Stephen Durham – U.S Campaign to Free Nestora Salgado press conference comments (English/español)

U.S Campaign to Free Nestora Salgado
Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juarez, A.C.
Centro Prodh
Monday, June 1, 2015

Good afternoon. As a representative of the U.S. delegation of the U.S. Free Nestora Campaign, we are here to show our solidarity with the people of Mexico who continue to take to the streets for justice.

We also are here to demand that President Peña Nieto free Nestora Salgado and all the many political prisoners especially Gonzalo Molina and Arturo Campos, currently on hunger strikes together with Nestora.

The first Free Nestora Committee was organized together Nestora’s family in 2013 in Seattle, Washington. From there, the Campaign to Free Nestora grew in collaboration with the Comité Nestora Libre here in Mexico.

Today, the Campaign is an international effort, demanding freedom in several states in my country, and also in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Argentina and Europe.

We recognize that Mexico suffers from a government that receives military and financial aid from the United States under Plan Mérida, and know that this has bloody consequences for the Mexican people. We denounce the Plan Mérida and recognize that it is the job of us who live in the U.S. end it.

The partial victory of Nestora transfer from a high security prison a few days ago took place only due to the bravery of Nestora and the pressure of an international movement that continues to demand her freedom. We all need to remain strong until all political prisoners are free.

I know that our movement in alliance with other movements for justice in our hemisphere has the capacity to bring about the changes we all need as activists, workers, immigrants, as indigenous peoples and as women like Nestora Salgado and men like Gonzalo Molina and Arturo Campos.

Thank you. Continue reading

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Freedom Socialist Party: Regarding the murder of Gustavo Salgado Delgado

On Wednesday, March 11, the Freedom Socialist Party’s Stephan Durham issued a letter regarding the murder of Revolutionary Popular Front (FDR) leader Gustavo Salgado Delgado. The text of the letter follows, in English and Spanish.

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Fox News Latino – “Protests across the U.S. mar Mexican president’s White House meeting with Obama”

On January 6th, Fox News Latino covered recent international protests that have put intense pressure on Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto. The article discusses both Nestora Salgado and José Luís Avila as well as the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students. Click here to read the full article.

Civil groups protest in US against Peña Nieto’s reforms and his migrant policy and demand he free political prisoners

From Sinembargo.mx:

Ciudad de México, 26 de agosto (SinEmbargo).– La visita del Presidente Enrique Peña Nieto y su comitiva a California, Estados Unidos, provocó numerosas reacciones en la población mexicana que vive en la nación gobernada por Barack Obama.

Por una parte, líderes de organizaciones hispanas nacionales y regionales y de inmigrantes mexicanos pidieron al mandatario mexicano responder por el problema de los “700 mil menores de edad” deportados por el gobierno de Obama.

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U.S. Campaign to Free Nestora issue letter to Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto

The following letter was issued to President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico by the U.S. Campaigns to Free Nestora Salgado. It is being reposted here for everyone to read:

August 21, 2014

President Enrique Peña Nieto
Los Pinos, Casa Miguel Aleman
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec
CP 11850, Mexico DF
enrique.penanieto@presidencia.gob.mx
Dear President Enrique Peña Nieto,

August 21 marks the one year anniversary of the illegal incarceration of Nestora Salgado, comandanta of the Olinalá, Guerrero community police force in a high security federal prison. She and 10 of her comrades, including leaders Gonzalo Molina and Arturo Campos, have been stripped of their constitutional rights, denied due process, locked-up far from their families in order to break their spirits, and subjected to miserable and life-threatening treatment for a non-existent crime—protecting the people of Olinalá, as guaranteed under the Mexican constitution, from criminals and unscrupulous local political figures.

We are present today at Mexican Consulates in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, Oregon on this one-year anniversary to demand that Nestora Salgado, her compatriots and the ever-growing number of other political prisoners in Mexico be freed immediately.

In the case of the Olinalá community defense force, there was no basis for their arrest in the first place and is no basis now for their continued detention. A federal court agrees with us. It dismissed the charges that were used as the pretense to jail Nestora and ordered that she be released. However, the Guerrero state prosecutor is refusing to do so. In the meantime, she has only been permitted to see her lawyer once for 45 minutes in an entire year. This is a complete mockery of the rule of law and casts the entire Mexican political and judicial system into question.

Instead of resolving this blatant miscarriage of justice over the last year, the federal and state governments have employed the Mexican military and state police to expand the bloody assault on civilian defense forces and indigenous communities.

On May 2, paramilitary forces (in which PRI is implicated) attacked a Zapatista elementary school killing Jose Luis Solís López, a teacher, and wounding 15 others.

On June 17, Marco Antonio Suástegui, respected leader of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota dam was arrested by state police from the Guerrero Attorney General’s office on completely fabricated charges of robbery and attempted murder, severely beaten and sent to the same prison as Nestora.

Ten days later, Dr. José Manuel Mireles, leader of autodefensas forces in Michoacán was tricked into meeting with an army officer who arrested him after planting drugs in his vehicle. Federal and state police and the Mexican army (SEDENA) and navy (SEMAR) were all involved in this action which included arresting 82 other autodefensas. All were charged with arms violations for carrying weapons that supposedly were for the exclusive use of the armed forces.

And on July 9, Federal District state police shot and killed a 13-year-old boy and injured 40 other Nahua citizens of Puebla who were blocking a highway to protest new laws that deprived them of their traditional rights.

It seems that the federal government does not care about poor and working people, their rights or ability to make a living.  We know that the U.S. government is complicit in this attitude toward the people of Mexico, funding as it does the Mexican military and counter-insurgency programs to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

This is in sharp contrast to the community police forces and self-defense groups who risk their lives to maintain order and security in their hometowns.

Clearly there is deep seated racism in the treatment of indigenous fighters like Nestora Salgado and Marco Antonio Suástegui, but we know that beyond this there is a hunger in high places to privatize and exploit communal land in Mexico for international corporate profit. To do this, the federal government must first rid itself of the indigenous leaders who defend the inheritance of their people. Among these leaders are many women who have stood on the front lines like Nestora Salgado to save their way of life, refusing to be intimidated by criminals or corrupt politicians, the military and their arsenals.

They will not surrender and neither will we, the movement to Free Nestora and all political prisoners in Mexico. To deny the citizens of your country the right to fight back against extortion, mass murder, intimidation, rape, exploitation and the theft of communal lands is a form of genocide. To allow the U.S. government to continue arming and training the Mexican military to oppress its own people is an abomination. We join with the working and poor people of Mexico in demanding an end to the corruption, impunity and endless drive for super profits.

We wrote you almost a year ago regarding the unjust incarceration of Nestora Salgado. In the months that have passed since then, military and state police repression has widened and the bodies of the victims have continued to pile up. The responsibility for these deaths rests at your door. You alone can call off the Mexican military and open the prison doors. This reign of terror must end. U.S. counterinsurgency forces and their corporate and criminal partners have no place on Mexican soil, the birthplace of the proud 1910 Revolution.

We call on you to act now and look forward to a prompt response to this letter. Rest assured, we will not be silent. We demand freedom for Nestora Salgado and all political prisoners NOW.

Sincerely,

Freedom for Nestora Committees, U.S.