Friday, April 25, 2008

Zapatista Prisoners Transferred from Tabasco to Chiapas

The Other Campaign is Skeptical of Gov. Sabines' Promise to Free Them

Yesterday afternoon, without prior notice, the government transferred Zapatista political prisoners Angel Concepción Pérez Gutiérrez and Francisco Pérez Vázquez from the Tacotalpa, Tabasco, prison where they've been incarcerated for almost twelve years to a hospital in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas.

The Other Campaign in Veracruz immediately condemned the transfer as a disappearance because the government did not announce where or why it was transferring the two hunger striking prisoners.

However, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center ("Frayba") reports that it is with the prisoners in the Tuxtla hospital where they're being evaluated by medical professionals. The prisoners told Frayba representatives that they were not mistreated during the transfer. Frayba has not commented on the diabetic prisoners' health condition. Today is their fifth day of hunger strike.

Frayba reports that Chiapas Gov. Juan Sabines say he requested the prisoners' transfer so that he can grant them their freedom. Pérez Gutiérrez and Pérez Vázquez are Chiapan Zapatistas of Ch'ol ethnicity. They participated in the February-April hunger strike waged by Chiapan political prisoners, but were not among the thirty political prisoners released by the Chiapas government because their cases did not fall under Chiapan jurisdiction.

The plantón outside the Tabasco prison where the prisoners were being held has been lifted as family members and supporters moved to Tuxtla pending more information on the prisoners' situation.

Frayba and the Other Campaign in San Cristobal request that adherents and sympathizers keep up their protests until Pérez Gutiérrez and Pérez Vázquez are free. The Other Campaign in San Cristobal notes that the government is notorious for not following through on its promises.

Photo courtesy of Zapateando 2.
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