Zapatista political prisoners launch hunger strike

Marking their completion of 10 ten years in prison, the two accused Zapatista collaborators being held at the state prison in Tacotalpa, Tabasco, began an indefinite hunger strike July 10 to demand their liberation. The prisoners, Angel Concepcion Perez Vazquez and Francisco Perez Gutierrez, say they are also demanding the release of the peasant protesters detained in May at the village of San Salvador Atenco in Mexico state, and all political prisoners in the nation of Mexico. A group of Chol Maya campesinos have also launched a permanent vigil outside the prison in support of the prisoners. Release of the Zapatista political prisoners is a key demand of the Zapatista National Liberation Army. (La Jornada, July 11)

On the first day of the vigil outside the prison, the peaceful protesters were threatened and harassed by a group of obviously drunken men who were said to work for the Tacotalpa municipal government, who hurled verbal abuse such as “a chingar a su madre zapatistas, aqui manda el PRI” (“rape your Zapatista mothers, here the PRI rules”–a reference to the Institutional Revolutionary Party political machine that still holds power in the state). (La Jornada, July 12)

See our last posts on Mexico, the Zapatistas, Tabasco and the Zapatista political prisoners.

  1. An update
    La Jornada reports July 14 that the prisoners ended their hunger strike, promising, “it was not the last, but the first.” Meanwhile, the protest vigil was moved from the prison to the state capital, Villahermosa, where it is ongoing.