe and record the ill-treatment of the inmates; however, there is a special need for this in Guasabe, because here the authorities of CEFERESO ignore our requests for activities.
For the period of six months since my unjust transfer, and for others here for almost a year, the authorities referred to have subjected us to [solitary] confinement for seven days a week, with the right to have only three hours [outside our cells]; in this way they are torturing us psychologically and this is generating different illnesses; concerning all these complaints, I ask, hope and expect that the President of the Republic, Felipe Calderon Hinojosa will take action on the matter, and that our rights will be respected; I also demand my immediate release and also [the release of] those from the Voice of el Amate and Solidarity with the Voice of el Amate.

Finally, I invite the oppressed people of Mexico to join our demands for the respect of human rights and of liberty and justice.


The Voice of el Amate
Alberto Patishtán Gomez

“To die or to live for truth and justice”

From Northern Mexico, CEFERESO no. 8, Guasave, Sinaloa, April 25, 2012


21st-Century Solidarity: Video Messages and the Other Campaign

Sorry, this entry is only available in Español. For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in the alternative language. You may click the link to switch the active language.

by Andalusia Knoll

Article published in NACLA:

Three of the videos referred to in the article can be found below.

On July 23, the Mexican government released the Bachajón 4, political prisoners from the southern state of Chiapas, who had been unjustly detained for over five months for defending their communal land from government-sponsored eco-tourist development. Their liberation was celebrated by indigenous groups across Mexico, international supporters, as well as by members of the Other Campaign, a Zapatista-aligned network launched in 2006 to unite those fighting from below and outside the electoral system. What is most unique about this story, however, is the role that international organizing and multimedia tactics played in the release of the political prisoners, and the fact that the campaign was largely led by a Zapatista-affiliated immigrant-based organization in Harlem, New York—Movement for Justice in El Barrio (MJB).

San Sebastián Bachajón is a Zapatista-aligned indigenous community in the heart of resource-rich Chiapas. For two years community residents had fought off multimillion-dollar government sponsored “eco-tourism” projects aimed at developing and exploiting the nearby Agua Azul waterfall, which is located on the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido, or communal land. These development projects came as part of the U.S.-backed Project Mesoamerica, formerly known as Plan Puebla Panama, which promotes militarization and megaprojects including superhighways, dams, and open-pit mines across Mexico and Central America.

As a community in resistance to what they call “the bad government” San Sebastián Bachajón strives for autonomy and implements economic strategies to fulfill that goal. The highway that crosses their land is highly trafficked by tourists traveling to and from the Mayan ruins of Palenque. To help alleviate poverty in their community, they installed a community-run tollboth. According to community members, the tollbooth has helped them to finance remedies for the sick, and build a community church.

Since the Zapatista uprising in 1994, Mexican political parties, regardless of who is in office, have attempted to co-opt members of autonomous indigenous communities by offering them much needed building supplies, food, and other resources in exchange for their political support. This has created divisions between those striving for economic and territorial autonomy and those cooperating with the government. In February 2011, tensions mounted when supporters of Mexico’s powerful Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) attempted to take over the tollbooth as a strategy to counter Bachajón’s autonomy by severing one of its lifelines. An ensuing confrontation resulted in the arrest of 117 Bachajón community members. Most were quickly released, but officials accused 10 people of shooting and killing a government supporter. They were held for months, and throughout their imprisonment they maintained their innocence. According to the Chiapas-based Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (FRAYBA), the detained did not have proper legal representation and lacked interpretation from Spanish to their native language, Tzeltal. FRAYBA also stated that it believed the PRI attack was orchestrated by the state government of Chiapas.1

San Sebastián Bachajón asked for support from Other Campaign member organizations and international allies. New York’s Movement for Justice in El Barrio answered the call. Coordinating with groups in over a dozen countries on four continents, they declared a national day of action for Bachajón on March 7, 2011, a little over one month after the imprisonment. People in San Sebastián Bachajón then produced a video message to the MJB that starts deep in the Lacandón Jungle.

“We do not want to give up our [territory] because it is where we work to cultivate food for our children,” says Amalia, a Bachajón community member speaking in Tzeltal. She continues talking about the sacredness of their natural resources like the Agua Azul waterfall.

“We thank all the organizations that have opened their hearts to us and are struggling with us to recognize the problems that we face as an indigenous community,” says Juan, another member of the Bachajón community speaking directly to the camera.

Within weeks, the Chiapas State Attorney General’s Office, which was holding the detainees, responded by releasing half of the 10 prisoners. This first message was just the beginning. In early April 2011, MJB coordinated five days of global action for the Bachajón prisoners. MJB members protested in New York City for two days at the Mexican Consulate, and Canadian supporters protested outside the consulate in Montreal.

The Chiapas police responded to the days of action with repression. According to an MJB press release, on April 9, 2011, 800 police and military descended on the community, violently displacing community members.

“It is clear that these acts of aggression were provoked by the organized resistance of the people of Bachajón and by the national and international pressure,” the press release read the following day. “We must not rest until our five brothers are in complete freedom.”2

MJB called for another round of global action. Over the coming months, MJB and the Bachajón community would produce three more videos. They were translated into English and French and shared both on the Internet and during coordinated actions in France and Canada. In a following video message, MJB members spoke directly to those in Bachajón about the difficulties they face as Mexican immigrants in New York, fighting displacement from their homes and neighborhood, and their struggle to maintain their cultural identity.

By July, the international pressure had grown too strong. The Mexican government dropped the charges, releasing one political prisoner in early July and the remaining four—the Bachajón 4—in late July.

At a press conference in San Cristóbal de las Casas, following their release former political prisoner Domingo Pérez Álvaro said the Mexican government continues to repress them for their defending the earth, natural resources, and their ejido.

“As organization members we defend what has been left by our ancestors and great grandparents. But the government wants to dissolve our organization. They don’t want to see indigenous communities unified in defense of their land,” added Álvaro.

Conflicts over land and natural resources between indigenous communities and government forces is an age-old story that has been played on repeat across the Americas for the past 500 years. In Chiapas, these conflicts have surfaced with increasing frequency since 1994, when the indigenous Zapatista Army for National Liberation rose up to declare its autonomy and resistance to the neoliberal projects that it viewed as its death. To repress the Zapatistas the government has employed numerous paramilitary operations and encouraged the incursion of political parties, especially the PRI, to attempt to buy off members of indigenous communities.

“Today’s war is for the land,” wrote Uruguayan journalist Raúl Zibechi in a letter sent in May 2011 in solidarity with those in Bachajón. “To appropriate the life that it provides for and reproduces. Therefore, indigenous peoples and campesinos are the primary obstacles that must be done away with. Ever since capital decided that everything is a commodity for doing business and accumulating more capital, no space on earth remains—not even the slightest corner—that can free itself from this ambition.”3

The conflict that San Sebastián Bachajón suffered with the PRI is not new, but the role of multimedia and international organizing in the release of the Bachajón prisoners is. For these organizations, this style of organizing has largely emerged since the Zapatistas launched the Other Campaign in 2006. Fed up with the oligarchic Mexican political system, the Other Campaign called on Mexican supporters to oppose the 2006 presidential elections and instead focus on organizing around their own local collective struggles. Subcomandante Marcos and thousands of supporters traversed 32 Mexican states listening to community concerns and uniting, as the Zapatista’s 6th Declaration from the Lacandón Jungle states, “resistance groups [to] learn about the struggles they face in their communities and rally support against the neoliberal and capitalistic federal political system.”

Since then, the Other Campaign has served as a common ideological platform that helps mobilize support around certain campaigns in Mexico and in Mexican immigrant communities abroad. Groups around the world have embraced the spirit of the 6th Declaration, and stood in solidarity with the Other Campaign members.

MJB, founded in 2005, quickly joined the Other Campaign from abroad. As an organization largely composed of low-income Mexican immigrants living in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of East Harlem, they mobilize against housing evictions and greedy landlords and connect this struggle to the effects of neoliberalism and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that displaced them from their Mexican homeland. (Most MJB members were forced to migrate to the United States from their rural state of Puebla, after NAFTA went into effect in 1994 and subsistence farming because increasingly difficult due to the sudden influx of low-priced genetically modified U.S. corn.)

Also commonly referred to as the Other Campaign NY, MJB has over the years organized encuentros, or meetings. With their unique style of urban zapatismo, MJB members and encuentro participants have shared their stories of struggle confronting gentrification in NYC, ending repression of queer youth of color, stopping wage theft of low-wage workers, and more.

“Rebels who are fighting for dignity and against displacement came together to voice their presence, their rage, their struggle, and their dreams,” MJB described of their first and second encuentros in 2007 and 2008 in a June 2009 communiqué. “We broke down the fences that power constructs to divide us, we listened to one another’s voices, and we learned from one another.”

This is also the essence of MJB’s use of multimedia tools that can transcend artificially created borders and build solidarity between immigrant struggles in the United States and resistance to neoliberal megaprojects abroad. The videos are produced collectively, with members deciding on the scope and content of the video. Throughout the years they have brought the messages of South Africa’s Shackdwellers’ Movement—Abahlali baseMjondolo—fighting forced evictions; campesinos in San Salvador Atenco, Mexico, struggling to free their imprisoned family members; and more recently the political prisoners of Bachajón.4

“We think that the borders are not an obstacle to our struggle. The struggle doesn’t have borders,” says MJB member Filiberto Hernández. “Really we can do whatever we can to arrive at them, and cross them with our screams. We are destroying these borders and have traveled to many places in Mexico, here in New York, and in Europe presenting these videos.”

In 2008 and 2009 hundreds of MJB members were fighting eviction by the London-based transnational real estate company Dawnay Day. To bolster their fight, MJB traveled to England, France, Scotland, and Spain to meet with people who were also facing eviction by the same company. MJB was eventually victorious in this fight; the company sold the buildings and residents were not forcefully evicted. According to Hernández their transnational organizing helped them connect with many people in Europe who subsequently joined the struggle to liberate the prisoners of Bachajón and spread the video messages.

Clearly the liberation of the Bachajón prisoners was the joint work of many forces, but this victory shows that independent media and YouTube videos can play a key role in political-prisoner struggles.

In 2006, hundreds of people were arrested in San Salvador Atenco, a town about 15 miles northeast of Mexico City, during a brutal federal police raid following a pair of demonstrations over flower-vendor restrictions and education reforms. Twelve people received hefty prison sentences, including Ignacio del Valle Medina, who was charged with aggravated kidnapping and sentenced to 112 years in jail. In reality, the politically motivated sentence was a move to sanction Del Valle for his role as the leader of the People’s Front in Defense of Land, which had been fighting to block the construction of an airport on communal lands in San Salvador Atenco. During Del Valle’s imprisonment, MJB held Skype teleconferences with his family members, bringing their voices to the United States during encuentros and regional meetings such as the Allied Media Conference and U.S. Social Forum. After a four-year national and international struggle, Del Valle and other political prisoners from San Salvador Atenco were freed just days after the June 2010 U.S. Social Forum in Detroit.

“When there are voices from abroad denouncing what’s happening in this country, the government listens,” explains Del Valle. “Without these brothers and sisters, we wouldn’t have been freed. It shows us that our voice of liberty doesn’t have limits and our shouts for freedom and justice do not have borders.”

This style of international solidarity has deep roots. Matt Meyers—a longtime activist who works on political prisoner issues in the United States—says that over the past 40 years there have been various international efforts to demand the freedom of black power and Puerto Rican and Chicano activists in the United States. During the 1980s many U.S. university students were active in the fight for the liberation of political prisoners under apartheid South Africa. Meyers believes that “there is a strategic necessity for transnational struggle.”

“With international organizing we can be two fists striking the same opponent with the same blow,” he adds, paraphrasing Samora Machel, a revolutionary leader and former president of Mozambique.

With the birth of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Movement for Justice in El Barrio has strived to connect zapatismo with the cries of the 99%. They have collected thousands of signatures from occupiers denouncing increasing paramilitary repression of zapatistas. They also recorded a video message of solidarity from Occupy Wall Street and projected the video in Chiapas at an indigenous training center during a Zapatista-aligned Anti-Systemic Seminary at the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012.

Capital crosses national borders with ease, immigrants cross with great difficulty. International solidarity among organizers, activists, and social movements can be a powerful transformative force. With its video messages Movement for Justice in El Barrio has been able to successfully transcend borders and wage successful battles for the liberation of political prisoners using the innovative technology of the 21st century.

Andalusia Knoll is a Brooklyn-based multimedia journalist, educator, and organizer. She has reported for Upside Down World, Left Turn, Democracy Now!, Free Speech Radio News, and TeleSUR. In New York, she organizes for farmworker justice and against deportations and teaches radio drama.

1. Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, “The Frayba Report: San Sebastián Bachajón and the Struggle for Natural Resources,” Radio Zapatista, February 24, 2011.

2. NACLA, “Global Action for Release of Indigenous Zapatista Supporters in Mexico,” April 22, 2011.

3. Raúl Zibechi, “Carta de Raul Zibechi en apoyo a Bachajon y al zapatista Patricio Dominguez Vazquez,” Multimedios Cronopios, May 6, 2011.

4. Movement for Justice in El Barrio, “From El Barrio to Durban,” Zapagringo (blog), October 1, 2009.

Three of the videos mentioned in the articles can be seen here:

Third Message from San Sebastián Bachajón:

Message from The Other Campaign New York to San Sebastián Bachajón:

La Jornada

Mobilization at El Bosque for the liberation of Alberto Patishtán gathers one thousand indigenous people

** They also demand the release of Francisco Santiz López, Zapatista support base

** They ask: Don’t they realize that the protest is now worldwide? Actions grow in other places
Good Photo: Moysés Zúñiga Santiago
By: Hermann Bellinghausen, Envoy
El Bosque, Chiapas, May 18, 2012
It all happens in Tzotzil, here where Alberto Patishtán Gómez is called Beto, or Compañero Teacher. Beto, endures, may the people rise up” his countrymen shout past noon, upon starting a march around the municipal headquarters. At least a thousand indigenous join together, the majority from this municipality, but also from San Andrés, Simojovel and Huitiupán, and even from more distant places like Venustiano Carranza, demanding immediate freedom for their compañero, brother, cousin, teacher, neighbor, incarcerated 12 year ago for a crime that everyone knows he did not commit.
The mobilization also demands the liberation of their “Zapatista brother” Francisco Santiz López, from Tenejapa, a prisoner since six months ago in San Cristóbal de Las Casas “for no reason.”
The announcements from the people, a large number of women of all ages –many older women, and even young students–, have an emotional charge close to affection. The routine chants: “Alberto, brother, the people shake your hand, Alberto, friend, the people are with you,” acquire a literal resonance, like what comes from inside the venerable elders in trousers (made) from a blanket, the teachers, a vast family of Patishtáns and Gómez and Ruiz that walk through the town under a grey but severe sun. The people begin to appear at doors and terraces (they abound here, because the landscape is very high) and look at that river of people passing with sympathy or curiosity and pretty umbrellas of many colors shouting the word “freedom.”
The perhaps 300 persons that started the march in the municipal auditorium, when they returned to the enclosure had been converted into a thousand. The march had a car in front with sound and a big banner with Patishtán’s face, and followed by a group of family and friends of the other political prisoners in Chiapas, adherents of the Other Campaign. They carry signs with enlarged portraits, set in corrugated cardboard frames and with a stick to raise it up, of Rosario Díaz Méndez, Pedro López Jiménez, Juan Collazo Jiménez, Alejandro Díaz Santiz, Rosa López Díaz and Enrique Gómez Hernández.
After the crowd fills the auditorium in the town’s center, the people applaud themselves, happy with being so many. Elderly relatives of the professor, now incarcerated in Guasave, Sinaloa, and deprived of his freedom for 12 years, preside over the assembly/meeting. From there (Sinaloa), he wrote for the occasion: “The Mexican governments have wanted and still want to shut me up by separating me from my lawyers, friends and family, with the unjust transfer, more in response to this I want to say that while injustice exists not even death can shut me up, because dying is living near the others. Good, compañeros, have much spirit that you are not alone, continue forward, the people need you, I will pray for you here.”
Teachers, mothers, old ejido authorities speak, testifying for their compañero. Doña María Gómez Gómez proclaims his innocence and breaks into tears. The congregation listens to a recording in Tzotzil of Alberto greeting his people. The teacher Martín Ramírez, spokesperson for the El Bosque People’s Movement (Movimiento del Pueblo de El Bosque) for the teacher’s freedom, would next remember that from the first moment of his detention, in July 2000, the people protested, mobilized, and took over the municipal palace. Governor Roberto Albores Guillén promised to free him, and instead of that he was sentenced.
It’s clear that the people feel offended and betrayed, “they made false accusations when he was seeing the people’s needs.” Ramírez holds up a document and points: “This was the compañero’s crime, the cause of his incarceration.” And he reads a letter dated May 26, 2000, three weeks before the police massacre on June 12 for which the professor is condemned to serve 60 years in prison. Directed to the then governor, dozens of ejido and community authorities enumerate resoundingly the crimes and bad management of the municipal government and ask for its removal. “They made a list of those names to detain everyone, but in the end it only touched the compañero. They threatened us with using it against the rest if we continued protesting.”
They have not stopped demanding justice, and that ya demonstrates a lot of endurance; no one in the government ever pays attention. Now they appeal to Governor Juan Sabines Guerrero, to the President of the Republic, to the judges: “When are you going to listen? Don’t you realize that the protest is now on a worldwide level?” They are willing to march to Mexico City within the coming weeks to take their demand for Pathishtán’s “health, move and freedom” to the federal government.
Within the worldwide week for his freedom and that of Santiz López, this act is not the only one. Actions and mobilizations have been or will be carried out this weekend in Switzerland, Italy, Germany, New Zealand and Holland. Collectives from those nations have been added to those of Great Britain, the United States, France, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Argentina, the Sin Tierra (Landless) Movement (MST) of Brazil, and in Mexico City and Oaxaca.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Saturday, May 19, 2012
English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the:
International Zapatista Translation Service, a collaboration of the:
Chiapas Support Committee, Oakland, California
Wellington Zapatista Support Group
UK Zapatista Solidarity Network
Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio

Letter read today at the El Bosque march “Encuentro de Voces”

The following letter was read today in El Bosque, Chiapas at the protest march “Encuentro de Voces”. This march was organized by the family and community of Alberto Patishtán Gómez.

May 18, 2012

To the family of Alberto Patishtán Gómez:
To his hometown of El Bosque:
To all his other allies present:

Sisters and brothers:

Receive affectionate embraces and greetings from Movement for Justice in El Barrio, The Other Campaign New York.

We write to you as the migrants who live in El Barrio, a poor and marginalized community in New York City, to offer you the following words on the occasion of your protest march “Encuentro of Voices.”

We are an organization of predominantly Mexican immigrants that has fought, since 2004, for justice and dignity by organizing against neoliberal displacement and its destruction. As our brother Alberto, we, too, are adherents to The Other Campaign.

Compañeras and compañeros, we regret the fact that our physical presence cannot join you today. At the very least, we can be present through this letter and the video message that we have sent. At the very least, you are able to hear and see a small fragment of our struggle–of our faces and our words, which are yours as well.

Although, we are far from you geographically, the honorable struggles that we are organizing, below your dignified leadership, to demand justice and freedom for our brothers, Alberto Patishtán and Francisco Sántiz López, bring us closer together in profound and almost spiritual ways. The struggle for justice is what unites us, compas, and in our dreams and memories, our hearts find each other.

That our unity transcends borders is what perplexes the bad governments.

They, the bad ones, do not understand the fact that our communities are dignified and struggle for justice because we are born with that rebellious dignity.

They, the bad ones, fail to understand that despite their attempts to repress and silence us, and separate us from our sisters and brothers, we will never surrender.

In fact, their acts of brutality give us more reason and hunger to fight, denounce, and free our own.

They fail to comprehend the logic inherent in dignity, and for that reason, will ultimately lose.

It is this emotion of camaraderie, this feeling of being sisters and brothers of yours, of feeling and understanding that Alberto Patishtán Gómez of the dignified people of El Bosque is also OUR political prisoner, that has moved us to convene the “Week of Worldwide Struggle for the Liberation of Patishán and Sántiz López: Bringing Down the Prison Walls.”

Through this national and international campaign, we issue our demand that the bad government in its three levels release at once our brothers and political prisoners, Alberto Patishtán and Francisco Sántiz López.

This is our word, compañeras and compañeros. We send you hope and inspiration, and we shall remain at your side.


With love and solidarity,

Movement for Justice in El Barrio
The Other Campaign New York

Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio

Sixth Report on the Week of Global Struggle for the liberation of Patishtán and Santiz López

May 15 – May 20, 2012

May 18, 2012

• United Kingdom: Solidarity initiative circulating from the UK Zapatista Network: “JOIN! WRITE! RAISE YOUR VOICES!”

• Spain: General Confederation of Labor (CGT) releases petition demanding freedom for Sántiz López and an end to anti-zapatista repression

• France and Germany add their voice to the global demand for the liberation of Patishtán and Sántiz López

To our sisters and brothers, the family members and allies of Alberto Patishtán Gómez:
To our sisters and brothers, the family members and allies of Francisco Sántiz López:
To our Zapatista sisters and brothers:
To our compañer@s of The Other Campaign:
To our compañer@s of the Zezta Internazional:
To our compañer@s, adherents of the International Campaign in Defense of El Barrio and all our allies from around the world:
To the Civil Society in Mexico and in the world:

Compañeras and compañeros:

Receive warm greetings and embraces from El Barrio, New York. On this fourth day of our borderless campaign, we wish to share with you here the sixth update on the “Week of Worldwide Struggle for the Liberation of Patishtán and Sántiz López: Bringing Down the Prison Walls.”

In solidarity with the struggle to free Alberto and Francisco, a new letter-writing initiative is being circulated by our comrades at the UK Zapatista Network. The Network is comprised of the Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group, London Mexico Solidarity Group, Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group, Manchester Zapatista Solidarity Group, and the West Yorkshire Chiapas Solidarity Group. Designed especially for government officials at nearby installations, such as local offices, embassies, and consulates, the UK Zapatista Network has written a “boilerplate” letter as a strategy or form of protest to take place during the Week of Worldwide Struggle. The complete letter is available below and can be modified as appropriate. At present, letters are being or will be delivered in various cities in Canada, New Zealand, England, and the U.S. Our comrades from the UK hope that the letter may be of use to all of us.

Similarly, the General Confederation of Labor from Spain has released a petition, amongst other campaigns, to demand freedom for Francisco Sántiz López and an end to the Mexican government’s repression against the autonomous Zapatista communities. Here is a section of the petition, which is currently available in only Spanish:

“we demand the immediate and unconditional release of our compañero Francisco Sántiz López, member of the support base of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation; absolute freedom for Lorenzo López Girón; comprehensive resolution in the case of Banavil, as well as the definitive cessation of the political persecution and harassment against the Zapatista communities.”

The petition may be signed here:

During the past few days we have continued to receive confirmation from more collectives and groups from other countries that have responded to our call to action for the Week of Worldwide Struggle. We now add two more countries to the list: France and Germany will now join dignified peoples from Mexico, South Africa, Canada, Brazil, Spain, England, Scotland, the U.S., Argentina, Switzerland, and New Zealand.

As an organization of predominantly Mexican immigrants, we have experienced first-hand the inhumane reality of the border and social walls imposed upon us by those from above. We have lived and challenged the many injustices that are like bricks in these walls; we have also lived and seen them crumble. Once all of us unite, combine our forces, and organize, we can accomplish this. For this reason, we view international solidarity as deeply important. United and together, we shall win.

Once again, compas, we would like to send you the link to our video, “Bringing Down the Prison Walls!: The Fight for the Liberation of Patishtán and Sántiz López.” As you may know, this film contains the dignified words of the Junta de Buen Gobierno (Good Government Council) of Oventic and relatives of Francisco Sántiz López, concerning his case and the national and international struggle to free our two comrades. Additionally, the Junta de Buen Gobierno and Francisco’s relatives send us warm greetings.

We hope that you can circulate this film and the dignified words of our compas from the Junta de Buen Gobierno and the Sántiz López Family. Here is the link:

We continue.

That is all for now, comrades.


With love and solidarity,

Movement for Justice in El Barrio
The Other Campaign York

Here is the letter in both English and Spanish to be sent by the UK Network. Please feel free to send this letter, adapt it or write your own. Please send a copy to so that all our actions can be fully publicized and so the prisoners can know they have our support. Make sure a copy goes to your nearest Mexican Embassy or Consulate. If you can deliver it by hand, that would be even better. There are some useful addresses below.

English version
HE Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza Mexican Ambassador to UK

Embassy of Mexico
16 St George Street
Dear Ambassador,
We the undersigned, from the United Kingdom, view with deep concern and anger how people in Mexico who are organizing to struggle for and defend their rights are punished with imprisonment.
Governments lock them away trying to condemn them to oblivion, silence and submission. But their voices and their example reach us loudly and clearly from the prisons – through the voices of our brothers Alberto Patishtán and Francisco Sántiz Lopez.
We know that they are not guilty because they are committed social activists whose innocence has been documented by human rights centres and defenders.
Alberto Patishtan has been imprisoned since 2000.Prison has become his base of struggle, where he has not only borne his punishment with dignity, but also organized many other political prisoners to attain their freedom. As a result, he has been sent to different prisons. He was transferred to his current location, in Guasave, Sinaloa, as punishment for his participation in the latest hunger strike, which was undertaken in Chiapas in 2011. We know that Alberto Patishtan has become a symbolic figure for social movements in Chiapas, Mexico and the world. We also know that because of his dignified rebellion the Mexican state affords him an especial brutality.
Francisco Lopez Sántiz has committed the crime of being a Base of Support of the EZLN. This is the reason that he is in prison, not for the crime he is alleged to have committed in December 2011 in Banavil, Tenejapa. This is proven by the fact that Francisco was not even at the scene of the crime, as has been amply demonstrated.
For these reasons we demand immediate and unconditional liberty for Alberto Patishtan, Francisco Sántiz and all political prisoners in Chiapas and Mexico. Prison, repression and impunity cannot and must not continue to rule in Mexico.

Yours faithfully
UK Zapatista Solidarity Network
Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group
London Mexico Solidarity Group
Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group
Manchester Zapatista Solidarity Group
West Yorkshire Chiapas Solidarity Group

Aquí va la carta que será enviada por la Red del Reino Unido. Pueden modificar esta carta ó escribir su propia. Favor de enviar una copia a:

para que todas nuestras acciones puedan ser publicadas y cubiertas por completo y para que los presos sepan que tienen nuestro apoyo.

Asegúrense de que una copia llegue a una oficina, Embajada, o Consulado del mal gobierno de México. Si es posible entregarla en mano, aún mejor. Abajo hay algunas direcciones útiles.

Aquí esta la carta:
Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa
Presidente de la República
Residencia Oficial de los Pinos, Casa Miguel Alemán
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, C.P. 11850, México DF

Estimado Sr Presidente

Desde el Reino Unido, los abajo firmantes, vemos con preocupación y rabia cómo en México, a las personas que se organizan para luchar y defender sus derechos son castigadas con la cárcel.

En la cárcel se les quiere condenar al olvido, al silencio, a la sumisión. Y desde ahí su voz y su ejemplo nos llegan fuerte y claramente. Es la voz de nuestros hermanos Alberto Patishtán y Francisco Sántiz López.

Sabemos de su inocencia no sólo porque son luchadores sociales comprometidos, sino también porque ha sido documentada por centros y defensores de derechos humanos.
Alberto Patishtan ha estado encarcelado desde el año 2000. Ha hecho de la cárcel su trinchera de lucha y con dignidad no sólo ha sobrellevado su castigo, sino que ha organizado a muchos otros presos políticos para alcanzar su libertad. Por esto se le ha mandado muchas veces a distintas prisiones. Su morada actual, en Guasave Sinaloa, le fue dada precisamente como castigo por participar en la última huelga de hambre emprendida en Chiapas en el 2011. Sabemos que Alberto Patishtan se ha convertido en una figura emblemática para los movimientos sociales en Chiapas, en México y en el mundo. También sabemos que es por su digna rebeldía que el Estado mexicano le tiene particular saña.

Francisco Sántiz López ha cometido el delito de ser Base de Apoyo del EZLN. Es por esto que está en la cárcel y no por el supuesto delito que cometió en Diciembre de 2011 en Banavil, Tenejapa. Prueba de ello, es que Francisco ni siquiera estaba en el lugar del crimen, como ha sido ampliamente demostrado.

Es por esto que exigimos la libertad inmediata e incondicional de Alberto Patishtan, Francisco Sántiz y de todos los presos políticos de Chiapas y de México. La cárcel, la represión y la impunidad no pueden, no deben continuar reinando en México.


UK Zapatista Solidarity Network
Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group
London Mexico Solidarity Group
Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group
Manchester Zapatista Solidarity Group
West Yorkshire Chiapas Solidarity Group

Algunas direcciones que pueden ser útiles:

Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa
Presidente de la República
Residencia Oficial de los Pinos, Casa Miguel Alemán
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, C.P. 11850, México DF
Tel: (52.55) 2789.1100 Fax: (52.55) 5277.2376
Cuenta deTwitter:@FelipeCalderony@GobFed

Juan José Sabines Guerrero
Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Chiapas
Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas, 1er Piso
Av. Central y Primera Oriente, Colonia Centro, C.P. 29009
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México
Fax: +52 961 61 88088 – + 52 961 6188056; Extensión 21120. 21122;
Cuenta deTwitter:@Juansabinesgy@gubernaturachis

Alejandro Poiré Romero
Secretario de Gobernación
Bucareli 99, 1er. Piso, Col. Juárez, Del. Cuauhtémoc,
C.P. 06600 México D.F. Fax: (52.55) 50933414;
Correo: ,
Cuenta de Twitter: @SEGOB_mx

Noé Castañón León
Secretario General de Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas
Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas, 2do Piso
Av. Central y Primera Oriente, Colonia Centro, C.P. 29009
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México
Conmutador: + 52 (961) 61 2-90-47, 61 8-74-60. Extensión: 20003;
Cuenta de Twitter: @gobiernochiapasRaciel López Salazar

Raciel López Salazar
Procuraduría General de Justicia de Chiapas
Libramiento Norte Y Rosa Del Oriente, No. 2010, Col. El Bosque
C.P. 29049 Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas
Conmutador: 01 (961) 6-17-23-00.
Teléfono: + 52 (961) 61 6-53-74, 61 6-53-76, 61 6-57-24, 61 6-34-50.
Cuenta de Twitter: @pgjechiapas

Juan Gabriel Coutiño Gómez
Magistrado Presidente del Tribunal Superior de Justicia y
del Consejo de la Judicatura del Poder Judicial del Estado de Chiapas
Palacio de Justicia, Libramiento Norte Oriente No. 2100
Fracc. El Bosque, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas
Teléfono: + 52 (961) 61 787 00 ext. 86 01
Teléfono directo: + 52 (961) 616 53 54

Francisco Javier Plaza Ruíz
Juez del Ramo Penal
Carretera San Cristóbal – Ocosingo Km. 20
CERSS No. 5, C.P 29200
San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México
Tel: 967 6743021; Fax: 967 6743022

Plataforma de Solidaridad con Chiapas y Guatemala de Madrid

From Madrid: Act for the liberty of political prisoners from Chiapas and Mexico

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19 DE Mayo a las 14.30 en el parque del Retiro de Madrid, junto al Palacio de Cristal

Enmarcado en la “SEMANA DE LUCHA MUNDIAL POR LA LIBERTAD DE PATISHTÁN Y SÁNTIZ LÓPEZ: A TUMBAR LAS PAREDES DEL CALABOZO” realizaremos un acto para exigir la libertad de las personas presas políticas en Chiapas y México.

El 19 y 20 de Mayo se realizará el FORO SOCIAL MUNDIAL EN MADRID 2012 con el lema “OTRA SALIDA A LA CRISIS ES POSIBLE, DESMONTANDO MENTIRAS, CONSTRUYENDO SOLUCIONES” en el Parque del Retiro, en las inmediaciones del Palacio de Cristal.

LA PLATAFORMA DE SOLIDARIDAD CON CHIAPAS Y GUATEMALA DE MADRID y el Centro de Documentación sobre Zapatismo exigiremos la libertad de los presos, y además realizamos dos talleres el día 19

De 12,30 a 14  h “Acompañamiento y acciones de solidaridad internacional: experiencias en Palestina, Chiapas, Guatemala, Colombia, Sahara Occidental” con la intervención de los colectivos Palestina Toma La Calle, Plataforma de Solidaridad con Chiapas y Guatemala, IPO (Observatorio Internacional de Paz en Colombia), Asoc ]Katío, Comunidad de Santo Tomás, Izquierda Anticapitalista y Plataforma de Apoyo al Pueblo Saharaui.

De 18 a 19,30 h. “¿Porqué Durito dice que la libertad es como la mañana? (o cómo ver las formas de resistencia y autonomía a partir de los cinco principios zapatistas), conjuntamente con  el Centro de Documentación sobre Zapatismo, (CEDOZ)

Os esperamos,

Plataforma de Solidaridad con Chiapas y Guatemala de Madrid

Más información

–          Programa del Foro en
–          Semana mundial de lucha por la libertad de l@s pres@s:

Gruppe G.A.S.T.A

Germany joins the struggle to liberate Patishtán and Sántiz López

La Jornada

Crece clamor por la libertad de los presos políticos Patishtán y Santiz

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  • Movilizaciones de organizaciones de apoyo en México y el exterior

Hermann Bellinghausen
Periódico La Jornada
Jueves 17 de mayo de 2012, p. 20

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chis. 16 de mayo. De El Bosque en los Altos de Chiapas a las calles de Sudáfrica se han extendido los clamores por la libertad de los “presos político” Alberto Patishtán Gómez, adherente de la otra campaña, y de Francisco Santiz López, base de apoyo zapatista.

Martín Ramírez López, del Movimiento del Pueblo por la Libertad de Alberto Patishtán, del municipio tzotzil El Bosque, anunció diversas acciones esta semana por la demanda, “ya histórica” desde julio de 2000: “El pueblo de El Bosque grita, reclama, está lleno de coraje y rabia porque un inocente sufre y los grandes corruptos, los verdaderos delincuentes, están libres”.

El también profesor manifestó traer “el mensaje de un pueblo abandonado”, donde “los que alzamos la voz estamos señalados”. Cabe mencionar que la inconformidad en El Bosque es amplia, y sectores de la población que en otras localidades pasarían por oficialistas (esto es, sin contar a las comunidades zapatistas en resistencia del municipio autónomo San Juan de la Libertad, en la misma región) consideran una afrenta el encarcelamiento injusto, hace 12 años, de su coterráneo. Sin embargo, sus reclamos han sido contenidos con promesas nunca cumplidas de los gobernadores Roberto Albores Guillén, Pablo Salazar Mendiguchía y Juan Sabines Guerrero.

Esta semana, colectivos y organizaciones solidarias con los indígenas presos en Chiapas han realizado acciones y hecho pública la situación de Patishtán y Santiz en Inglaterra, Escocia, Cataluña y Argentina; también se han efectuado movilizaciones en las ciudades de Nueva York, San Francisco, Madrid y París. Este viernes habrá una marcha en el municipio indígena El Bosque y una protesta de los colectivos de trabajadores de la Otra Campaña frente a la Secretaría de Gobernación. En la capital del país también se movilizará el Movimiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad

Mediante un videomensaje desde Sudáfrica, el Movimiento de Habitantes de Casas de Cartón (Abahlali base Mjondolo) se sumó a la exigencia por la liberación de Patishtán Gómez y Sántiz López. Mzwake, presidente del que es considerado el movimiento social más grande de esa nación, expresó: “Estamos con ustedes con nuestros corazones y almas. Sentimos lo mismo. Su lucha ha sido reprimida por los opresores de la libertad del pueblo. Se tiene que hacer justicia. Lucharemos hasta sacarlos de la cárcel, en la cual se encuentran por decir la verdad y luchar con los pobres”.

El mensaje ( del llamado en inglés Shack Dwellers Movement, difundido por el Movimiento por la Justicia del Barrio en Nueva York, refiere que el pasado 27 de abril los sudafricanos que luchan por tierra y vivienda digna marcharon multitudinariamente exigiendo democracia, y allí sumaron a sus demandas las de sus compañeros de la otra campaña. “Lo que suceda con ustedes nos sucede a nosotros”, concluyó Mzwake.

En tanto, colectivos del sector cultura de la otra campaña en el Distrito Federal exigieron esta mañana frente a la Dirección General de Reclusorios Federales “trato digno” para Patishtán en “su calabozo de Guasave, Sinaloa”, y su libertad “inmediata”. La protesta fue “atendida” por los directores de Amparos, Rafael Peña Lozano, y Derechos Humanos, David Amézquita Pérez, quienes dijeron esperar la resolución del amparo interpuesto para el retorno de Patisthán; además se comprometieron a “investigar” su situación de salud y resolver “el trámite” para que pueda visitarlo su hijo menor.

Movimiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad

Movimiento por la Paz: Semana de Lucha Mundial la Libertad de Alberto Patishtán y Francisco Sántiz

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Alberto Patishtán Gómez profesor de una escuela primaria pública en el municipio de El Bosque, en los altos de Chiapas. Fue involucrado en el homicidio de siete policías, además de haber planeado y realizado la emboscada con un miembro de las bases de apoyo del EZLN, a pesar de que quedó demostrado en el juicio que quien los acusó, el hijo del presidente municipal de El Bosque, menor de edad, mintió abiertamente, por lo que el Juez de Distrito absolvió al co-acusado, pero inexplicablemente sentenció a Alberto. En el contexto de su detención, Patishtán participaba activamente en la vida política de su municipio, denunciando la corrupción del entonces ayuntamiento y solicitando la destitución del presidente municipal y la creación de un consejo Municipal.

Durante los más de once años de su inmerecida condena…

Alberto y su pueblo

El Movimiento por la Paz Con Justicia y Dignidad ha apooyado y dado seguimiento para exigir justicia para el profesor Alberto Patishtán .

Este viernes 18 de Mayo de 2012 a las 17:00 horas se hará un mitin y volanteo a gobernación exigiendo la libertad de los compañeros Alberto Patishtán y Francisco Santiz López, convocamos a los interesados a asistir. MPJD

Worlds War 4 Report

Mexico: demand grows for release of Chiapas schoolteacher

Submitted by Weekly News Update on Mon, 05/14/2012 – 23:52.

Groups in Argentina, Brazil, France, England, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and the US are planning events in the May 15-22 “Week of Global Struggle for the Liberation of Alberto Patishtán Gómez and Francisco Sántiz López,” two indigenous prisoners from the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas. The week of actions was initiated by the New York-based Movement for Justice in El Barrio.

Patishtán Gómez, in prison since 2000, is serving a 60-year sentence for his alleged involvement in the June 2000 killing of seven police agents in El Bosque municipality. Local authorities initially suspected drug traffickers, but prosecutors later shifted their attention to supporters of the rebel Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN). Most of El Bosque had been part of a pro-EZLN autonomous municipality, San Juan de la Libertad, from 1995 until 1998, when it was dismantled in a violent military operation. Patishtán Gómez, a local schoolteacher, was the only suspect convicted in the case, and the only witness against him was Rosemberg Gómez, the son of Manuel Gómez Ruiz, then El Bosque’s mayor. Years later Rosemberg Gómez reportedly would tell people when he was drunk that he’d lied on instructions from his father, and that he got a new van as a reward.

Sántiz López, an EZLN supporter, was arrested in December 2011 on charges of leading a confrontation in Tenejapa municipality on Dec. 4 in which one person was killed. Twelve witnesses testify that he wasn’t present during the fight. (Radio Zapatista, April 18; Upside Down World, May 11; La Jornada, Mexico, May 12)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, May 13.