Communiqué from the Mazatec Political Prisoners, November 2022.
To our families and residents of our hometown, Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón, Sierra Mazateca, Oaxaca, Mexico:
To our sisters and brothers in the struggle in Mexico and the world:
People of the world:
To the media:
We are Mazatec prisoners Jaime Betanzos, Herminio Monfil, Fernando Gavito, Alfredo Bolaños, Omar Hugo Morales, Isaías Gallardo and Francisco Durán. Five of us have been imprisoned for eight years without trial or sentence, and two of us for four years in the same circumstances. Some of us were released in March 2019, but at the door of the prison we were arrested again based on false accusations. We did not enjoy a single minute of freedom. 15 more comrades have been forcibly displacement because arrest warrants were issued on the same false accusations, among them, Miguel Peralta Betanzos.
We are still locked up, even though it has been proven that the crimes are based on fabricated evidence. As Mazatecos wanting self-determination for our people, we do not understand why the government of Oaxaca wants to keep us locked up. We have had more than 13 favorable rulings in court and more than 20 decisions ordering the release of other comrades. Since December 2018, the federal government has recognized we are unjustly imprisoned people and political prisoners. Women, mothers, comrades, daughters, sisters and people in solidarity have tirelessly demanded our freedom, but have faced discrimination and racism.
For this reason, we want to strengthen our demands. We have agreed to continue organizing as a collective, because enough is enough! It has been too long!! We should be free by now! Our freedom, and that of every person, is precious. We will always defend freedom and would not trade it even for all the gold in the world. We have decided to name our struggle: “Tjí’nde-najin Kjoabijnandií-najin”, a Mazatec expression that means: “We have the right to freedom”.
As a collective, we have agreed to join the struggle for freedom with the “International Coordinating Committee for Solidarity and for the Freedom of Revolutionary Political Prisoners of The World, Oaxaca”, because we are not alone. In has been 100 years since our brother, Mazatec anarchist Ricardo Flores Magón, was assassinated in prison and we say: Enough! No one should be in prison for thinking differently! No one should die in prison! Down with the prisons walls!”
We are once again calling for worldwide solidarity, and to those who have already offered it to us, it would be an honor to have your continued support. We invite you to join us in our demands. If we are standing, it is because you have supported us in solidarity from the outside. We thank you for your faith and your sensitivity in recognizing that we are innocent.
Sincerely, from the prisons Villa de Etla, Taniveth and Cuicatlán, in Oaxaca, Mexico:
Collective: “Tjí’nde-najin Kjoabijnandií-najin” “We have the right to freedom”.
Jaime Betanzos,Fernando Gavito, Alfredo Bolaños, Omar Hugo Morales, Herminio Monfil, Isaías Gallardo, Francisco Durán
Important: We invite you to share and spread the word about this communiqué, as well as to translate it into all the languages you know.