Please send to all contacts.
We are sending you a letter that demands the freedom of Abraham Ramirez Vazquez, a prisoner from Santiago Xanica and signatory of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, who is now in prison in Pochutla, Oaxaca.
We went to visit Abraham last week. In view of the fact that a representative of the Gabino Cue government met with OIDHO last Tuesday and agreed to form a commission to consider Abraham’s freedom, promising to do everything possible to this end, Abraham asked us to put as much pressure as possible on the Gabino Cue government, the State Attorney General’s Office and the Elections Tribunal.
Abraham is in good spirits and believes that he will soon be free. As a form of support, we of the Nodo Solidale collective of Rome and Mexico, the Marisol Zapatista collective of Lugano and Nomads of Bolonia decided to propose this letter to be signed by all collectives and organizations and sent to the appropriate addresses by mail or by fax on WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 23, 2001, to pressure the officials and/or that the demands be made by telephone.
We also ask that you add your signature to the letter so that we can deliver it to Abraham and his organization CODEDI with as many signatures as possible.
We are well aware of the limitations of this kind of action, but the comrade asked for our help and so we think it’s a just and important thing to do; furthermore, it could open the door to the possible freedom of other prisoners of Oaxaca.
Nodo Solidale, Roma and Mexico
Collettivo Zapatista Marisol, Lugano
February 18, 2011
subject: THE FREEDOM OF ABRAHAM RAMÍREZ VÁSQUEZ
We demand the immediate, unconditional freedom for the Zapotec indigenous prisoner Abraham Ramírez Vásquez of Santiago Xanica (Miahuatlán District), a member of the Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Rights of Santiago Xanica (CODEDI-XANICA) and of the Magonista-Zapotista Alliance (AMZ) and part of the Other Campaign.
Abraham was arbitrarily arrested in the municiapality of Santiago de Xanica on January 15, 2005, after being shot by the Oaxaca state Preventive Police, and charged with aggravated homicide and kidnapping. This was also the case with Juventino García Cruz and Noel García Cruz, who were finally freed on March 17, 2010, after having served their unjust sentence.
In 2005, CODEDI had resisted the imposition of an illegitimate municipal authority that denied them their right to elect their own authorities in an assembly, according to their customs and traditions. They took a stand against government and corporate interests of Huatulco that sought to erradicate their culture and dispossess them of their lands, forests, and water. This abuse is now being repeated in view of the fact that the Elections Tribunal invalidated the results of the Xanica elections by customs and traditions, thereby backing the whims of the PRI party and trampling on the collective decision.
Abraham was imprisioned at the Santa Maria Ixcotel Prison of Oaxaca until March 15, 2006, at which time he was transferred to the San Pedro Pochutla prison. On January 31, 2009, he was kidnapped and transferred without notice to the maximum security prison at Miahuatlan. In April, 2010, he was moved back to San Pedro Pochutla, where he is now imprisoned.
Nevertheless, for the last 6 years since his arrest, Abraham has consistently sent letters and undertaken fasts to denounce the constant harassment and mistreatment against him and other prisoners.
Today, February 17, 2011, after more than 6 years and despite his innocence, Abraham is still being deprived of his freedom on charges prefabricated by the Ulises Ruiz Ortiz government despite the fact that there is no evidence to support the charges. In truth, Abraham is being held prisoner for demanding respect for the traditions and customs of his community, respect for their mother tongue, and the right to health, education, food and housing, among other things. He is imprisioned for defending their land and their autonomy.
The offenses he is accused of and the failure to recognize the legitimate authority elected by traditions and customs in Santiago Xanica are clear proof of the repression used to make indigenous peoples desist in their struggle for the defense of their rights that are universally recognized in Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (OIT).
In view of all that is stated above and in view of the fact that Oaxaca governor Gabino Cue promised to make substantial changes:
- We demand the immediate, unconditional release of Abraham Ramírez Vásquez, victim of the tyrant Ulises Ruiz Ortiz.
- We demand respect for the decisions made by indigenous peoples, which is to say the immediate recognition of the municipal authority of Santiago Xanica elected according to customs and traditions.
We are watching to make sure that the Gabino Cue government keeps its promise to the social movements, and we are ready to activate urgent actions if the life and rights of the indigenous peoples of Oaxaca are not respected.
Nodo Solidale, (Roma, Italia y México)
Colectivo Zapatista “Marisol” de Lugano (Suiza)
Nomads XM24, Bolonia (Italia)
Le Trois Passants (Francia)
Union Mexicana Suiza de Zurich UMES (Suiza)
Red de Apoyo Zapatista RAZ (Estado Español)
Amig@s de Mumia (México)
Associazione Ya Basta (Italia)
Addresses and telephone numbers:
– Presidente Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa, República de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos firstname.lastname@example.org
– Lic. Ariadne Garcia Hernández, Directora de Organizaciones No Gubernamentales Internacionales, Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos de México email@example.com
– Dr. Raúl Plascencia Villanueva, Presidente de la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos firstname.lastname@example.org
– Lic. José Francisco Blake Mora, Secretario de Gobernación, República de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos email@example.com
– Lic. Arturo Chávez Chávez, Procurador General de la República firstname.lastname@example.org
– Lic. Gabino Cué Monteagudo, Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Oaxaca email@example.com
– Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado de Oaxaca Centro administrativo del Poder Ejecutivo y Judicial General Porfirio Díaz Edificios Jesús “Chu” Rasgado y Alvaro Carrillo, Teléfono 5016900
– Presidente del Tribunal Superior de Justicia del Estado de Oaxaca Mag. Lic. Alfredo Rodrigo Lagunas Rivera Tel (951) 50 1 66 80 Ext. 30001 y 30004
– Centro Administrativo del Poder Ejecutivo y Judicial “General Porfirio Díaz, Soldado de la Patria” Edificios J1 y J2 Av. Gerardo Pandal Graf No.1 Agencia de Policía Reyes Mantecón. San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca. C.P. 71257 Conmutador (01 951) 5016680