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The Demand Grows to Release Professor Alberto Patishtán from Prison

 ** He is an icon of the teachers, says a teacher from Edomex 
 ** In a visit to the prison, “we were going to encourage him, but it was we who left with sacks of encouragement” 
By: Hermann Bellinghausen /La Jornada

The mobilization involved in the caravan of social organizations which left the Federal District on Thursday to visit Professor Alberto Patishtán in the prison at San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, reveals how widespread the support, now international, for the demand to free him has become. This demand can now be heard in Nahua, in the voice of Areli Gutiérrez, of the Plan de Ayala National Coordinator (Coordinadora Nacional Plan de Ayala, CNPA-MN), or indeed in the commitment “from now on” of the Mexico 21st century Francisco Villa Popular Front (Frente Popular Francisco Villa México Siglo XXI): “If it is necessary we will go out to demonstrate in different parts of the country,” said Jaime Hernández, admitting that he has joined this struggle recently. 

“Alberto Patishtán is an icon of the teachers’ struggle. Even more, now that they are demonizing the teachers,” said Aurora Domínguez, representative of the Uprez in the caravan of organizations from the Federal District and the state of Mexico (aka Edomex), principally. On Friday 60 people went into the prison to meet with the professor in a “very emotional” act, as his son Héctor Patishtán described it. Many others remained in front of the prison. 

“We were going in to encourage him, but we were the ones who came out with sackfuls of encouragement after speaking with the professor,” Domínguez emphasized this morning at a press conference at the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Centre, in reference to the optimism and strength with which he received them. 

Resolution in mid- September 
On Friday morning, members of the caravan entered the first collegiate tribunal with residence in Tuxtla Gutiérrez and met with its president, Magistrate Freddy Celis Fuentes, and with the tribunal’s secretary, who will also serve as a magistrate in the legislative body’s decision. Sandino Rivero, lawyer for Patishtán, mentioned that the magistrates “promised that next week they would select the magistrate who will take the project to vote their decision within a period of ten days”. 

This allows the prediction that the tribunal should resolve it in the middle of September. 

Students, teachers, campesino and urban organizations, human rights defenders, diverse free media, and citizens’ movements against repression and for justice in all of Mexico are joining in the emblematic demand that, as Rivero pointed out, is supported even by federal officials like Jaime Martínez Veloz, Commissioner for the Interior Ministry, and Governor Manuel Velasco Coello. Also intellectuals, artists, public figures and thousands of citizens (as of today more than 12 thousand have signed the Amnesty International call for his liberation) (support him). 

Martín Ramírez López, spokesperson for the Citizens’ Movement of El Bosque, warned emphatically: “We have been struggling for the freedom of Compañero Patishtán for more than 13 years, and we do not have a date to stop struggling.”
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Sunday, September 1, 2013
En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/09/01/politica/009n1pol

English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the International Zapatista Translation Service

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