Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Mexican Prisoners Speak Out

[PLN is committed to keeping it's readers informed of those who are in prison as a result of the struggle for social and economic justice. By now everyone has heard about the rebellion which rocked Mexico when, on Jnauary 1, 1994, guerrillas of the Zapatista National Liberation Army took and held several towns and cities in the state of Chiapas in Mexico. We recently received the declaration below from Mexican political prisoners. We have editied it for the sake of brevity. Anyone interested in a copy of the complete document please send a SASE to the editor. The translation was made by PLN editor Paul Wright.]

After Three Years of a New Period of Political Prison!

To the Revolutionary and Democratic Organizations and Parties of Mexico and the World:

In our country an armed revolutionary movement with deep historical roots exists. It originates in the prevalent economic, social and political conditions. In this context, the Partido Revolucionario Obrero Clandestino del Pueblo (PROCUP or Clandestine Revolutionary Workers Party of the People) proposes the radical transformation of society by means of a strategy of Prolonged People's War which contemplates the armed struggle as the fundamental path of the revolution. And through it the develop<%1>ment of all forms of struggle contribute to the obtaining of the historic objectives of the people and proletariat of Mexico: the seizure of political power, the installation of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the building of socialism according to national peculiarities.<%0>

The Political Constitution of the United States of Mexico, promulgated on February 5, 1917, did not give the solution to the fundamental demands for which the armies lead by Francisco Villa and Emiliano Zapata fought. Misery, repression and exploitation continued being daily elements of life for the exploited sectors of the country. The conditions which legitimize the existence of the current revolutionary movement are [Ed. Note: among others] :

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is the most complete legal form which legitimizes and facilitates the control of the country's economic life by the biggest American monopolies. The enormous technological dependence is another manner in which imperialist hegemony manifests itself. Mexico is developed as a maquiallador country, or an instrument for the big multinationals to gain access to the markets of Latin America.

In the political aspect, it is evident that the constitutional order in our country is broken and that the economic, political and social rights enshrined in the Constitution of 1917 do not exist for the majority of Mexicans. The right of the people to change their form of government by electoral means is violated by the machinery of institutionalized fraud. The right to life, liberty, association, organization, press and to strike, all of which constitute political liberty, are constantly violated by the repression exercised by the state.

From 1988 to date, 230 militants of the Partido de la Revolucion Democratica (PRD) (Party of the Democratic Revolution) were murdered as a result of their opposition attitude and this while developing peaceful forms of struggle. The disappearance of more than 810 detainees continues unchecked without knowing their whereabouts; more than 80 teachers in the state of Oaxaca have been murdered in the recent years; 50 Triqui Indian leaders have been murdered since 1980 in the state of Oaxaca; the state of Guerrero finds itself in first place in the classes of political repression with 50 dead and 90 disappeared in the last five years. In 1992 alone the national press reported: 72 murdered for political reasons; entry into prisons of more than 1,699 prisoners for political reasons; 1,201 arrest orders issued against opposition figures and 865 wounded during repressive actions against demonstrations of citizen's discontent. Currently Mexico is in first place in the murder of journalists in Latin America with 85 victims, 32 of them in the last six years.

The below signed political prisoners are only an expression of the existence of the armed revolutionary movement and we strive to transform the adverse military blows that our capture signifies into small but significant political victories. We maintain our party identities and the points of view which characterized us before entering prison. The collapse of the socialist countries, attributable to the criminal imperialist pursuit and to the leadership errors of their vanguards, do not refute, as bourgeois ideologists attempt to do, the validity of the scientific principles contained in Marxism-Leninism and consequently of humanity's ideal to build a society where justice and equality prevail as fundamental values.

In the time we have been imprisoned we have confronted the non-existence of a true state of law, a situation which has reflected itself within the procurement, administration and dispensing of justice. Without exception we were detained by various police entities without any type of arrest orders. In the same manner we were subjected to cruel torments in clandestine prisons and within installations of the Attorney General's office of Mexico City. This illegal treatment included comrades Ana Maria Vera Smith and Blanca Lino Muro Gamboa, who were also threatened with having their children killed or tortured in front of them.

To demonstrate the application of torture we can rely on various certificates of lesions signed by forensic doctors assigned to the ministry of justice as well as affidavits issued by doctors who are members of non governmental human rights organizations.

Faced with the inadequacy, inefficiency and decorative character of the National Human Rights Commission, we have denounced the use of torture against detainees as a form of institutionalized practice by the Mexican state and our cases have been taken by organizations such as the International Federation for the Rights of Man and the Special Investigator Against Torture of the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Said groups have requested that the Mexican government act with strict adherence to the law in investigating official responsibility in the application and use of torture.

The judicial and political processes which are carried out against us are plagued by irregularities, such as the fact that over three years have gone by in one case, and two years in another, without a sentence being imposed, violating the time limits established by the current laws. In a third case an aberrant sentence has been imposed, without a legal basis and against the statutes in effect. Nevertheless, we should say that we are more concerned about the general problems of the nation rather than our own specific circumstances and that we are dedicated to make the prisons into another scenario for the expression of our political convictions.

The advance of the revolutionary movement on the national level represents a solid backing for the popular struggles, as well as a check on the impunity of the governmental forces and an element of reflection for those functionaries who order repression. Forward! The future is one of equality for the peoples of Mexico, America and the World.

Collective of political prisoners, militants of PROCUP and the PDLP.

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login