*The Governor of Chiapas visits the teacher and the prisoners of the Voice of el Amate
*He says he will present their cases to President Enrique Peña, because he believes they are innocent
Hermann Bellinghausen, La Jornada, 19th April 2013
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas - Today at 16.30, Governor Manuel Velasco visited the teacher Alberto Patishtán Gomez and the prisoners of the Voice of el Amate and Solidarity [with the Voice of El Amate], at Prison No. 5 in San Cristóbal de las Casas, and promised to arrange the release of Patishtán and a new review of the cases against the other prisoners, with whom he spoke personally.
The Chiapas Attorney General Raciel López Salazar and the State Secretary of Public Security, Jorge Luis Llavén, accompanied the Governor. Velasco Coello asked them to investigate the cases of the prisoners who he considered to be [imprisoned] unjustly.
The state governor expressed a personal interest in Patishtán's case and told him he was convinced of his innocence and promised to present his situation to President Enrique Peña Nieto, during today's visit by the President to Chiapas.
Both Patishtán and the organizers, from the municipality of El Bosque, of a pilgrimage by the Believing People [Pueblo Creyente] of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas, to be held on Friday morning in the state capital, have been under pressure from state officials to suspend the demonstration.
Presumably this is because the march coincides with President Peña Nieto's visit to Chiapas, accompanied by former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, with the aim of relaunching the National Campaign against Hunger from Navenchauc in Zinacantán, not far from Tuxtla Gutiérrez.
On Tuesday, the Under-Secretary of Government for the Northern Region, Moisés Zenteno, addressed the El Bosque Movement for the Freedom of Alberto Patishtán, and demanded suspension of the act in Tuxtla Gutiérrez. He even claimed to give the indigenous people an ultimatum to do so. However, they replied that it was not in their hands to stop the call.
Later that night, envoys sent by the Under-Secretary interviewed Patishtán in Prison Number 5, where he is imprisoned, asking him to suspend the demonstration by the Pueblo Creyente and various social organizations, who will demand his freedom before the Appellate Court. The Profe, as he is known, has spent nearly thirteen years in prison for no other reason than that of revenge for an old longstanding political dispute in his town. When the Under-Secretary's envoys arrived, they found Patishtán in a protest fast together with other prisoners who belong to la Sexta.
Arguing that Governor Velasco Coello has publicly repeated that, in his opinion, Patishtán ought to be released, the envoys of the Chiapas Secretary of Government tried, unsuccessfully, to avert Friday's pilgrimage-march. This will culminate, organizers announced, at the headquarters of the District Appeals Court in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, which will rule in the coming days on the appeal to review the case and reconsider the sixty-year sentence imposed on the Tzotzil teacher.
It appears that the democratic teachers, currently meeting to define measures regarding the education reform, will join the pilgrimage for Patishtán's release