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Alberto Patishtán loses his sight due to neglect by the Mexican State

uk zap sol | 21.09.2012 14:15 | Repression | Social Struggles | Zapatista | World

This innocent Mexican political prisoner has now spent over 12 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. It has now been revealed that he has lost his eyesight due to medical neglect.
A motion for his innocence is being presented on Wednesday.
He needs his freedom now.

Alberto Patishtán loses his sight due to neglect by the Mexican State

This Human Rights Centre expresses its outrage at the inadequate performance of the Mexican state in providing medical care to the political prisoner Alberto Patishtán Gomez (hereinafter Patishtán), who for several years has been reporting his poor state of health, and the lack of interest of the Mexican State in treating him, which has resulted in Patishtán gradually losing his eyesight.

On 10th September, 2012, the medical ophthalmologist trusted by Patishtán reported the results of new studies of his visual fields and evaluated Patishtán’s progressive loss of visual acuity, concluding that the situation is one of serious visual impairment, as he has lost
ninety per cent of his vision.

On September 19, 2012, his trusted doctor reported that Patishtán’s condition is not one of
ophthalmologic origin, but is a problem that needs to be addressed urgently by a

It is important to mention that due to the advance of severe visual impairment Patishtán can no longer perform his daily prison activities, such as reading, writing and walking safely,
among others. As his testimony shows:

"From the 6th of September this year, not only have I felt my vision closing in at the sides, I feel as if the lights are going out." "In the performance of my activities as minister of the Eucharist last week, I could not read the Bible, nor for the same reason could I see the keyboard with which I accompany the singing of the celebrations, and now I cannot write."

It should be remembered that the Mexican state in 2010 wrongly diagnosed him with glaucoma, and in the same year he was admitted to the Better Life Hospital in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas; in the six months he was in hospital, he was not attended professionally or adequately to determine his correct diagnosis and treatment.

Also, as of May 12, 2011, the Mexican State knew through a study of his visual fields that "the pattern of his visual field loss tended more towards deteriorating optic atrophy
than to a diagnosis of glaucoma", Patishtán recalls that he underwent a CT scan, and
that at no time did the attending physician get the results of that study, thereby making it impossible to give a correct diagnosis, and consequently the appropriate medical treatment.

Later, following his forced and arbitrary transfer to a CEFERESO in Guasave, Sinaloa, the medical treatment which had been started was not followed up. Following allegations of neglect by Patishtán, investigations were carried out in Guasave and ischemic optic neuropathy was diagnosed; this diagnosis also proved to be incorrect.

The state has at all times obstructed Patishtán being given appropriate, adequate
and effective medical care. For this reason, this Human Rights Centre demands that the Mexican State comply with the precautionary measures (MC 77-12) granted this year by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and adopts without delay the measures necessary to ensure the health and personal integrity of Alberto Patishtán.

In the case of Patishtán, the Mexican government has failed to fulfil its international responsibility to guarantee the human rights of persons in their custody, as well as failing to
provide adequate medical care to persons deprived of their liberty, as laid out in the
international instruments in the form specified by the American Convention on
Human Rights and the Principles and Best Practices for the Protection of Persons Deprived of their Freedom in the Americas.

This Human Rights Centre believes that only by granting his freedom can an end be put to the systematic violation of the human rights of Alberto Patishtán by the Mexican State.

Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas A.C.
Calle Brasil #14, Barrio Mexicanos,
San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México
Código Postal: 29240
Tel +52 (967) 6787395, 6787396, 6783548
Fax +52 (967) 6783551

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