Alberto Patishtán: A Message From the State

The ruling can only be interpreted as a message sent both to the prisoner and to those who see him as a symbol of the struggle against injustice.

By Luis Hernández Navarro
La Jornada
September 13, 2013
Translated by Scott Campbell

Alberto Patishtán is not a French kidnapper like Florence Cassez, nor a narcotrafficker like Rafael Caro Quintero, nor one of the killers from the massacre in Acteal. He is a Tzotzil schoolteacher, a member of the Other Campaign, unjustly imprisoned for 13 years. She, they and he are not the same. For Cassez, Caro Quintero and the paramilitaries from Chenalhó, despite their guilt, justice let them go. For teacher Patishtán, the justice system has him in jail, despite being innocent.

The judiciary recently had the possibility to rectify the damage done to the indigenous Tzotzil man from El Bosque. But this Thursday, the 20th Circuit First Appellate Court in Chiapas declared baseless the evidence with which his attorneys sought to obtain his release.

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Mexico’s Supreme Court says 12 years of injustice aren’t enough for Alberto Patishtán

Three judges block a proposal for winning Alberto Patishtán’s freedom by proving his innocence.

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On March 6, 2013, the members of the First Courtroom of the National Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) in Mexico decided that twelve years of injustice aren’t enough for Alberto Patishtán Gómez. When the judges had the opportunity to assert competent jurisdiction for doing a thorough study that would have shown the innocence of the Tzotzil schoolteacher, they declared themselves incompetent. Incompetent? How true, how true. Incompetent in doing their job. Incompetent in seeing that justice is done.

The parasites Alfredo Gutiérrez Ortiz Mena, José Ramón Cossío and Jorge Pardo Rebolledo, who receive salaries of approximately 4 million Mexican pesos a year (without counting benefits, Christmas bonuses, and additional funds) aren’t interested in reviewing the case of an honorable schoolteacher sentenced to 60 years in prison for the heinous crime of struggling for social justice among poor, indigenous people. A hearing had been announced for the purpose of discussing the proposal drawn up by Judge Olga Sánchez Cordero and supported by Judge Arturo Zaldívar. But no. In less than ten curt, bureaucratic words about the proposal being unfounded, the three judges blocked the measure. They didn’t even feel it was necessary to give their reasons. So blatant was the arrogance of power.

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The State and the School Teacher

In Mexico, an elementary school teacher who also was a community organizer in the indigenous community of El Bosque in Chiapas, was framed in the killing of 8 cops, and faces 60 years in prison.

[writ. 10/2/12] © ’12 Mumia Abu-Jamal

In the United States, teachers are criticized, called bad names, and occasionally, they have their pensions threatened.

That’s bad enough, but in Mexico, an elementary school teacher who also was a community organizer in the indigenous community of El Bosque in Chiapas, was framed in the killing of 8 cops, and faces 60 years in prison.

His name is Alberto Patishtán, affectionately known as ‘el profe’ (the prof – or teacher), and despite this legal tragedy, he is a widely known, widely respected and deeply loved teacher, religious person, and a gifted prison organizer.

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Alberto Patishtán is back in Chiapas! The struggle continues!

Alberto Patishtán, emblematic political prisoner of Mexico and comrade, founding member of the “Voz del Amate” (Voice of Amate) organization and part of the Other Campaign, was returned to the prison known as CERSS No. 5 in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas.

Thursday, July 26, 2012, San Cristóbal de Las Casas

It’s half a victory, but a victory for us all

Alberto Patishtán, emblematic political prisoner of Mexico and comrade, founding member of the “Voz del Amate” (Voice of Amate) organization and part of the Other Campaign, was returned just a few hours ago to the prison known as CERSS No. 5 in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. He was taken out of there in the early morning hours of October 20, 2011, in the middle of a hunger strike that he was waging along with his comrades, “los Solidarios de la Voz del Amate” (Solidarity Prisoners, Voice of Amate).

The vile government is finally abiding by the ruling issued on July 13 by the judge in the court at Tuxtla Gutiérrez, granting a protective order sought by the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights on the basis that Albert’s transfer to the maximum security prison at Guasave, Sinaloa was unacceptable.

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Acting to free Alberto Patishtán and Francisco Sántiz

Freedom for Chiapas political prisoners, Francisco Sántiz López and Alberto Patishtán Gómez is what spurs the week of actions “Bringing Down Prison Walls” carried out in various parts of the world from May 15-22.

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Freedom for Chiapas political prisoners, Francisco Sántiz López  and Alberto Patishtán Gómez is what spurs the week of actions “Bringing Down Prison Walls” carried out in various parts of the world from May 15-22. Called by the Movement for Justice in the Barrio in New York, this solidarity campaign is supported by family members of the two prisoners and the Zapatista Good Government Council of Oventic,  Chiapas.

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“We’re the hope of all the rest”: Political prisoners on hunger strike in Chiapas

Informative meeting and rally in Mexico City to demand freedom for the prisoners and denounce the transfer of Alberto Patishtán.

Informative meeting and rally in Mexico City to demand freedom for the prisoners and denounce the transfer of Alberto Patishtán

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They pulled up at 2:35 in the morning, October 20, 2011 to do their dirty work. The mission of the federal agents? To take Professor Alberto Patishtán Gomez to a maximum security prison far from home. They think that’s the way they can demoralize the political prisoners who’ve been on hunger strike in Chiapas since September 29 and their family members who’ve been camped out in their support since October 8.

One day before they took him away, Patishtán wrote these words: “All the bad rulers and authorities in Mexico are walking backwards for one reason only– the Lie they call Truth and the Truth they call Lie. And that’s what’s led them to trample on the rights of the people and do special harm to those of us who are unjustly imprisoned…”

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