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Ruling against Patishtán is a “sign of weakness”

Raúl Vera visits the Tzotzil professor
He officiates with Arizmendi at Mass on the Day of the Prisoner
Bishop Raúl Vera López and Alberto Patishtán Gómez yesterday at the prison Photo: Moysés Zúñiga Santiago
Elio Henríquez
La Jornada, Wednesday September 25, 2013
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, September 24th
Alberto Patishtán Gómez, who has been in prison for 13 years, said that his brain tumour, which was operated on last year, “is growing”, so he will soon be undergoing radiotherapy treatment for six weeks.
“In the MRI scan that I had (a few months ago) they found out that the tumour is growing again and perhaps I will be hospitalized, but I cannot say how it will go”, he said at a press conference in the prison which is located 20 kilometres from this city.
12 days after the first collegiate circuit court, based in Tuxtla Gutierrez, ratified the sentence of 60 years in prison against the teacher from the municipality of El Bosque, he reiterated his innocence and demanded “that they give me back my freedom”.
- What do you think about the Senate proposing an amnesty law to free you? He was asked.
- What I have said is that I am innocent, I just need my freedom; if they give me back my freedom that is all I need.
At the press conference, the bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, Raúl Vera López, said the court's decision is a sign of weakness; (the government) thinks that is showing power but faced with logic, reason and justice it is just showing weakness, it is a syndrome of power not to want to show weakness. Vera López entered the prison in the morning to officiate, together with the bishop of San Cristobal, Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, at a Mass to celebrate the Day of the Prisoner.
During the ceremony the El Bosque Movement for the Liberation of Alberto Patishtán gave the Tzotzil in prison the “recognition of innocence”, which the judiciary had denied him.
“The people of El Bosque have risen up because they are witness to my innocence, like other sectors, but unfortunately the authorities have closed their ears, they have not been able to hear or see, and again they have left me in jail so that I complete the 60 year sentence imposed on me”, said the teacher, who was also visited today by officials of Section 7 of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE).
“In the eyes of God, from the early days when I was arrested I am innocent, I have not done anything, within my conscience I do not owe anyone, I am innocent, I have not committed the crimes of which I have been accused, and this keeps me in peace to keep fighting and demanding my freedom. The authorities do not want to recognize this, I understand that at times ambition has blinded them, so that they cannot see things”, he said.
He emphasised that “it is sad to see that those who have actually committed other crimes are those who leave (prison); those who have economic power achieve their freedom through influence. Freedom was denied me, perhaps because of my colour, my deficiencies, my poverty and my being indigenous, but I will not lose hope, I will keep fighting”.

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