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Global mobilization against an unjust imprisonment

The organization from the community of El Bosque is calling for action for the freedom of Professor Alberto Patishtán on August 21st. "It is not only Patishtán who is innocent, there are thousands of compañeros in prison who are imprisoned unjustly," says Martín Ramírez López, spokesperson for the movement.
Mexico, DF. "We call on groups, collectives and human rights defenders to struggle and towalk together. It is not only Patishtán who is innocent, there are thousands of compañeros in prison who are imprisoned unjustly. One proof of this is that, on July 4th, eight were released from the Social Rehabilitation Centre (CERESO) number 5, in San Cristobal de las Casas, and one from CERESO
number 14, 'el Amate'", says Martin Ramírez López, indigenous teacher and spokesperson for the movement for the freedom of Alberto Patishtán, from the community of El Bosque, Chiapas, in a telephone interview with Desinformémonos. The date of the worldwide mobilization is August 21st.
On July 19th there was a global action which involved teachers, social organizations and el Pueblo Creyente (the believing people) in the Diocese of San Cristobal. "The demonstration on August 21st will also be global. In Chiapas, it will take place in Tuxtla Gutierrez. We are about to release a communiqué which will clarify everything", explained the representative of the movement of the community of El Bosque.
On June 19, 2000, gunmen ambushed a convoy of municipal police, an action which left nine policemen dead and the son of the mayor of El Bosque seriously injured. Salvador López, Zapatista sympathiser, and the Tzotzil teacher, Alberto Patishtán, were arrested and accused of being responsible for the assault. The final decision about the imprisonment of the teacher, considered unfair by human rights defenders, will be given more than 13 years later, in late August.
El Bosque and the counterinsurgency in Chiapas
The community of El Bosque was founded in 1712 by immigrants from the small community of Muken, in the Municipality of San Juan Chamula, after the indigenous rebellion. It was originally called San Juan Bautista. On February 13, 1934, by decree of the Governor of the State, it was named El Bosque. The municipality belongs to what is known as the Northern Zone, bordered to the north by the municipality of Simojovel, on the east by Chalchiuitan, on the south by Larráinzar, on the west by Bochil and Jitotol.
The imprisonment of Patishtán, which is considered unjust by the movement of El Bosque, occurred in a context of conflict. With the birth of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and its strong influence in the region, the federal government began a counterinsurgency war in the state of Chiapas. To do this, it organized paramilitary groups which sowed terror in the region and created divisions within the communities. In the community of Acteal the government showed how far it was willing to go, with the massacre carried out by paramilitaries which left 45 dead on December 22, 1997.
A call to action
The community of El Bosque has taken on the defence of Alberto Patishtán and, together with the Catholic Organization el Pueblo Creyente, has carried out actions for his freedom - including pilgrimages, marches and prayers. Martín Ramírez López reaffirms the determination of the people: "If the judges do their job badly, the people will continue to struggle and Patishtán will be freed", he says.
"On July 19th the community of El Bosque and el Pueblo Creyente marched around the prison where hundreds of campesinos and indigenous people are unjustly imprisoned", said the indigenous teacher. "We cried out in front of the Social Rehabilitation Centre (CERESO) number 5, in San Cristobal de Las Casas, and also performed a pilgrimage around it. The pastors of El Bosque, Simojovel and other parishes in the diocese were present. We call on our Catholic and non-Catholic brothers and sisters, because the struggle for the freedom of the prisoners is not from any religion, or political party. Here we talk as brothers and the idea is to struggle together. We walk towards freedom, struggling", concludes Martin Ramírez López.

July 29, 2013

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