Frayba: Precautionary measures for EZLN Support Base proposed before the IACHR

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México

 April 23rd,  2024

Bulletin No. 11

Precautionary Measures proposed before the IACHR for the EZLN Support Base.

  • Risk to the health and life of José Díaz due to prison overcrowding and poor medical attention.

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) appealed to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) with the purpose of evaluating the adoption of Precautionary Measures to avoid irreparable damage to the health and life of José Díaz, Support Base of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN), in addition to addressing the prison situation and dignified conditions of detention, under the inter-American standards that protect the right to health in conjunction with the rights to life, security and personal integrity.

José Díaz is at serious risk to his health and consequently to his life, due to the spread of a disease that is spreading as a result of overcrowding and the precarious or non-existent prevention and medical attention within the prison system. In addition to the psychosocial impacts, as a person belonging to the Ch’ol people, he has not had the minimum attention with respect to the adoption of culturally appropriate measures.

This Human Rights Center documented and intervened at the end of March of this year in the situation of prison overcrowding in the State Center for Social Reinsertion for Sentenced Persons number 17 (CERSS 17) in Catazajá[1], Chiapas. There we warned of the presence of multiple diseases reflected in skin rashes, symptoms of fever, dizziness, vomiting, bumps of different sizes, among other side effects to Persons Deprived of Liberty (PPL), including José Díaz.

In this regard, Frayba requested that the authorities promptly and urgently intervene to provide medical and hospital care for José Díaz, extending it to the inmate population of CERSS 17 of Catazajá, due to the situation in which they find themselves and in order to prevent the probable spread of the disease either because of contagion or because of overcrowding.

On March 22, 2024, we received a reply regarding the health of BAEZLN from the Mexican State prison authorities, referring to having made an incision in an abscess in his right knee, without going into detail in their report regarding the origin and diagnosis of the disease.

Subsequently, we visited José Díaz to document his health and prison situation, where we found him in fear after the incision made in his right leg, since he is not the only one who has the bumps on his body. According to his testimony, this is a generalized situation among the inmates who have had similar abscesses on their faces, noses, ears, arms and legs and have not been treated.

Regarding the overcrowding, it should be noted that BAEZLN shares a cell with 18 other people in a space of approximately 3 meters long by 3 meters wide; he has difficulty sleeping -he can only sleep 2 or 3 hours a day-; he also notes that there are people sleeping in the corridors, which shows the existence of inhumane conditions of confinement.

It is important to note that José Díaz is a 45 year old person, his health condition has recently declined, he still does not know the medical diagnosis, nor the origin of the disease. Since he is being deprived of his liberty, he cannot receive medical attention from professionals other than those provided by the prison administration.

His mood has had ups and downs due to the prolonged duration of the proceedings, the language barriers in the judicial and penitentiary system, as well as his current state of health.

Therefore, we call on the IACHR to follow up on the precautionary measure, taking into account the urgency of the health and life of José Díaz, in addition to addressing the harsh prison conditions in which he is being held; we demand the unconditional release of the Zapatista support base as soon as possible from the federal and state governments of Chiapas.

Original text published by Frayba on April 23rd, 2024.
Translation by Schools for Chiapas.

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