Statement by Sister of Indigenous Hunger Striker Unjustly Imprisoned in Chiapas

Published July 17, 2019


Statement by Susana de la Cruz, sister of Juan de la Cruz Ruiz imprisoned on hunger strike, about his need to be transferred to the hospital

San Cristóbal de las Casas, July 15, 2019

Juan de la Cruz Ruiz had to be transferred for the second time to the Hospital de las Culturas.

During the Sunday visit, Juan was with discomfort in the abdomen with a pain not strong, but constant, and informs us that three days ago he was with those discomforts, and that he was bleeding. After a call from Juan at 5:30 p.m. to say that his pain continued, that he had already gone to the doctor of the penitentiary, who gave him a pill that would calm his discomfort and that if it increased he would notify so that he could be transferred immediately. At 12:00 at night we received a call to inform us that they had to transfer him to the hospital; they told him to sit down, they took blood samples and they canalized him, receiving a liter of serum, antibiotics, omeprazole and they sent me to buy Metrodopramida, which my family and I left to look for it for him.

This was calming the pain, fever and removing the nausea he had. During that time the doctor in charge insisted to my brother that he had to eat, knowing that he was on a hunger strike for his freedom. Dr. Barraza and her nurse said that he would get better if he ate, that he was hurting himself and his family, to which Juan says: “No, thank you very much.” But she insistently began to tell him that he could bleed inside, that it would make it worse, that he would need to eat for his treatment, that it was so as not to damage his stomach (to protect his stomach he takes Omeprazole). And Juan said: “No doctor, I appreciate it.” But this doctor told his nurse to go out to get a sandwich to have it in front if he did not eat!

They put a sandwich and a yogurt in front of him and insisted that they would not tell anyone, that no one knows him there, that they would not take pictures of him, to take it and eat it, then continue with his strike. Seeing that my brother did not accept and was firm in his response, there was annoyance from that person. Leaving the food in front of him, they come out and do not come back.

When the results of the studies arrived two hours later, they informed my brother that they would take him to the doctor so that they would give him his prescription and discharge him. Prescribing that Riopan be taken in gel and another form. They did not give us a diagnosis of what caused so much pain, they just saw that it was stabilizing with the antibiotics. He was discharged from the hospital at 3:30 a.m.

These same symptoms are frequent at all times in the 4 comrades, in very short periods they are transferred to the hospital for their “assessment.” Their bodies are more tired, weak, their defenses are very low, their bodies are becoming more delicate every day and the government knows all this, knowing that they have been on strike for 4 months, while they take their vacations! Leaving them on hold without a concrete answer.

For the government, life, health, and the integrity of our families do not matter to them. Apparently it is the same if they live or die.

We demand immediate freedom for our families, freedom for Juan, Abraham, Adrián, Germán and Marcellin.

Immediate and unconditional freedom.

Susana de la Cruz

Juan de la Cruz Ruiz