Throughout Mexico, women are protesting violence against women and patriarchy with marches and other actions. This protest is relevant to Chiapas.
By: Isaín Mandujano
The Cereza Collective, a civilian organization for the legal support of women in Chiapas, today demanded the freedom of 15 women prisoners in the San Cristóbal de Las Casas state prison, who they said faced trials plagued with irregularities, such as the fabrication of crimes and some of them lacking translators at the time of their trial.
Patricia Aracil and a group of women activists and lawyers who form the Cereza Collective announced the names of 15 women secluded in state prison Number 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, who have clearly faced processes that show they were “victims of a sexist and patriarchal judicial process.”
In the context of the activities for the International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women that is observed on November 25 of every year, this Wednesday the Collective spoke out about 15 women prisoners.
Aracil and her compañeras who have visited that prison since some years ago, pointed out that each and every one of these women have suffered violence from impoverishment, inequality, discrimination, racism, and mistreatment or torture by their partner, followed by a violent arrest, the majority accused of crimes they have not committed or that were committed due to having to make economic decisions to sustain their children.
They are women who were raped by their partners, many times even with threats and brutal violence that puts them in a physical and emotional state of impossibility to escape from that situation with insurmountable fear.
“Because in addition, it is they and their daughters and sons, their lives that are at real risk, this also happens many times in the prosecutor’s office, to force them to sign self-incriminating statements,” said the activist.
She said that these women have had to face a critical situation of feminicidal violence and in order to survive they have had to face that situation, and in a game of chance with very low odds, they were able to save their lives in self-defense, because it is very difficult to defend themselves in that unequal battle against sustained violence and getting out alive.
“A violence that local authorities still consider intimate family matters where we should not get involved, where the voice of women, when they can escape momentarily and ask for help from neighbors, authorities and institutions, is questioned and blamed,” she said.
She said that in Chiapas, judges continue to issue arrest warrants irresponsibly, continue to judge with a lack of gender, intercultural and human rights perspectives, continue to give convictions “as a rule” in the first instance, because it seems to be a pact with the prosecution, making up not only for the lack of adequate investigation, but becoming accomplices of the violence and human rights violations against women committed by prosecutors to incriminate them.
She stated that in Chiapas there is no justice for women, and demanded that the state judiciary review the cases of women and give real freedoms.
“We demand that they investigate and judge with a gender perspective, interculturalism and human rights. We demand that the FGE stop constructing crimes against women, stop torturing and obstructing investigations. We demand the right to truth and justice, to a transformative justice,” said Aracil.
She said that after reviewing each one of these cases, she concluded that “all of them are innocent and have experienced feminicidal violence, mistreatment, inhumane treatment or torture in detention and in the prosecutor’s office.”
“It is necessary to fight corruption and impunity in the State Attorney General’s Office, as well as the fabrication of crimes and acts of torture against women, a change in the justice system towards the human rights of women, girls and native peoples is necessary,” said the lawyer.
And that in addition, “judicial independence is fundamental for access to justice in Chiapas, the “norm” of conviction, contrary to the right to justice, must be eliminated.”
Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo, Wednesday, November 23, 2022, https://www.chiapasparalelo.com/noticias/chiapas/2022/11/exigen-libertad-de-15-mujeres-presas-en-el-penal-de-san-cristobal-de-las-casas/ and re-published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee. Reposted by Schools for Chiapas with permission.