Mexico: anarchist political prisoner begins hunger strike

Last Friday Miguel Angel Peralta Betanzos, an anarchist political prisoner from Oaxaca, has decided to begin hunger strike.

Peralta, who prior to his arrest was an anthropology student, is one of the 7 indigenous members of the Community Assembly of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón, a Mazatec community in Oaxaca, who are imprisoned in different prisons in Oaxaca. Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón is known for putting up a fight against the imposition of the mainstream political parties on their community, and for campaigning to preserve their own governing system.

Miguel, one of presidents of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón, has been in prison since April  2015, following his arrest on alleged charge of attempted homicide during a riot: something him, his family, friends and his community strongly deny. According to Peralta, the police begun arrests in the community following a riot during which the police shot live ammunition at the crowd.   Peralta has been kept in prison for nearly four years without a trial, basically living in a legal limbo.

The statement issued recently by Peralta’s friends and family reads:

Our compañero has been in prison for nearly four years, having to endure a legal process plagued with irregularities and violations of local, national and international norms. The legal terms that are clearly stated in these local, national and international norms, have not been respected by the court. As such, to this date, he remains in complete legal uncertainty. His detention has been extended and various rights of his have been violated including the obstruction of an adequate defense, the presumption of innocence and access to prompt and expeditious justice.

It is important to note that, in the criminal case 02/2015, legal decisions have been emitted by the First Criminal Chamber of the Superior Court of Oaxaca, District Judges and also of the same Court of Huautla, through which eight others accused for the same acts were given their freedom. Furthermore, they have canceled more than 18 arrest warrants, stating that the only evidence that exists—that is the testimonies of the 8 witnesses—are generic, contradictory and implausible. It is evidence that lacks probative value, for which the responsibility of our compañeros in the supposed crimes is not fully proven.

Miguel Angel Peralta Betanzos demands:

  • his acquittal
  • freedom to the seven prisoners of the Community Assembly of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón: Herminio Monfil, Fernando Gavito, Omar Morales, Miguel Peralta, Jaime Betanzos, Isaías Gallardo and Alfredo Bolaños
  • end the arrest warrants against members of the Community Assembly
  • freedom to Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón community

Photo: It’s Going Down