To: Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa, Presidente de la República
To: Lic. Juan José Sabines Guerrero, Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Chiapas
To: Lic. Sonia Siman Morales
Presidente de la Magistratura Superior del Estado de Chiapas y Consejera Presidente del Consejo de la Magistratura del Poder Judicial del Estado de Chiapas
To: Lic. Amador Rodríguez Lozano
Ministro de Justicia del Estado de Chiapas
The Mexico-Australia Solidarity Network has been following the case of several prisoners who have called themselves "la voz del Amate" in Prison 14 "El Amate" Cintalapa for over 2 years. It has come to our knowledge that since the 14th of February, almost two months ago, many of these men have been on hunger strike, others joining on the 25th of February. We understand that this is a last resort in order to bring attention to the desperate, unjust and inhumane circumstance in which they find themselves. In addition we wish to note that these conditions are clearly generalised in the Mexican justice system with similar hunger strikes currently occurring in other prisons in Chiapas, such as in Prison 5 and in Prison 17 Playas de Catazaja.
It is alarming that in Mexico human rights violations, disappearances and irregular legal processes which target organizers in social movements and indigenous peoples are clearly on the increase. The Mexico-Australia Solidarity Network is appalled at the flagrant use of violence by the army and police forces, and the high incidence of corruption and violations of the constitution in the Mexican legal system.
The Mexico-Australia Solidarity Network also condemns the recent hostile, unlawful and inhumane actions of the Director and staff at "el Amate", Prison 14. We are aware of the daily bullying and threatening that the prisoners on hunger strike are suffering. It is also a serious violation of their rights to deny the entry of visitors who comply with the stated conditions of entry, such was the case on the 30th of March when a group of visitors from interstate was denied entry without a single coherent reason of to why.
We are aware that on the 30th of March the prisoners on hunger strike in Prison 7 Playas de Catazajá, in solidarity with those in Prison 14 and 5, were released. Additionally, that some political prisoners have been released from Prison 5. While we applaud the release of these men, we understand this act to be a media stunt more than it is a genuine commitment to liberate all those unlawfully held prisoner for their participation in social movements.
We demand that the state and federal governments take immediate action to liberate the prisoners on hunger strike in Prisons 14, 5 and 7.
In addition, we support their demand that all political prisoners in Mexico be released immediately.
Our organization has approached the Mexican consulate, Amnesty International and the International Commission for Human Rights about these cases. We will continue to inform and educate the Australian public and media about the issue of human rights violations and repression of social movements in Mexico.
Mexico-Australia Solidarity Network (MASN).