April 16, 2012
To our sisters and brothers, the family members and allies of Alberto Patishtán Gomez:
To our sisters and brothers, the family members and allies of Francisco Sántiz López:
To our Zapatista sisters and brothers:
To our compañer@s of The Other Campaign:
To our compañer@s of the Zezta Internazional:
To our compañer@s, adherents of the International Campaign in Defense of El Barrio and all our allies from around the world:
To the Civil Society in Mexico and in the world:
The following is an urgent call to action from Movement for Justice in El Barrio, The Other Campaign New York, and supported by the Patishtán Family, to realize the:
“WEEK OF GLOBAL STRUGGLE FOR THE LIBERATION OF PATISHTÁN AND SANTIZ LOPEZ: BRINGING DOWN THE PRISON WALLS”
To take place from Tuesday, May 15 to Tuesday May 22 of this year.
We send you our affectionate embraces and greetings on behalf of Movement for Justice in El Barrio, The Other Campaign New York.
We wish to share with all of you an urgent proposal from the humble and simple migrant community of El Barrio, New York.
Over here on the “other side,” we find ourselves with relentless anxiety trembling in our skin. We have observed from afar the cases of unjust incarceration of the political prisoners: Alberto Patishtán Gómez, an adherent of The Other Campaign, and Francisco Sántiz López, member of the Zapatista Support Base communities since 1992. For us, the dignified struggles of our compañeros are an occasion to reflect and rebel against a political and legal system that has nothing to do with justice or rights.
We have witnessed with much pain all the attempts to dehumanize Alberto Patishtán Gómez and Francisco Sántiz López – from the false accusations to the legal inconsistencies – of the bad government via its three levels and its rulers from every post, such as the repressor Pres. Felipe Calderón and the repressor Gov. Juan Sabines . They seek to erase the faces of our compañeros to make them invisible. They seek to erase the words of our compañeros to silence them. They seek to eliminate their phyisical freedom so that they cannot fight anymore. Because it is easier to bury beneath prison walls a human body that lacks a face, makes no sound, has no life.
But we continue listening to them from afar, and their dignified cries, their indispensable lives, call us to walk alongside them to obtain their freedom. They call on us to unite our forces in order to knock down the walls that surround them.
The prison system constitutes part of the racist politics of the world capitalist system. We know that it is no coincidence that in Mexico, as well as here in the United States, the jails and prisons are filled almost exclusively with those from below – indigenous, migrants, black, poor, Latino, women and men, and all marginalized groups – since only the true criminals could benefit from this misery: the multinational corporations and their political lackeys. Those from above believe that people who struggle must be crushed and encaged.
Alberto Patishtán Gómez was born on April 19, 1971 in the Chiapas municipality of El Bosque. He was arbitrarily deprived of his freedom on June 19, 2000 for crimes he did not commit. Two years later he was sentenced to 60 years in prison. When this injustice took place, Patishtán was very active in the political life of his community. He had been an outspoken critic of the corruption of politicians and political institutions. Despite the horrific prison conditions and his health problems, Alberto has not given up. On the contrary, he continues fighting from inside. Known as Professor Patishtán, Alberto was an elementary teacher at a local public school and during these past 12 years has continued to be an exemplary fighter for justice for his two children, other prisoners, and his compañeros from around the world. Adherent to The Other Campaign since the release of Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, his dignified example teaches us that the rebel spirit cannot be contained.
Similarly, since December 2011, our compañero Fancisco Sántiz López, member of the Zapatista Support Base communities since 1992, has been unjustly incarcerated and falsely charged with having lead a confrontation, which occurred in the Banavil community of the Tenejapa municipality of Chiapas, in which a member of the PRI party died. The racist and political character of this incident is obvious. As the Zapatista Good Government Council of Oventic explains, “The fabrication of crimes against our compañero comes from Los Pinos [the Mexican presidency], with the end of destroying the resistance of the zapatista communities; they are trying to impede at any cost the construction of the autonomy of indigenous peoples, it is part of a strategy of low-intensity warfare against our communities in resistance.” Recently, on March 22 of this year, our compañero Francisco, as he was about to be released, was hit with another accusation of another false crime. For this reason, he remains at the moment a political prisoner, despite the fact that witnesses have corroborated the fact that Francisco Sántiz López was not at the site of the confrontation. Additionally, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center has published a report indicating the names of those responsible for the murder. Obviously, the truth, much less justice, means little to the authorities.
We have seen all of this occur with impunity and arrogance. Now is the time to continue increasing the pressure and rebel against so many injustices. That said, we ask that we all join forces, once and for all, to demand that the bad powers of Mexico, particularly the repressors Pres. Felipe Calderón and Gov. Juan Sabines, immediately release our compañeros Alberto Patishtán Gómez and Francisco Sántiz López. Towards this end, with the support of the Patishtán family, we propose the following:
“WEEK OF GLOBAL STRUGGLE FOR THE LIBERATION OF PATISHTÁN AND SÁNTIZ LÓPEZ: BRINGING DOWN THE PRISON WALLS”
From Tuesday, May 15 to Tuesday, May 22 of this year.
Please let us know as soon as possible if you accept our proposal and will participate. You may communicate with us via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
FREEDOM FOR THE POLITICAL PRISONERS!
LONG LIVE ALBERTO PATISHTÁN GÓMEZ!
LONG LIVE FRANCISCO SANTIZ LÓPEZ!
LET US BRING DOWN THE WALLS OF INJUSTICE!
We send you embraces of love and solidarity.
From El Barrio, New York:
Movement for Justice in El Barrio
The Other Campaign New York