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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.
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 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.
Libertad para Nestora/Freedom for Nestora – Seattle 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.