Seattle Globalist: Nestora Salgado accusers fail to appear in court; supporters mark anniversary

Two years after community police force leader Nestora Salgado’s arrest on charges of kidnapping, the Renton woman still awaits her day in court.

Salgado returned to her hometown of Olinala, Mexico and took a leadership position in a community police force to address the growing level of crime, until she was arrested on charges of kidnapping. The arrest took place after the group arrested a town official on suspicion of theft. Salgado’s supporters say the community police force was sanctioned by the state, and that her arrest is politically motivated.

According to local newspaper Proceso, six witnesses against Salgado failed to appear in court to testify on the state charges against earlier this month.

“They didn’t show up and she cannot defend herself,” said Alejandra Gonza, a professor at the University of Washington School of Law who is helping Salgado with her case.

Salgado’s husband, Jose Avila, says that Salgado, 43, wants to face her accusers.

“She feels kind of angry. The state government (of Guerrero) says, ‘We have these victims.’ But when it comes time for court, nobody shows up,” Avila said.

“If you’re a victim, don’t you want to tell your story to the judge?” he said.

But while the absence of witnesses might get a case dismissed in the United States, the judge in Salgado’s case postponed the hearing, said co-counsel Thomas Antkowiak, a professor at the Seattle University School of Law. Salgado’s next court date is scheduled for Aug. 31.

“She hasn’t been convicted of anything — this is all pre-trial and she’s been in detention for two years,” Antkowiak said.

To read more.

August 21st: Day of Action to #FreeNestora

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On August 21st, tell U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to call on the Mexican government to release U.S. citizen and political prisoner Nestora Salgado.
TWEET:  Act now to #freenestora @JohnKerry
CALL: State Department press officer
202-647-2492, 8:15am-7:00pm EST
202-647-1512, after hours until 11:00pm EST

Ask when John Kerry will issue a statement regarding Nestora’s incarceration.

Actions are also planned in several U.S. cities, including Aug. 21 rallies at Mexican Consulates in Los Angeles at 5 PM, San Diego at 7 AM and Seattle at 11 AM, plus a week-long series of events in Chicago where Nestora’s daughter, Grisel Rodriguez, will be speaking.

Solidarity actions are also planned in Mexico City and a large march will be held in Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero.

For more updates, follow our Twitter @free_nestora.

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KPBS: “San Diegans On Hunger Strike Protest Mexico Imprisonment Of US Citizen”

KPBS has released their coverage of the protest at the San Diego Mexican Consulate on Monday. The entire article is worth reading, but the end is especially powerful.

Felix Garcia, a San Diego resident in his 60s who strummed on his guitar and song revolution-era songs outside of the consulate, hadn’t eaten in more than three days.

“I feel weak and hungry, but my conviction is stronger,” he said.

Garcia said he looks up to Salgado because of her defense of indigenous communities in Guerrero, one of Mexico’s poorest states.

“She represents resistance. Liberty. Freedom,” he said.

Read the full story here.

U.S. solidarity actions for Nestora

On June 1, 2015 supporters held demonstrations at Mexican consulates in cities across the United States in an effort to raise awareness of Nestora Salgado’s imprisonment. Photos and details about the events in San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco, New York City, and Chicago follow.
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TeleSUR: Photo from Nestora Salgado press conference in Mexico City 6/1

Clayton Conn of TeleSUR has shared this photo from today’s press conference in Mexico City.

Seattle Globalist coverage: Nestora supporters vie for Sec. of State John Kerry’s attention during Boeing visit

In a recent article covering U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Boeing’s plant in Renton, WA – where Nestora Salgado lived for years – Seattle Globalist described the supporters of Nestora who showed up not only to protest the TPP trade deal, but also to raise awareness of the political prisoner’s troubles. The Globalist’s coverage follows:

…Also outside the Boeing plant were supporters of Nestora Salgado, the Renton woman who has been jailed in Mexico after running a community police force. Her husband, Jose Luis Avila, and her daughter, Grisel Rodriguez, were among the picketers vying for Kerry’s attention.

Avila said that he would like the Secretary of State to take a strong stance urging Mexico to free Salgado, who faces an uncertain wait for trial. Human rights groups and politicians in Washington and Mexico have already backed Salgado’s case.

We have been knocking on his door for months,” Avila said. “Hopefully he can see that we’re here, and we’re not going away.”

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Supporters of Nestora Salgado, a Renton woman imprisoned in Mexico, hope to get Secretary of State John Kerry’s attention. (Photo by Venice Buhain.)

For the full story, click here.

Photos from the NYC International Women’s Day protest 2015

This past weekend, the Free Nestora contingent of NYC Radical Women helped spread word of Nestora’s wrongful incarceration at the International Women’s Day march organized by the International Working Women’s Day Coalition. Emily Yamasaki, flanked by members of RW, the Freedom Socialist Party, the Free Nestora Committee, and other international activists, spoke of Nestora’s case at Herald Square on behalf of Radical Women.

Holding the banner on the left for Women Workers for Peace/Mujeres Trabajadoras por la Paz are the immigrant rights activists Nieves Ayress and Victor Toro.