By: Isaín Mandujano
They denounced that a smear campaign has been orchestrated against Diego Cadenas, director of the K´untik Human Rights Center.
With the la slogan “if there’s no liberation, there’ll be no election,”  thousands of teachers from the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE), teachers college students and parents of the students marched this Tuesday to demand the freedom of the 19 prisoners from the Mactumactzá Rural Normal School (a teachers college for indigenous and campesino students) and 2 from a group of displaced persons in solidarity with these young people.
They warned that the days of protest won’t stop until the 19 people arrested last May 16 in a police eviction operation when the students took the tollbooth on the Chiapa de Corzo-San Cristóbal de Las Casas highway are liberated.
From the eastern entrance of the state capital, the march advanced several kilometers to arrive at the state capital’s central plaza where they held a meeting and declared a sit-in to demand that Chiapas Governor Rutilio Escandón Cadenas release the prisoners.
The young people pointed out that they will not stop their protest actions in Chiapas or in other states where they have sister normal schools to demand that student prisoners are liberated.
Teachers from Section 7 and Section 40 of the National Education Workers Union (SNTE) adhered to the CNTE, ratified their support to the young Mactumactzá teachers college students and that they will join their protest actions as they have already done until the prisoners are released.
Pedro Gómez Bámaca, leader of Section 7, explained that the students are not alone and that they will continue in demanding that the prisoners are liberated and that a dialogue table is installed with the ability to negotiate and resolve the different problems that the Chiapas students and teachers outline. But, they said that no one should be surprised at the protest actions that will be carried out on Sunday June 6, because “if there’s no liberation there will be no election.”
In this context, they denounced that the human rights defender and founder of the Ku’untik Human Rights Center, Diego Cadenas, has been the of threats and media harassment derived from his accompaniment and solidarity with the Mactumactzá teachers college students and the youths displaced from the Ejido Puebla, in Chenalhó, who were arrested with them last May 18.
An example is the message Cadenas received on May 23, 2021 through the profile name of Rubí Espinosa in which it reads: “It would be a party to make Bámaca [líder de la CNTE en Chiapas], the teachers college students (normalistas) and you, Diego Cadenas, disappear. Chiapas would just be better (…).”
In addition, this May 31 and June 1, information published in the local media has suggested that Diego Cadenas is one of the “intellectual authors” of the mobilizations and protest actions carried out by the normalistas, their families and movements.
Rutilio Escandón Cadenas has already ordered initiating a smear campaign against me, or even better he wants to put me in prison. He supposes badly that I advise the students of the Mactumactzá Rural Normal School, nothing more naive. It ignores that in that heroic school the student base is in command. In their lampoons they ask for prison for the intellectual authors, insinuating that I and the Secretary General of Section 7 are them. Totally false, commented Cadenas.
It should be noted that due to his activism in defense of human rights in Chiapas, Diego Cadenas has Precautionary Measures of protection from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the human rights arm of the Organization of American States (OAS).
 The state of Chiapas holds local elections this Sunday, June 6, to elect 123 mayors and 24 local deputies.
Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee