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Alberto Patishtán's Son Urges His Father's Release, Given his Serious Health Issues

*We do not want a pardon, they should ask us for forgiveness, repeats the young Hector
*IACHR and an amnesty law are legal options to achieve the release of the Tzotzil Professor
By Carolina Gómez Mena / La Jornada, 19th October, 2013

A little over a month after the First Collegiate Tribunal of the Twentieth Circuit, based in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, ratified the sentence of 60 years in prison for the Tzotzil teacher Alberto Patishtán Gómez, his son Héctor Patishtán reported that due to his father's health issues, "what we need is his freedom".

He explained that "No one is asking for a pardon. It is not the best way, because it is a pardon by the government, when it should be the other way around. They should ask his forgiveness for those thirteen years [time served to date] of injustice and impunity."
During his participation in the forum Chiapas, the War and Resistances Continue: the EZLN, Alberto Patishtán and Forced Displacement, organized by the Programme for Intercultural  and Indigenous Affairs from the Ibero-American University, Hector Patishtán explained that having exhausted all legal avenues in the country, one of the ways to achieve his father's release is to appeal to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR), although, he said, there is a possibility of legislation to create an amnesty law.
The 17-year old expressed confidence that "It won't be long before my dad is released. ... Mexican justice is made only to serve some; the vulnerable classes, the indigenous peoples, we are the most hurt." As an example, he mentioned "the Chiapas jails, which are full of indigenous people accused of crimes they did not commit, but because they don't know Spanish and were tortured, they admitted to having committed them.”
"We are not at odds with any of the possible avenues for the freedom of my father," he added. He noted that as young people have the country's future in their hands, they should strive for changes to prevent the recurrence of the injustices like those committed against his father.
"As young people, what can we expect? If we continue like this, what will happen? Will the criminalization of protest, the enforced disappearances continue? It's time to reflect, to think about what we want. As youth we are the hope of Mexico and if we want change, we have to start right now," he said.
He stated that despite health issues and legal setbacks, his father's spirit is good. He recalled: "He says that they can never lock him up in jail or kill his dignity, freedom and pride, even if they give him a thousand year sentence."
Alberto Patishtán, a native of El Bosque, Chiapas, was accused of participating in an ambush on June 12, 2000, between the municipalities of El Bosque and Simojovel, in which seven policemen were killed.

Based on a translation by Jane Brundage

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