Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Judge Frees Indigenous Activist in Chiapas

Judge Frees Indigenous Activist in Chiapas

by Hermann Bellinghausen
June 27, 2013

• He is a defender of communal lands at the Agua Azul Cascades
• Miguel Vázquez was obliged to incriminate himself in various crimes

This Wednesday, Miguel Vázquez Deara, “political prisoner” and adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido, was set free in Ocosingo, Chiapas. Upon the period of time for determining his legal situation expiring, the mixed judge of first instance of the judicial district with residence in Ocosingo decreed the writ of freedom in his favor.

The same as his two other compañeros, still prisoners in Playas de Catazajá and El Amate, Vázquez Deara has been legally persecuted by authorities, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) maintained this Tuesday, through acts whose purpose is “undermining actions for the defense of territory that the ejido has undertaken for several years.”

Vázquez Deara was detained in September 2011 based on a denunciation “fabricated by officialists (government supporters) that have interests in Agua Azul Cascades, and under torture obliged him to sign a self-incriminating statement.”

On November 22, 2012, a definitive sentence for the alleged crimes of robbery with violence and criminal association had been dictated, and he was sentenced to seven years and nine months in prison. The sentence was appealed, and after the court’s inexplicable delay of five months to send the file from Ocosingo to San Cristóbal de las Casas –whose distance apart is an hour and a half–, the magistrates of the mixed hall of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice in San Cristóbal ordered replacement of the proceedings as far as the preparatory statement, “considering that violations of his rights to adequate defense existed,” and yesterday morning the judge decided to free him.

The Frayba exemplifies the case “as one of those that reflect that in Chiapas access to the imparting of prompt, expedited and impartial justice is denied,” besides the lack of adequate defense for indigenous people, and of “the application of the law in accordance with the principle of a presumption of innocence.” In this case those who “organize in defense of land rights, self-determination and autonomy are criminalized.”

On September 26, 2011, agents assigned to the District Attorney for the Jungle Zone and the State Preventive Police detained Vázquez Deara, then a community police officer, while he was working in the city of Palenque. He has pointed out that Juan Álvaro Moreno, of the Partido Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM, its initials in Spanish), was accompanying the police. This individual belongs to the pro-government group from which the ejido owners of the Sixth “have received threats and harassment, due to their struggle in defense of their land and territory.”

Vázquez Deara was not assisted during his ministerial statement by a defender or a translator that was familiar with his language and culture, something contrary to what’s bestowed in the second constitutional article.

He says: “I remember that I went up some stairs where they were asking me who my fellow robbers are; it was like a patio, I answered in Tzeltal, saying that I did not know how to speak Spanish. The police said to me: ‘talk you little prick, we are going to prepare a beating for you.’

“They handcuffed my hands, my feet, and covered my mouth with a handkerchief and my eyes with a black rag, they undressed me completely. Afterwards they put a bag on my head, hit me in the stomach with a gun butt and also in the chest. The hit the nape of my neck with a closed fist, gave me a weapon and took photos of me. Later a police agent arrived that asked where the person shot at the gravel pit was, and they accused me of robbery of a small truck and many crimes.”

Immediately afterwards, he was obliged to sign a ministerial statement that, according to the Frayba, “became the principal evidence that self-incriminated him and served as the basis for fabricating other crimes against him that he never committed.”

Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/06/27/politica/007n1pol

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Bernie Sanders Aftermath

Even as Bernie Sanders was celebrating his win yesterday in New Hampshire, the road ahead for the Sanderistas seemed as dark as ever. The notion that the Sanders victory has shaken the Democratic Party to its core and is causing furrowed, worried brows etc among the party mandarins is complete nonsense. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb From The Middle East: Social Control Is Emerging As ISIS (Da’ish) Motive

It is widely recognized that the damage done to our cultural heritage in Syria and to the heritage of those who will follow us, cannot be calculated... Heretofore, three varying but cogent explanations for ISIS’ rabid destruction of our shared cultural heritage have been commonplace. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Myopia Of The Business News

Listening to the business news is a bit like eavesdropping on the radio transmissions from space aliens. There is no discernible connection between the concerns of the captains of these space ships – the bank economists and the finance house spokesmen – and the concerns of ordinary listeners back on Planet Earth. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Clinton, Sanders, Trump And Cruz

Come November, the world will have a new US president-elect and the least unlikely winner still looks to be Hillary Clinton. Right now though, the polls are showing a rocky stretch ahead for her in the immediate future. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Sean Penn And El Chapo - Vanity, Hollywood And Reportage

Leaving aside Sean Penn’s personal history with drug use, let alone alleged efforts to get a slice of celebrity in portraying a drug lord, the furore surrounding his interview with El Chapo is instructive in a few respects. One is worth noting: the blind rage it has provoked with some US political figures and advocates who show how utterly lacking in understanding they are of their own liberal market system... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Podemos, And Spain’s Election Stalemate

By hard grassroots effort, it convincingly rejected the fragmented, individualising forces that had shaped political life for the past few decades – instead, it organized its supporters on the basis of their common, communal experience via collective decision-making aimed at rolling back (a) the austerity-driven cutbacks in public services and (b) the home evictions of those unable to meet their mortgage payments. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Merkel, Refugees And The Cologne Attacks

Huge pressure was already on Angela Merkel’s shoulders prior to the New Year celebrations. When it came in its waves of chaos on the eve, the security services in Cologne were found wanting. The police document from Cologne, leaked to Der Spiegel, speaks of chaos and lack of control. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news