This letter comes from Germán López Montejo and Abraham López Montejo who, after more than four months on a hunger strike, had their sentences lengthened from 25 to 50 years. The time added to their sentences was a clear act of retaliation from the state, seeking to set an example of what happens to those who struggle for justice and freedom. The original in Spanish was published by the Working Group No Estamos Todxs and can be found here.
CERSS No. 5 San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas
August 22nd, 2019
Organization: La Voz Verdadera del Amate
Inmates Germán López Montejo and Abraham López Montejo
We are people with next to nothing. We are humble, quiet people. However, on August 20th, 2019, the Mixed District Judge of Bochil violated our rights. Our families went to dialogue with the judge about our case. There, the judge said that everything was fine, that we are innocent of the crimes we have been charged. He said that we will achieve our freedom, telling our families not to worry or be sad, that soon we will leave this prison. This was at about 9:00 am. Later that day, at 5:00 pm, the actuary of CERSS No. 5 of San Cristóbal de las Casas, notified us that our sentence had arrived. He notified us that we had been sentenced to 50 years in prison. This was because we didn’t offer any money to the judge. If we had offered money, we would have been freed. Because we didn’t give any money, we were originally sentenced to 25 years in prison. This judge added 25 more leaving us with 50 years in prison for not offering money. The humiliation of poor Indigenous people continues. We know that it is not only us, but that there are many poor Indigenous people incarcerated while being innocent. Thus, now is the time to demand justice against this ignorance of the authorities, of the corrupt judges. For example, the judge of the Mixed District Court of Bochil, Chiapas. We want there to be a change because they are violating our rights. Our children suffer. They unjustly pay. It is not just us who pay for a crime we didn’t commit. We demand justice. Enough of the violence and harassment carried out against poor Indigenous people who while innocent, suffer in prison.
In other prisons there are many Indigenous people who have not committed the crimes for which they have been convicted. Their rights have been completely violated. Crimes are falsified by the authorities. There are also mestizo people who are sentenced to many many years. Their due process is violated. The corrupt judges do not work as the law says. Without evidence, they give long sentences. Just like with us. There was no evidence against us, but they sentenced us to 50 years. Instead of giving us our freedom, they gave us 25 more years. This has happened to many poor prisoners. This is what corrupt judges do. They don’t think. They don’t have hearts. There are also many Indigenous people in other prisons who do not know their rights, like in CERSS No. 14 “El Amate”. We know various people that have been imprisoned for years. There are even people from our community.
Many people have been imprisoned but it doesn’t have anything to do with crimes. It is an injustice that government officials incarcerate innocent humble people. These government officials are lost. I hope they wake up soon to take the good road that isn’t the road of the bad government because government officials are criminals. They take everything from poor Indigenous people. Enough with so much injustice, so much harassment and ignorance, on part of the bad governments. It is all of them, functionaries and traitors, exploiters of Indigenous people. Enough of so much violence. Compañerxs of Chiapas, we will not stop. We will not rest in this struggle until we achieve what we seek. We are not afraid of the threats from the bad government. We will be on our feet in struggle, knowing that we are not alone. We know that there are those who are with us, more organizations, more of us. Thank you.
La Voz Verdadera del Amate
Germán López Montejo and Abraham López Montejo