The uphill fight to free Nestora Salgado

By Fred Hyde

Nestora Salgado is both a naturalized U.S. citizen and an indigenous leader in her Mexican hometown of Olinalá, Guerrero. Last summer, Mexican authorities jailed her on trumped-up charges related to her role as the elected leader of Olinalá’s community police, which defends people against violent drug cartels and corrupt officials.

The grass-roots campaign to liberate Nestora is part of the hard-fought battle against neoliberalism. Over the past decades, the U.S. has joined many plans, treaties and alliances with Mexico aimed at opening up markets for the U.S., securing its oil supplies, and, ostensibly, combating narco traffic. In reality, Washington’s “War on Drugs” has been about protecting the profits of transnational corporations and foreign banks, including billions from laundering drug money.

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