California prison officials in federal legal filings alleged that the ongoing inmate hunger strike was orchestrated by prison gangs.
Attached to legal filings in U.S. District Court on Thursday, the state included declarations signed by former members of the prison gangs known as Nuestra Familia and the Aryan Brotherhood. The two inmates, both convicted murderers, have agreed to provide information against the gangs in return for being moved out of isolation at Pelican Bay State Prison near the Oregon border.
Inmate Javiar Zubiate, who states he was a second-tier leader of the Nuestra Familia, said he and other gang members went on similar hunger strikes in 2011 because one of the public "leaders" was Antonio Guillen, a Pelican Bay inmate whom Zubiate alleges is the highest ranking "general" within Nuestra Familia.
"To my understanding, the Aryan Brotherhood and the Black Guerilla Family organized the hunger strike, and Nuestra Familia was the last to sign off," Zubiate's sworn statement says. "If you didn't participate, it would be remembered when the time came for promotion."