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Guerrero: March in Chilpancingo
for Release of Community Police Prisoners

Reprinted from SIPAZ Blog

On October 12, some 2,000 people, including prisoners’ relatives, members of the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities – Community Police (CRAC PC), of the State Coordinator of Education Workers in Guerrero (CETEG), Section 18 the Single Union of Public Servants of the State of Guerrero (SUSPEG), as well as relatives of the 43 student teachers arrested and missing since 2014 and students from the Normal Rural School, Ayotzinapa, among others, marched in Chilpancingo in the framework of Columbus Day. The march ended with a rally in front of Government Offices.

The protesters demanded the release of the Tixtla Community Police promoter, Gonzalo Gonzalez Molina, the community policeman from the Zitlaltepec House of Justice, Samuel Ramirez Galvez, both held in the prison of Chilpancingo; as well as the advisor to the El Paraiso House of Justice, Arturo Herrera Campos, imprisoned in Ayutla de los Libres. They also called for the abrogation of the structural reforms of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government, especially educational reform, and the presentation of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa.

In response to unfounded charges of financial misdoing
(Español abajo)

by Su Docekal and José Luis Avila,
co-founders of the Libertad para Nestora/Freedom for Nestora Committee

October 21, 2016

After Nestora Salgado’s hard-won release, the Freedom for Nestora Committee met in Seattle, Washington in June 2016 to wind up our campaign. We reviewed and approved a financial summary of our work, and finalized the delivery of donations to the nine remaining community police political prisoners in Guerrero, for whom we held a benefit after Nestora’s release. At the June meeting, the committee voted to change its name to the Freedom for Political Prisoners Committee—In Defense of Human and Labor Rights in Mexico. The committee also decided to suspend meetings over the summer and come together again in the fall to decide future plans. We retained $209 in our treasury for possible future projects.

Unfortunately, we neglected at the time to change the name of our committee on this website and to take down the donate button we used during the campaign. This oversight has led to serious charges of wrongdoing by Da Nie Luna, a Nestora supporter who created the Facebook page Comité de Mujeres #NestoraLibre. Last week we were contacted by a number of people alerting us to the fact that Da Nie Luna was using Facebook to launch an international campaign accusing us of “fraud” and alleging that “the money they (the committee) collect never gets to Nestora Salgado nor her family.”

The committee wants to assure the many people who supported and endorsed the campaign to free Nestora Salgado that these charges are unfounded and completely false. The committee’s website has not received any donations through PayPal since March 2016 with the exception of one person whose donation was refunded.

For those who would like to review the final committee finance report, covering our activities from November 2013-June 2016, we invite you to do so here.

It is extremely destructive to any movement when unfounded charges are circulated and we wonder about Da Nie Luna’s motives for this attack. She failed to let the committee know there was a problem before slandering us far and wide and has since gone on to malign the Freedom Socialist Party, Partido Obrero Socialista and other groups that worked to free Nestora from the very beginning of the struggle.

Despite this latest bump in the road, we remain proud of the committee’s accomplishments in initiating the international campaign to free Nestora Salgado and all political prisoners, and in our meticulous and transparent handling of all funds that were donated towards that cause. We consider it a duty to treat workers’ money with the utmost respect because we know how hard it is to come by.

Respuesta a las acusaciones sin fundamento de delito financiero

por Su Docekal y José Luis Avila,
cofundadores del Comité Libertad para Nestora/Freedom for Nestora Committee

21 de octubre de 2016

Después de la merecida liberación de Nestora Salgado, el Comité Libertad para Nestora/Freedom for Nestora Committee se reunió en Seattle, Washington en junio de 2016 para concluir su campaña. Se revisó y aprobó un resumen financiero de nuestro trabajo, y finalizamos la entrega de donaciones a los nueve presos políticos de la Policía Comunitaria quienes en junio siguieron encarcelados en Guerrero, y para quienes el Comité había llevado a cabo una colecta después de la liberación de Nestora. En la reunión de junio, el Comité votó para cambiar su nombre al Comité por la Libertad de los Presos Políticos – en Defensa a los Derechos Humanos y Laborales en México. El Comité también decidió suspender las reuniones durante el verano y volver a reunirse en el otoño para decidir sus planes para el futuro. Hemos retenido $209 en nuestra tesorería para posibles proyectos futuros.

Por desgracia, en ese momento se nos olvidó cambiar el nombre de nuestro Comité en este sitio web y eliminar el botón para donar que se utilizó durante la campaña. Este descuido ha dado lugar a graves acusaciones de irregularidades financieras por parte de Da Nie Luna, partidaria de Nestora, quien creó la página de Facebook Comité de Mujeres #NestoraLibre. La semana pasada fuimos contactados por un número de personas que nos alertó sobre el hecho de que Da Nie Luna estaba usando Facebook para lanzar una campaña internacional  acusándonos de “fraude” y alegando que “el dinero que (el Comité) recauda nunca llega a Nestora Salgado ni a su familia”.

El Comité quiere asegurarles a las muchas personas que apoyaron y respaldaron la campaña para liberar a Nestora Salgado que estos cargos son infundados y completamente falsos. La página web del Comité no ha recibido ninguna donación a través de PayPal desde marzo de 2016 con la excepción de una persona cuya donación fue devuelta.

Para aquellos que deseen revisar el informe final del Comité de finanzas, el cual cubre nuestras actividades desde noviembre de 2014 hasta junio de 2016, los invitamos a hacerlo aquí.

Es extremadamente destructivo para cualquier movimiento que se circulen acusaciones infundadas. Por eso, nos preguntamos acerca de los motivos por los cuales Da Nie Luna lanzó este ataque. Ella no informó al Comité de que había un problema antes de calumniarnos lo más que pudo y desde entonces ha pasado a difamar el Freedom Socialist Party (Partido de Libertad Socialista), al Partido Obrero Socialista de México y a otros grupos que trabajaron para liberar a Nestora desde el comienzo de la lucha.

A pesar de esta última piedra en el camino, seguimos orgullosos tanto del hecho de que el Comité haya iniciado la campaña internacional por la libertad de Nestora Salgado y de todos los presos políticos, como de nuestro manejo meticuloso y transparente de todos los fondos que fueron donados para esa causa. Consideramos que es nuestro deber el tratar el dinero de los trabajadores con el mayor respeto, porque sabemos lo difícil que es para conseguirlo.

Nestora Salgado: A Triumph of Cross-Border

Organizing for Justice in Mexico

Two and a half years after she was thrown into a Mexican federal penal facility, arrested without a warrant and charged with kidnapping, indigenous community police leader Nestora Salgado was freed from Tepepan Women’s Social Rehabilitation Center in Mexico City mid-March.

A judge threw out the charges against Salgado on March 17 after stating they had no basis. While in custody, the activist originally from Olinala, Guerrero endured a stint in a maximum-security prison, solitary confinement, and the denial of medication and physical therapy she needed to fully heal from injuries she sustained in a car accident in 2002.

A day after her liberation order, Salgado participated in a news conference where she detailed the injustice and frustration surrounding her detainment. “I felt that I was buried alive in a drawer. I was out of touch for 20 months, in isolation for a crime that I did not commit. They didn’t even let me coexist with the other prisoners. I only saw them when I went to court. They treated me in the most brutal way that they could. It’s difficult to struggle against the government when they are out to get you, but it’s even worse that they did this when all I wanted was to defend my community,” stated Salgado.

Read the full story at Upside Down World.

NESTORA IS FREE!

On March 18, we received the wonderful news that Nestora was released from prison. You can find coverage of her release from TeleSUR, King5 News, KOMO News, The Stand, the International Business Times, and Seattle Globalist.

We’d like to thank our supporters, endorsers, and anyone who visited our site, shared our stories, tweeted about Nestora, showed up to protests, and spread the word about Nestora. Her release could not have been secured without all of your help!

Nestora’s Story

nestora

Nestora working as the leader of the community police.

Nestora Salgado is an indigenous leader, a naturalized U.S. citizen and political prisoner in Mexico. She was seized without an arrest warrant by Mexican federal soldiers in August 2013 as a result of her leadership role in community policing against organized crime, which has swept through the indigenous communities of the state of Guerrero over the last several years.

Nestora was held incommunicado and transferred to a maximum security prison far away from her home community of Olinalá. For weeks, she was denied access to her attorney and visits from her family. She is being denied pain medication and physical activity she requires due to her rehabilitation from a severe auto accident.

Freedom for Political Prisoners Committee

The Seattle Committee formed in November 2013 when community activists came together with Nestora’s family, who live in Renton, to organize a protest in front of the Mexican Consulate on Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day. Word of the campaign spread across the country, and actions were held that day in six U.S. cities, plus Mexico, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, France and Australia. Over one hundred organizations and prominent individuals have since endorsed the Campaign to Free Nestora Salgado.

The Seattle Committee participated in the Martin Luther King Day Celebration last January, where Nestora’s family addressed the rally. The Committee has also spoken at International Women’s Day and May Day rallies, sponsored a Freedom for Nestora Fiesta benefit, and has provided speakers at numerous community and union meetings.

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