José Díaz, EZLN Support Base, Continues To Be State Hostage

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas

December 7, 2023

Boletín No. 24

José Díaz, EZLN Support Base, continues To Be State Hostage

• He has already spent a year under informal preventive detention.

• His case is part of the pattern of fabricating culprits and criminalizing defenders that operate in Chiapas.

November 25th marked one year since the arbitrary detention of José Díaz Gómez, Support Base of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN), so it is urgent that the Chiapas authorities release him immediately and recognize his innocence.

José Díaz, of the Ch’ol people, remains in a serious situation of vulnerability to his human dignity, due to the fabrication of a crime against him. He is being held in informal preventive detention at the State Center for Social Reintegration of Sentenced Persons No. 17 “El Bambú”, Catazajá, Chiapas.

The accusation is based on fabrications by the State Attorney General’s Office. This has been the way of operating of this body, which operates a pattern of fabricating culprits and criminalizing defenders in complicity with the local Judiciary.

His pretrial detention process has been maliciously prolonged. The Jungle District Prosecutor’s Office and the Control Court handling the case have resorted to extending the investigation deadlines in order to delay his trial hearing, knowing that it is impossible to prove any liability against him. In the absence of real evidence, they have continued in an articulate manner with a simulation at the expense of his freedom.

In addition, the procedure has been delayed due to the lack of due diligence on the part of the state public defender’s office; a little over two months ago, a new public defender was assigned who has not met with José Díaz to update his criminal status and access to justice needs. Consequently, he has not taken necessary actions to promote his early release.

On November 15th, 2023, the BAEZLN requested the modification of his precautionary measures to that of being subject to trial on conditional freedom before the Control Court of Catazajá. José Díaz has two children and a wife, who also suffer the consequences of his detention, affecting family coexistence, as well as their physical, psychological and economic situation, so the change of measure is a necessity to reduce such impacts. To date no response has been given to the request.

The EZLN has denounced that both José Díaz and Manuel Gómez Vázquez have been hostages of the state government of Chiapas, both indigenous people imprisoned for being Zapatistas.[1]To these cases of criminalization are added other cases in Chiapas such as the cases of the detention of Cesar Hernández and José Luis Gutiérrez, Tseltal defenders criminalized for opposing the imposition of a National Guard base in their territory; or the case of the five fellow Tseltal defenders of San Juan Cancuc currently sentenced to 25 years for defending their territory.

This pattern is also present in other parts of Mexico where indigenous peoples oppose the imposition of megaprojects by the current government. The existence of arrest warrants against populations opposed to the Interoceanic Train[2], or the case of the defender Kenia Inés Hernández, a political prisoner in the state of Morelos stand out.[3]

The fabrication of crimes against indigenous defenders represents a selective strategy of the current Federal government, which seeks to produce an inhibiting effect on the communities and people who defend their rights, highlighting that it is mostly directed against indigenous people who defend the territory.

Due to the above, we request the State and Federal governments to immediately release José Díaz, withdrawing from criminal prosecution in the case. We also demand that the pattern of fabricating culprits and criminalization against defenders in Chiapas and Mexico cease, respecting and guaranteeing the rights of association, demonstration and exercise of self-determination of indigenous peoples.

We call on all people, groups and organizations, both national and international, to show solidarity and demand from the Attorney General’s Office and the State Judiciary the immediate release of compañero José Díaz Gómez.

[1]    Segunda parte: ¿Los muertos estornudan? Octubre de 2023:



Original article at
Translated by Schools for Chiapas.

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