Despite an outpouring of support on August 21, 2014, winning freedom for Nestora and her fellow political prisoners still lies ahead of us
August 21 marked the one-year anniversary of Nestora Salgado’s incarceration in federal prison at Tepic, Nayarit. With your support, the movement to free Nestora and other political prisoners in Mexico has grown internationally over this time, but victory is still elusive.
The September massacre in Guerrero of nearly 50 students, in a coordinated attack by police and criminals, is further evidence that we have our work cut out for us. These murders have drawn international attention to the corruption of the political figures most responsible for keeping Nestora behind bars: Guerrero governor Ángel Aguirre, who refuses to release her despite the order of a federal judge, and President Peña Nieto who has presided over the incarceration of hundreds of men and women who have stood up against similar violence and corruption in other Mexican towns and states.
To keep this campaign alive and growing, we need your continued financialsupport. Your contribution will be used to expand public outreach, aid the working class families of other Guerrero prisoners and the enormous costs associated with Nestora’s legal representation. How much we can accomplish depends on you—Nestora’s longtime supporters.
online or write a check.
Accomplishments since August 21
The grassroots protests organized internationally on August 21 resulted in substantial media attention, in both English and Spanish outlets, for Nestora’s plight. And, through the efforts of committees in cities throughout our hemisphere, the number of groups and individuals endorsing the call to free Nestora has grown. In the U.S. alone it now stands at over 160.
Less than two weeks after the August event, U.S. Congressman Adam Smith issued a second letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asking him to intervene with the Mexican government to ask for Nestora’s release. This letter, signed by eight members of the Washington state delegation and a member of the Hispanic Caucus from California, is a product of our grassroots organizing. It documents the awful conditions of Nestora’s continued incarceration and points out that Mexican officials are ignoring a federal court ruling ordering her release.
The most exciting recent expression of support for Nestora is a resolution from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO and its 1.6 million members calling for her immediate release. Rank-and-file unionists who support Nestora kicked off the campaign that won this important victory.
Your contribution will help us carry on and expand the scope of this work
Nestora and her co-defendants come from poor and working-class families who have nowhere near the resources of the Mexican government. Because of this disparity, Mexican officials believe they can act with impunity in violating their due process and human rights, denying them the right to see lawyers of their choice and incarcerating them far from home.
A significant portion of the funds collected thus far has been spent by the Seattle Libertad para Nestora Salgado Committee to help cover the out-of-pocket travel expenses of Nestora’s Mexico City pro bono attorneys. They have traveled hundreds of miles to interview witnesses, locate and copy thousands of documents, and to meet with state and federal officials in an attempt to win improvements in her prison conditions and to negotiate her release.
We have also used your generous gifts to:
■ produce educational materials, banners, signs, photographic enlargements, and thousands of flyers
■ pay travel expenses to send Nestora’s husband Jose Avila to organizing meetings and speaking engagements in Los Angeles
■ aid the wives and children of other community police force leaders from Guerrero whose families were left destitute when they were also jailed
This is an all-volunteer effort, so your financial help keeps the campaign going strong. Please contribute generously to free this brave indigenous woman leader who has become a symbol of the broader movement for justice in Mexico.
online at FreeNestora.org or make out a check to Radical Women/Nestora Fund and mail it to: Freedom for Nestora Fund, 5018 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118. (Radical Women is administering the Freedom for Nestora Fund.)
For more information visit our website at http://www.freenestora.org or contact the Libertad para Nestora/Freedom for Nestora campaign in Seattle by calling (206)953-5601 or emailing FreeNestora.Seattle@gmail.com. The campaign in New York City can be reached at (917)714-6453 and FreeNestora.NYC@gmail.com. In Southern California, call (323)732-6416 or email FreeNestora.LA@gmail.com.
MUCHAS GRACIAS for your generosity throughout the last year! We couldn’t do this without you.