Right after he was set free yesterday after an unjust and illegal sentence of 60 years, Zapatista Indigenous Teacher Alberto Patishtán (who has a brain tumor and is getting now treatment at the hospital in Mexico City), gave a press conference and thanked the many supporters and organizations that fought for his freedom for 13 years, nationally and internationally. He sent a message to all of us.
Since he asked for the media not to twist his words (which is exactly what the media has been doing for 13 years), we took notes and translated his words exactly:
“I am not only able to hear but to listen to you. I losing my sight but I can see you much better from my heart. I come from little town El Bosque where people were suffering too much out of extreme poverty, and they could neither read nor understand the Spanish language, they had to rely on people who were barely able to read a document and make themselves clear. I said, enough is enough, I must stand up for my people, and started to organize the community. I went out to protest against the tyrant, the corrupted tyrannical Municipal President, asking for his destitution. When we had it all ready to order his destitution, in May, this ambush took place and I was unjustly detained and convicted. I am innocent to God’s Eyes and to myself. People said when you are in jail it’s all over. I said, there is a lot to do in jail. There are a lot of people who need your help,” said this elementary teacher referring to the Indigenous people who go to jail without even understanding their charges because they don’t speak Spanish.
Patishtán organized the inmates in jail to the point they started to stand up for themselves. Some of these now released ex-prisoners where present yesterday to welcome him, along with his beloved children who fought for him.
“Certainly, I could not see my children grow, but our seed got multiplied in all of you,” said Patishtán, referring to the crowd that supported him and fought for his freedom for 13 years.
“But then again, what happens when you do something good for the people inside of prison? You become inconvenient,” explained the elementary teacher*. “You become an obstacle in a place where good is bad, criminals are innocents and vice-versa, since about half of the people there might be justly convicted, but the other half are us just paying for the broken china [paying the damage caused by others]. So I was transferred to another prison. I even inaugurated that prison [laughter]. I was sent to the Guasave Cerezo Prison, which we call The Cemetery of the Living People. They tried to kill me but instead I survived and organized the prisoners. Not too many, but what matters is quality, not quantity. Then I was sent back to my initial prison. Hey! I even got to travel on a plane,” he said jokingly.
“Ever since the first day I was in jail I was free,” he added. “I said to myself, I’ve got to spread my joy to the others, because a day without laughing is a wasted day.”
There is an AP note about this on this link but it is sort of siding the government. At least you can watch the pictures: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/oct/31/mexican-president-pardons-jailed-teacher/
Would you like to join us in an “OWS Solidarity Patchwork Quilt” to Patishtán? Email us your letter and/or your picture to us so that we can collect them and send them to him.
Have a happy, rebellious weekend!