Indigenous man set free after 20 years in prison

Marcelino Ruiz free after 20 years, 3 months and 2 days unjustly imprisoned. Photo: Frayba

By: Editor Yéssica Morales

*Marcelino was arrested on February 5, 2002, arbitrarily and illegally deprived of his freedom; he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

The Relatives of Prisoners in Struggle Collective, the Working Group We Are Not Alone and the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centro (Frayba) celebrated the freedom and life of Marcelino Ruiz Gómez, [1] upon his being set free after 20 years, 3 months and 2 days deprived of his freedom. 

That said, they recalled their struggle to demonstrate his innocence, with denunciations and making visible the grave violations of his human rights, as well as those of the organization with other victims of the system and exposing their lives by carrying out a 135-day hunger strike, nourishing themselves only with water and honey. On May 7, 2022, he left State Center for Social Reinsertion (CERSS) No. 10 in Comitán de Domínguez.

The foregoing, through the opinion of the booklet 45/MR/2022, after granting him freedom with a suspended sentence, after having spent 20 years, 3 months and 2 days deprived of his freedom, paying for a crime he didn’t commit.

At the same time, they indicated that Abraham López Montejo and German López Montejo, two brothers who in 2011 were arbitrarily deprived of their freedom, are in the same situation. Crimes were fabricated against them that they did not commit no through the use of systematic torture.

Since March 15, 2019, the men deprived of their freedom have been in a struggle to obtain their freedom; they have spent 12 years behind bars, taking advantage of their defenselessness due to not speaking the same language or not having the resources for their defense.

They are victims of simulated justice, of the most complicated, long and cumbersome processes. The damage committed to our families are irreparable, the organizations said.

They mentioned that without further delay the Mexican government and the competent authorities should immediately comply with opinion 43/2021approved by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention at its 91st session regarding Adrián Gómez, Germán López, Abraham López, Juan de la Cruz and Marcelino Ruiz.

Adrián Gómez Jiménez. Photo: Frayba

The Working Group considered that the detention of those mentioned above was arbitrary due to non-compliance with international norms related to the right to a fair and impartial trial, enshrined in Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Working Group urged the government to carry out a thorough and independent investigation of the circumstances surrounding the arbitrary deprivation of freedom and adopt pertinent measures against those responsible for the violation of their rights. Due to the fact that these cases are not the only ones, the modality of fabricating culprits by the State’s Attorney General’s Office (FGE) of Chiapas, has a long list of victims because of which they will continue struggling.

[1] Marcelino Ruiz Gómez is an adherent to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle. While in prison, he was a member of Indigenous Men in Resistance.


Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo, Monday, May 8, 2022, and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: