** They are Sexta adherents; they allege political revenge
By: Hermann Bellinghausen,
San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, September 19, 2014
Three indigenous adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle, from the community of Virgen de Dolores –Juan Antonio Gómez Silvano, Mario Aguilar Silvano and Roberto Gómez Hernández– were assigned (to prison) by the Public Minister (MP) ascribed to the Specialized Prosecutor in Indigenous Justice of Chilón today. As a consequence, these San Sebastián Bachajón ejido owners were sent to the mixed judge of Ocosingo, accused of the aggravated injury of members of the Chilón municipal police, for acts the occurred in the early hours of September 16.
Expeditiously, Ocosingo judge, Omar Heleria Reyes, set bail at 300,000 pesos for each one of the detainees. According to their lawyer, Ricardo Lagunes Gasca, this “is completely unconstitutional, because of being an amount disproportionate to the compañeros’ economic situation, which violates the principle of presumption of innocence.” Besides, it leaves the detainees “without the real possibility of enjoying the constitutional right to confront their criminal proceedings in freedom.”
According to the defense lawyer for the three Tzeltales, the three assure that “during the time that they were in the custody of members of the Chilón municipal police (the ones who apprehended them) they were subjected to cruel treatment and torture; they threw them to the ground and dragged them on the dirt road, provoking grave injuries on their bodies, while the police were laughing at them.”
The detainees point out that Rodolfo Gómez Gutiérrez, MP (prosecutor) ascribed to the Specialized Office in Indigenous Justice in Ocosingo, who aided the Chilón MP in the putting the investigation together, “tortured Mario Aguilar Silvano so that he would incriminate himself in the acts they impute to him and would sign a confession; he pointed a pistol at his head, placed a plastic bag on him to provoke asphyxia and hit him in the face with an open hand more than once.” That occurred during the afternoon of September 17, Lagunes Gasca points out.
At the same time, “the three Sexta adherents point out that at the time of their arrest, they identified one of the apprehending police as Agustín Sánchez, who lives close to Virgen de Dolores community, in Carmen Xaquilá, and who in turn is a close friend and neighbor of Sebastián Méndez Hernández, who participated in the assassination of Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano on March 21, 2014 and who is now secluded in El Amate Prison under criminal prosecution.”
Those detained assure that members of the Chilón municipal police “are taking reprisals against members of Virgen de Dolores community” for the arrest of a member of their (police) corporation.
The constitutional time period for resolving the legal situation of Tzeltal ejido owners Gómez Silvano, Aguilar Silvano and Gómez Hernández expires next Wednesday, September 24. “We will assert all means of defence to obtain their freedom within this time period,” the lawyer for the indigenous concludes.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Saturday, September 20, 2014
English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the International Zapatista Translation Service
La Jornada, 19th September, 2014Emir Olivares, Alma Muñoz and Enrique Méndez
Members of a caravan of the Yaqui people of Sonora
present their position regarding the construction of the Independence Aqueduct
during a press conference in Mexico City
Photo: José Antonio López
The traditional authorities of the Yaqui tribe and civil organizations’ representatives considered it “infuriating” that, even when lacking evidence against Sonora community spokesman, Mario Luna Romero, the third penal judge in Hermosillo, Sonora, dictated a formal imprisonment decree. Mario Luna Romero is accused of wilful deprivation of liberty and stealing a vehicle.
Meanwhile, PRD representatives and Yaqui tribe authorities pointed out that Luna Romero’s detention on September 11 is no more than a setup to criminalize the protest against the Independence Aqueduct, a “personal project of Governor Guillermo Padrés Elías”.
In a press conference with civil organizations, Tomás Rojo, another Yaqui spokesman, who is also facing an arrest warrant for the same crimes, stressed the lack of evidence to sustain his colleague’s guilt, for neither of them was at the scene when the incident happened, and therefore he demanded Luna’s release.
The arrest, he added, took place in the context of the legal battle and protest this community has maintained against the construction and operation of the aqueduct, which extracts water from the Yaqui River’s basin. He claims that it will negatively impact the environment and the community’s development. The opposition even won many judicial resolutions in their favour.
He recited that the actions they are accused of go back to June 2013, when through traditional laws of uses and customs–guaranteed in the Constitution and international treaties–Yaqui member Francisco Delgado, who is involved with the Guillermo Padrés Elías’ government, was punished because he launched his car at high speed against some of the individuals participating in a demonstration.
Although this past September 15, during the hearing to present exculpatory evidence in Luna’s favour, the traditional authorities of the Yaqui people assumed responsibility for these acts and acknowledged they were the ones who ordered Delgado’s arrest, which included a “symbolic punishment”, the judge dictated the formal imprisonment decree.
“We also handed over the confirming record of the arrest (Delgado’s), which was ratified by the same traditional authorities. Additionally, we presented an anthropological report explaining the uses and customs of the Yaqui tribe, the way their traditional laws are practiced, verifying that we are not dealing with a kidnapping case, but with a common community justice process,” he affirmed.
He claimed that judge Manuel Octavio Palafox, who dictated the formal imprisonment decree, did not properly analyse the evidence nor connect them in order to determine the likely responsibility of the Yaqui spokesman. The judge even admitted that there are elements that raise doubt about the presence of Luna Romero at the crime scene or that he ordered Francisco Delgado Romo’s detention.
Translated by Nicole Arocho
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