By Grisel Rodriguez and Tricia Coley
August 12, 2015
August 12, 2015
In response to the Mexican government’s initial refusal to meet any of the demands of Nestora Salgado’s hunger strike, which she began on May 5th, the U. S. Campaign to Free Nestora Salgado sent a delegation of five activists to Mexico City on May 31, 2015. The purpose of the trip was to show support for Nestora’s struggle from U.S. labor unions and other organizations. We hoped that our presence would put pressure on the Mexican government to release her from prison or at least secure her transfer to a women’s prison in the city that had better medical care and was closer to her family, attorneys and supporters.
The transfer took place two days before our arrival, but Nestora continued her hunger strike into June – holding out until the government met her demand that other political prisoners from the community police also be transferred to prisons closer to their homes, including fellow hunger striker Gonzalo Molina.
The two of us from Seattle were Grisel Rodriguez, Nestora’s daughter, and Tricia Coley, retired electrical worker and unionist. At the Mexico City Airport, we met up with two of the other delegates, Stephen Durham who is the co-coordinator of Campaign to Free Nestora Salgado-New York City, and Acting International Secretary of the Freedom Socialist Party; and Daniel Vila Rivera, originally from Puerto Rico and host of the “La Voz Latino” radio program, WBAI, in New York City. He is also a veteran organizer for tenants, immigrants and labor. Also greeting us at the airport were Cuauthémoc Ruíz, a member of the Comité Nestora Libre Mexico, and the Partido Obrero Socialista, and Aidee Tasarani, Comité Nestora Libre Mexico.
When we arrived at our hotel we were united with the fifth delegate, Alejandro Hernandez, a student and immigrant rights activist from Mexico, also a member of Ayotzinapa Committee for Justice-Chicago.