This communiqué comes from the Working Group No Estamos Todxs and gives us an update on the prisoners in struggle in Chiapas after 33 days of their hunger strike. The original in Spanish can be found here.
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas
April 17th, 2019
Situation of our twenty imprisoned compañeros in struggle in different prisons of the state of Chiapas, after 33 days of the coordinated hunger strike demanding their immediate and unconditional freedom.
For more than a month now, the dignity of our compañeros is the force that pushes us to raise our collective voice, to shout: ENOUGH ALREADY! We share the pain and injustice perpetrated against our compañeros and we reject the oppressive state that has them kidnapped. We condemn the passivity of the state that has caused our compañeros to initiate the extreme political action of a hunger strike. It fills us with rage to have to see their bodies weakened, to see how they are being consumed on their insides, how their smiles are languishing. Although we are afraid of losing them, we fully understand the motives and we respect their determination in taking this decision that could ultimately lead to death. At least we will take this fight for life and for justice together, until the last consequences, because as someone once said, “It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.”
But risking ones life in the struggle against injustice, although not a guarantee of anything, sometimes has its reward. Just a few days ago, we were able to verify that our stubbornness and persistence managed to crack the impassivity of the state. We managed to sit down with the secretary of the government, Ismael Brito Mazariegos, around the dialogue table. There, the government committed to attend to the demands of the revision of the cases of our compañeros which are full of legal problems and to study the cases of torture that the grand majority of the prisoners suffered at the moment of their detention.
As a result of this small victory, the prisoners have decided to give the government the benefit of the doubt. Just two days ago, they agreed on a new position of struggle. They have changed the indefinite nature of the hunger strike to a partial fast for a 20 day period, waiting for concrete solutions. As an act of good faith, the compañeros in CERSS No. 10 in Comitán, decided to open their mouths after having sewn their lips together on March 29th.
The imprisoned compañeros have expressed their willingness to remain in the areas where they are currently located and to continue receiving the prison medical revisions while waiting for the evolution of the dialogues with the government. It is worth mentioning that this partial fast consists of eating “adequate” food every three days, among them some foods that are forbidden in the the prison, but that are necessary due to the state of health in which our compañeros find themselves. We are aware that these foods are being allowed to enter. The government also agreed to comply as soon as possible with the demands for the transfer to CERSS NO. 5 in San Cristóbal de las Casas of five imprisoned compañeros in struggle (two in el Amate, two more in Cefereso of Villa Comaltitlan and another prisoner in Copainalá).
Since the beginning of the hunger strike, the imprisoned compañeros have been assisted by state and national commissions of human rights, as well as by psychologists and criminologists as part of the accompaniment of their action. Occasionally, external medical interventions complementary to the institutional ones were carried out, where additional studies took place in addition to the revision of the usual parameters (weight, tension and blood sugar). These interventions reported concern about the “critical” state of health of some prisoners and of the possible consequences of renal deterioration in CERSS No. 5 in San Cristóbal de las Casas.
In spite of the regular visits of the state and national commissions of human rights in order to ensure the minimum conditions to carry out the hunger strike, compañeros Abraham and Germán, prisoners in CERSS No. 14 El Amate in Cintalapa, have not had access at all to the courtyard, contact with other prisoners, nor sun that is absolutely necessary to their physical and psychological wellbeing. Likewise, the compañeros in CERSS No. 10 in Comitán are not being examined medically after they decided as such on March 30th, after suffering an aggression on part of the prison authorities. It is important to point out that the area they are located is infested with bed bugs that can potentially transmit serious diseases to them.
We hope that this dialogue will not be a trick and that the commitments will be considered and heeded, that the effort of both the struggling prisoners and their families will not fall on deaf ears as usual. Needless to say, the life of our compañeros is in the hands of those that have them imprisoned and any misfortune that happens against them is the responsibility of the government.
We will continue with the struggle compañeros and compañeras. We will continue demanding justice and freedom. We will continue confronting the carceral beast from our trenches of struggle with the best of our weapons, solidarity and mutual aid. Prisoners in struggle, family members and representatives of the prisoners, organized civil society, national and international solidarity organizations, along with human rights organizations, all of those walking with firm steps, supporting the struggle and denouncing the arbitrariness of the punitive prison system.
Down with the prison walls!
Until we are all free!
Working Group No Estamos Todxs