Gloria Muñoz Ramírez, Los de Abajo
Right now he is awaiting, quietly and in good spirits, recognition of his innocence. He has been imprisoned for 13 years in various prisons in Chiapas, as well as a period in a high security penitentiary in Sinaloa. Today he is in Social Rehabilitation Centre No. 5, in San Cristobal de las Casas, unafraid, five days from the issue of its final decision by the first collegiate tribunal of the twentieth circuit, based in Tuxtla Gutierrez.
It is the last opportunity for the Tzotzil teacher and activist Alberto Patishtán to regain his freedom. A pardon, or a presidential reprieve, he has said, is not in his expectations. He deserves to go free because he is innocent. 13 years ago they sentenced him to a term of 60 years on false charges, accused of a murder he did not commit, with a rigged and discriminatory process, like that which keeps thousands of indigenous people detained in the prisons of this country. Patishtán owes nothing to anyone and therefore no one has to forgive him. His release is a legal matter, not a political one, and no one, apart from his family and members of civil society who have accompanied him, deserves credit for his freedom.
On June 19th, 2000, Alberto Patishtán was arrested for the murder of seven municipal police in El Bosque. There have been 13 years, two months and 19 days of proven injustice, and only five days remain for the system to admit its mistakes.