Álvaro Sebastián Ramírez

Álvaro, originally from the community of Llano Maguey, municipality of San Agustín Loxicha, district of Pochutla, state of Oaxaca, 52 years old, Zapotec indigenous political prisoner and conscience, currently held in the Central Penitentiary of Ixcotel, Oaxaca , sentenced to 29 years in prison for the crimes of Homicide Qualified, Attempted Homicide, Terrorism and Conspiracy.

He worked in the teaching from 1977 to 1986.

During the triennium of 1984 - 1986 he served in the Honorable Constitutional City Hall of San Agustín Loxicha, as ruler of education, during this period, as town council and people in general suffered very strong conflicts with the caciques and gunmen of the region who were in against the progress of the people.

Detention testimony

I was kidnapped between 10:00 and 10:30 on the morning of Monday, December 15, 1997, by the special group of the State Judicial Police, commanded by commander José Trinidad Rodríguez Ballesteros, director of the Judicial Police, in subordination of Mr. Pedro Roberto Martínez Ortiz, Attorney General of the State at that time.

My kidnapping took place when I was inside my car parked on Morelos Avenue, corner with Macedonio Alcalá Street, in the center of the city of Oaxaca, in front of the Monte de Piedad, waiting for my wife and my daughter. they had gone to play an electronic device. In that lapse of time two people approached me pointing guns at me, one of them tried to open the door on the right side and the other one stood in front of the car pointing a gun at me; They forced me out of the car, they told me to go down with my hands up, one of them registered me and the other kept pointing the gun at me saying they were from the Judicial, they asked me for my identification and asked where is the weapon? I answered that he did not bring any weapons, they checked the car and they found nothing, they told me: "close the doors well, take the driving card, the keys and other valuables, because you will accompany us", they took me walking towards the Macedonio Alcalá street one block, I realized it was a big police operation, because they stopped the circulation of the two avenues and everywhere there were policemen in trucks, in cars and walking.

When leaving Murguía Avenue, there was a white car of recent model with the door open, they forced me to deliver everything I had in my pants bags, money and the circulation card, they raised me with excessive violence in the rear seats of the car, forced me to duck my head, advanced a caudra and turned right on the street May 5, half a block double parked, there was a person I do not know and who confirmed my identity , after this they forced me to lie down in the seats with more violence, they covered my head and part of my body with an olive green jacket, they took me to the General Attorney's Office of the State, in the direction of the airport, after About twenty minutes we arrived at a house, in that place I was tortured physically and psychologically for 11 days, from December 15 to December 26, 1997.


The physical torture started from the moment they put me in that house, they blindfolded me with cinnamon tape, they tied my hands and feet behind my back with thick strings, on the second day they took off the bandages on my eyes and they exchanged it for bags of thick fabric on the head, each bag tied tightly around the neck, the knots towards the nape of the neck, the fabric pressed on my face and prevented me from breathing, I felt suffocated, I suffered unbearable heat, they kept me in total immobility.

During the days of my kidnapping I was subjected to cruel, outrageous, humiliating treatment, much anger towards me. They had me without tasting food; every third day they gave me a cake with dry bread and a glass of dirty water, they fed me in the mouth in a hurry without untying my hands, they forced me to take dissolved tablets in half a glass of water, after taking it I felt hallucination and despair .

In my nose they applied water and mineral water with chile, electric touches in the most vulnerable parts of the body, mainly in the testicles, plastic bag in the head, ringing in the ears, arm twists towards the back by the neck, butts kicks and punches in the lungs, in the stomach, in the face, in the muscles of the arms and legs; they had me standing day and night as if it were a post without being able to recharge on the wall or bend my legs, I was not allowed to sit on the floor or let me fall to lie down for a while, the blows did not stop.

I do not know if they went to sleep or my tormentors left but in those moments they left me alone, so I would fall on the floor to doze a little, as soon as they realized they would stop me with blows and twist my arms towards my back. the nape, to hurt me more, that caused me an intense and unbearable pain.

The dose (tehuacanazo)

The water in my nose and the mineral water with chili pepper were applied to me in the following way: they put me on the floor, in a sloping place, they put a wet ball in my mouth so I could not scream, and four torturers They had fastened, one on each arm and each leg nailing their knees with great force, another one I applied "the dose" as they call them, they held me as if I were an animal to sacrifice it. The tortures with water in the nose, the mineral water with chile and the electric touches, made me lose consciousness. Each day they were different torturers, and this they did every night.

Psychological Torture

They kept me with a recorder on and full volume next to me every day, I could never locate where they had me kidnapped, but when they made the cassette change I heard the noise of the planes.

Many times they told me that they already had all my family in the next room and that they were being tortured the same way but that they were telling the truth and that since I did not respond to their interrogation they had to inject me to make me talk.

They threatened to rape my wife and my two daughters, they told me that my three-year-old daughter was no longer fed and that they had her separated from her mother, and my boy was going to be tortured more than me.

The following days my torturers would show up and laugh, telling me that they had already raped my wife and my daughters, that they would continue to rape and torture them just the same; On Tuesday, December 23, they told me they were going to start killing one by one of my family, that at the last they were going to kill my three-year-old little girl and that they were going to cut off part of my testicles so that I could leave dying slowly, or that they were going to throw me to the road when I would pass a trailer to crush me like a dog, that they were worth it because they were government people.

To make me believe that they had my whole family in front of me, they presented a lady, two girls, a young man and a little girl, bringing them to where I was, in order to make me feel the presence of my family, I asked them to give me the opportunity to talk with them, but I was never allowed, I could never see them because all the time I was with my head covered with cloth bags.

Reason for torture

The reason for the torture was for me to accept being a member of the Revolutionary People's Army (EPR), that I accepted to have the rank of major within the armed group, they beat me so that I would say from when I joined in hiding, that I told them what my activities have been within the armed group, that I told them who of my Oaxacan countrymen and teachers belong to the EPR.

I answered that I was totally unaware of what they were asking me, at that time I was doing business.

My kidnappers told me that if I accepted the rank of major in the Revolutionary People's Army (EPR), then they would respect my rights according to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, because I was a prisoner of war, so they would feed me, water to take, they would let me rest and they would give me good deals.

In this way I was forced to sign and fingerprint more than a hundred blank, letterhead and non-letterhead pages, three or four signatures and fingerprints on each side of the page.

The presentation

On the 25th of December in the morning a masseuse arrived, he began to rub my whole body, mainly where he had bruises and inflammations; in the afternoon of that same day, between two torturers they put me to do arm and leg exercises for several hours, then they bathed me, after the bath they told me that at 1:00 in the morning they would take me out in a van to kill me and disappear; I asked about my family and they told me that the previous afternoon they had already been released.

The hour that had been told to me, they took me between two, lifting me, they got me into a car and they ripped off, after about 20 to 25 minutes, one of them said to me, the one on my left side, "Your son of We're going to put you in the hands of the authorities to judge you of everything you did; Now, for nothing, tell where you were and what we did to you, you tell him that yesterday we stopped you, and if you say something about what happened to you, we are going to take you out of jail ourselves and we disappear, because we are people of government, we are not afraid of anyone, human rights are worth to us mother, did you understand? " Immediately we arrived at a place where another car was already waiting, they untied my feet, my hands and they took off the bags on my head, they told me not to look up, so they transferred me to the other car and left the place, after half an hour we arrived at the Attorney General's Office of the State, they got me out of the car and took me to a doctor, on the top floor, the doctor asked me how I was in health, I answered that I was very beaten, he started writing He told me that that was all, then they put me in a patrol of the preventive police that took me to the Regional Prison of Etla, Oaxaca.

When I entered the prison, it was 3:00 in the morning of December 26, 1997.

And the fundamental rights?

The State in ordering my physical and psychological kidnapping and torture have flagrantly violated the individual guarantees embodied in the political constitution of the United Mexican States, which establish the fundamental rights that every person possesses for being Mexican and mark the limits of the power and authority of the State. been before the citizens; in one of his paragraphs he mentions the prohibition of torture.

The penal code has rights that a person enjoys at the time of his arrest, the agents must be fully identified and the person has the right to remain silent and whatever he says can be used against him, he must be explained what is accuses and who accuses, should be made available to a judge as soon as possible, should not be mistreated physically or morally, should not be held incommunicado.

My case was not the only one in which the State did the opposite, under kidnapping and torture forced more than a hundred Zapotec indigenous people of the Loxicha Region to blame themselves for the crimes they never committed, they were forced to sign and put fingerprints on white sheets to make crimes.


After twenty years in prison, Álvaro obtained his freedom on July 7, 2017. However, he and other former Loxicha prisoners are facing the threat of re-incarceration unless they pay exorbitant “reparations” to the court that sentenced them. An international solidarity campaign has created an online fundraising effort here: https://www.patreon.com/KeepLoxichaFree.


Final Straw Radio featured an interview with Bruno Renero-Hannan about Indigenous, leftist and guerrilla struggle in the EPR in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, the case of the Loxicha prisoners and the continued repression of Alvaro Sebastian Ramirez & Abraham Ramirez, plus efforts at solidarity with them.




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