La Jornada: “Nestora Salgado Suspends Hunger Strike On Guerrero Governor’s Promise to Transfer Colleagues to State Prison”

by Matilde Pérez U.

Original story (en español) here.

Nestora Salgado, Community Police commander in Olinalá, Guerrero, who was transfered last week from a federal high security prison in Nayarit to one in Mexico City, agreed to lift the hunger strike she maintained for nearly a month. This was in response to the request of her family and the promise of Guerrero Governor Rogelio Ortega that Arturo Campos and Gonzalo Medina, her colleagues from the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities (CRAC), will be transferred from a federal prison in the State of Mexico to Guerrero.

Thursday morning, Guerrero Governor Rogelio Ortega Martínez visited Nestora Salgado in the Tepepan Prison Medical Tower, where she has been held under observation since May 29. The Governor arrived at about 10:30 AM accompanied by his wife, Rosa Icela Ojeda Rivera, and one of Nestora’s daughters. Sources in the prison report that the visit lasted about two hours.

Grisel Rodríguez Salgado, Nestora’s youngest daughter—who after two years of not seeing her mother met with her after she arrived at the Tepepan Women’s Social Rehabilitation Center (CEFERESO)—said that “she is very feeble, her health is very weak, but she is lively, with a strong spirit after receiving visits (yesterday).” Visitors included Rosa Icela Ojeda Rivera, wife of Governor Ortega, and writers Elena Poniatowska [beloved 83-year old French-born Mexican writer; focuses on social and political issues, especially women and the poor] and Marta Lamas [Mexican anthropologist and feminist and writer].

At the rally that took place outside the Tepepan Prison Medical Tower, a hundred members of various social groups gathered to demand the commander’s release. Also mentioned: next week Salgado’s family members will be received at the U.S. embassy [Mexico City]. Nestora’s daughter emphasized that the precautionary measures granted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) contributed to securing Nestora’s transfer from Nayarit [Tepic Prison, where Salgado was kept in isolation for 21 months] to the Tepepan Prison Medical Tower.

During the demonstrators’ march to the prison, Elena Poniatowska joined the demand for Salgado’s release, saying:

“Things are so bad in the country, when the authorities punish and persecute social activists. It’s time for the people to govern.”

For a few minutes, Poniatowska held high a banner that read: Release Nestora. Poniatowska—contributor to La Jornada—was accompanied by Jesusa Rodríguez, actress and theater director.

On the esplanade in front of the prison, members of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota Dam (CECOP), Mexican Citizen Intelligence and migrants’ civic organizations, among others, stressed that they will not cease their demonstrations until Salgado and other political prisoners are released. They pointed out that

Nestora’s case is not legal, but political.”

Augusto César Sandino Rivero Espinosa, one of Salgado’s lawyers, affirmed that the Community Police commander is willing to resume the hunger strike if her two colleagues are not transferred to prison in Guerrero.

Nestora’s lawyer explained that the demand remains that Guerrero state government drop the kidnapping charges against Nestora. In response, Governor Ortega said that once again he will ask the Guerrero State Attorney General to drop the charges. The defense is open to any rapprochement with the authorities of the state government to discuss possible legal solutions in order to secure Nestora’s release, he said, and he reminded [those at the rally] that the CIDH committee monitoring Nestora’s health is ongoing.
Nestora’s lawyer pointed out that the Guerrero Attorney General is

“administering justice to Nestora, since in addition to the three ongoing criminal proceedings, he has three outstanding arrest warrants that the authority has not served. This is perverse on the part of the Attorney General, since if she is released tomorrow, by stepping outside [the prison] they will arrest her again. In addition, she has three pending preliminary investigations.”*

Salgado’s lawyer maintained that the CIDH’s precautionary measures for her health and the demonstrations by various groups were key to securing her transfer:

“She is safer in Tepepan; additionally, her family members can see her without any restriction, but the key is to win her release.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s