PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 41/024/2009
06 May 2009
Further Information on 103/09 (AMR 41/021/2009, 21 April 2009) Torture/Threats/Legal Concern
MEXICO 11 men held without charge in a detention centre known as “Quinta Pitiquito”
NEW ARRESTS; 2 more men from the Tzeltal Indigenous community
All of the men arrested in two separate police operations in the towns of Tuxtla Gutiérrez and Ocosingo, Chiapas
state have been either released or formally charged.
Four of the five members of the grassroots farmers’ organisation, MOCRI-CNPA-MN who were arrested on 7 April,
in Tuxtla, Gutiérrez were released from Quinta Pitiquito without charge on 30 April. The fifth man, Eric Bautista
Gómez, was formally charged with murder, fraud and criminal association (homicidio, fraude y asociación
delictuosa) on 1 May, and remanded to “El Amate” state prison in Tuxtla Gutiérrrez.
At the time of his arrest, Eric Bautista Gómez was beaten, and then beaten again and threatened while in Quinta
Pitiquito informal detention centre. He claims to be a political prisoner and has refused to give a preliminary
statement to officials of the State Attorney General’s Office. Eric Bautista has reported that he has been beaten by
fellow inmates since arriving at the state prison. MOCRI-CNPA-MN believes the inmates are acting with the
consent of prison officials. On arrival at the prison he was told by officials that other inmates have been told to
receive him “with lots of love” (con mucho cariño) and that “the pain will last for a good while” (le durará el dolor
por un buen tiempo).
The six men from the Tzeltal Indigenous community of San Sebastián Bachajón, Chilón municipality, arrested on
13 April and a further two men arrested on 17 and 18 April and believed to be sympathetic to the National
Zapatista Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN), have been formally charged with
violent robbery and organised crime (robo con violencia y delincuencia organizada). They were moved to “El
Amate” state prison in Tuxtla Gutierrez on 1 May and are awaiting trial. The names of the eight men are: Jerónimo
Gómez Saragos, Antonio Gómez Saragos, Miguel Demeza Jiménez, Sebastián Demeza Deara, Pedro Demeza
Deara, Jerónimo Moreno Deara, Alfredo Gómez Moreno and Miguel Vázquez Moreno.
According to a local human rights organization, the eight men were beaten at the time of arrest and tortured while
in the informal detention centre (casa de arraigo – for translators) and then forced to give a preliminary statement
to the State Attorney General’s officials. They did not have access to adequate legal representation, or an
interpreter in the indigenous language they speak. Most of them have limited or no Spanish speaking skills and
some of them cannot read or write. A state court judge hearing their case has until Friday 8 May to determine
whether they will be committed for trial or released on the basis of the evidence submitted by the State Attorney
General’s Office. Amnesty International is concerned that the judge’s decision will be influenced by statements
taken after the men had been tortured, threatened and suffered other ill-treatment.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Spanish or your own
- urging the authorities to ensure that Eric Bautista Gómez, Jerónimo Gómez Saragos, Antonio Gómez Saragos,
Miguel Demeza Jiménez, Sebastián Demeza Deara, Pedro Demeza Deara y Jerónimo Moreno Deara, Alfredo
Gómez Moreno and Miguel Vázquez Moreno who have been charged and placed in official custody are not
subject to torture or other ill-treatment by prison officials or other prisoners acting with the complicity of