From: Freedom for Nestora Salgado/Libertad para Nestora Salgado
Nestora needs your help NOW - Take action!
Political prisoner and indigenous leader Nestora Salgado has now been on hunger strike for 21 days. She is demanding to be released, and is also protesting the failure of the Mexican government to transfer her to a facility in Mexico City where she can receive much-needed medical care.
Last week, the final court documents were signed directing that Nestora be moved to Mexico City and the transfer was scheduled for last Friday or Saturday morning. But as of this writing, she remains in the remote maximum security prison in Tepic, Nayarit. In response, Nestora announced that she will quit taking even liquids.
Take action! Please call the offices of Washington State's Senators Murray and Cantwell today. Nestora is a naturalized U.S. citizen who lives in Renton, Washington (just outside Seattle). Urge the Senators to make an urgent public appearance appealing for Nestora's release. Also request that they ask Secretary of State John Kerry to intervene immediately.
Senator Patty Murray
Washington, DC office: (202) 224-2621
Seattle office: (206) 553-5545
Senator Maria Cantwell
Washington, DC office: (202) 224-3441
Seattle office: (206) 220-6400
The U.S. Free Nestora Campaign is sending an emergency delegation to Mexico City in five days. The delegates will join Mexican activists in pressuring the government there for Nestora's immediate release. They will also take this message to the U.S. embassy.
We need your help to make this urgent trip possible. Please DONATE today!
You can also mail a check made out to "RW-Nestora Fund" to:
Freedom for Nestora Committee
5018 Rainier Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98118.
Below you will find more news. First, is a report we received from a member of the Comité Nestora Libre in Mexico, describing the actions that have been taking place over the last two weeks in Mexico City and the state of Guerrero. They are demanding the release of Nestora and two Community Police leaders, Arturo Campos and Gonzalo Molina, who were arrested shortly after Nestora and who have joined the hunger strike in solidarity with her.
Second, we've attached the news update which we sent out on May 22. But since it came out over the Memorial Day weekend, you may have missed it.
Report from Mexico
Comité Nestora press conference in Mexico City attracts widespread support as protests spread
May 14, 2015
In the wake of Nestora’s hunger strike there was encouraging news: after many months of inactivity the Community Police (PC) mobilized mass actions calling for the freedom of their jailed members. Also, CECOP, the organization that is leading the fight against La Parota dam in Guerrero, did the same thing.
A group of the PC representing the Casa de Justicia in San Luís Acatlánact organized “information road blocks” on the highways in Guerrero. The boldest action was the take-over of Salsipuedes reservoir, which provides water for Acapulco, a city with a population of more than one million. This was done through the efforts of CECOP. It was a dangerous and risky action. Apparently a government representative arrived and acted conciliatory with the struggle and tried to set up a “negotiating committee.” Later the Marines occupied the reservoir sight. The PC also reported that they had taken over tollbooths on some highways.
The PC forces mentioned above sent one of its leaders to the press conference, Compañera Felícitas, to announce the action above. Also present at the conference were Nestora family members; Ausencia and Agustina, the wives of Gonzalo Molino and Arturo Campos-both imprisoned in Almolaya; and Juan Manuel, an ex-self-defense forces prisoner from Aquila, Michoacán who is now fighting for the freedom of his three cousins whose last name is Villanueva. They have all been given jail terms of 47 years. Also arriving late were Ayotzinapa students and the mother of one of the 43 disappeared teaching college students.
The PC organizations in Guerrero chose to participate in the news conference as the best way to get the word out about what is currently happening in their state. These PC organizations in Guerrero also chose the same day as the press conference to coordinate protest actions.
Immediately following the press conference there was a long article in Sin embargo, a widely read digital daily newspaper along with coverage in La Jornada and Proceso among others. Last night, the Comité Nestora had a 30-minute interview on the UNAM (National Autonomous University of México) radio station. Professors and unionists from the UACM (Autonomous University of Mexico City) also expressed support. Nestora’s hunger strike has ranked as one of the three most important pieces of information exchanged on the social networks over the last few days.
Meanwhile, we will go forward with the campaign to free the political prisoners. For example, tomorrow Section 22 of the teachers’ union in Oaxaca will hold an important meeting and we are proposing a solidarity resolution to be voted on. Protests by the teachers could strengthen the movement by raising the banner for freedom for political prisoners.
Comité Nestora Libre México
Update on Nestora's hunger strike and breaking news
May 22, 2015
Dear supporters of Nestora Salgado,
Just a couple of days ago we informed you that Nestora took the drastic action of beginning a hunger strike on May 5th and the Freedom for Nestora Committee made the urgent decision to send a delegation to Mexico. The delegates will leave for Mexico City on Sunday, May 31st.
Now there are new, additional developments to report.
Please scroll down below for the following news items from Mexico and the U.S.:
1. After months of protests and legal negotiations, and in reaction to Nestora’s hunger strike, the Mexican government has agreed to move Nestora to a women’s prison in Mexico City this weekend.
2. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held a media event in Nestora’s hometown of Renton, Washington on Tuesday, May 19 and the Freedom for Nestora Committee showed up to send him a message. Please see below for news coverage and action you can take.
3. The Washington State Labor Council’s news blog The Stand, covered the Freedom for Nestora Committee’s announcement of her hunger strike. The Council and its many affiliated unions have been among the strongest supporters of the Free Nestora campaign. They also urged their members to DONATE to help with legal fees and the delegation’s visit to Mexico City.
1. Nestora to be moved to women’s prison in Mexico City
The following news report appeared in the media in Mexico:
The courts handling the case of Nestora Salgado García, who has completed 16 days on a hunger strike in the federal prison in Tepic, Nayarit, has now ordered her transfer to the Women's Social Rehabilitation Center of Tepepan, Mexico City, an action that could take place on Friday or "in the early hours of Saturday at the latest," said Leonel Rivero, lawyer for the leader of the Community Police of Olinalá, Guerrero.
Read the news release issued Nestora’s U.S. legal team at Seattle University School of Law.
The Freedom for Nestora Committee is very encouraged at this news that Nestora will be moved to a facility where she will have better access to urgently needed medical care. However, given the government’s stall tactics in the past, we cannot be assured of this transfer until Nestora actually arrives in Mexico City.
Nestora’s husband José Luis Avila further points out that although the transfer will help her immediate condition, Nestora should have been released. She does not belong in any prison! An opinion piece that appeared in La Jornada newspaper in Mexico sums it up well.
2. Nestora Committee sends message to Secretary of State John Kerry during his visit to Renton, Wash.
Excerpt from The Seattle Globalist article, May 20, 2015
By Venice Buhain
…Also outside the Boeing plant were supporters of Nestora Salgado, the Renton woman who has been jailed in Mexico after running a community police force. Her husband, Jose Luis Avila, and her daughter, Grisel Rodriguez, were among the picketers vying for Kerry’s attention.
Avila said that he would like the Secretary of State to take a strong stance urging Mexico to free Salgado, who faces an uncertain wait for trial. Human rights groups and politicians in Washington and Mexico have already backed Salgado’s case.
“We have been knocking on his door for months,” Avila said. “Hopefully he can see that we’re here, and we’re not going away.”
Supporters of Nestora Salgado, a Renton woman imprisoned in Mexico, hope to get Secretary of State John Kerry’s attention. (Photo by Venice Buhain.)
Note: Also rallying during Kerry’s visit were members of the Washington State Labor Council, machinists from IAM District 751, and Teamsters Local 117. They were protesting Kerry’s speech in support of fast tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement. Our two contingents started up a joint boisterous chant of “Fast track Nestora’s freedom, Not TPP!”
Take Action: The State Department has yet to issue any statement about Nestora’s imprisonment. You can help keep the pressure on by sending a letter today to:
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520
3. The Stand, published by the Washington State Labor Council covers Nestora
Thursday, May 21, 2015
► Nestora Salgado on a hunger strike
— Nestora Salgado, courageous champion of her indigenous community and a political prisoner in Mexico, is on a hunger strike. She began refusing food on May 5 and intends “to take this to the bitter end,” according to her attorney. The Freedom for Nestora Committee is seeking financial support to help win Nestora’s freedom at this critical juncture.
EDITOR’S NOTE — On Aug. 21, 2013, Renton resident Nestora Salgado, a naturalized U.S. citizen and leader of a legal indigenous community defense force in her hometown of Olinalá, Guerrero, was arrested. For 21 months, she has been imprisoned in Mexico on false charges. Also see:
Please donate as momentum builds to Free Nestora Salgado
After a year in prison, join the effort to Free Nestora Salgado
► From House.gov — Rep. Smith, Sen. Murray urge immediate action on Nestora Salgado case
— Upon hearing that Nestora Salgado was on a hunger strike, Rep. Adam Smith and Sen. Patty Murray said:
We urge the United States government to take immediate action to secure Nestora’s release on humanitarian grounds. Nestora has been deprived from due process and justice by the Mexican government and we will continue to do all we can to ensure that she receives it.
Learn more at FreeNestora.org
The Stand is published by the Washington State Labor Council.
The Free Nestora Campaign will continue to keep you updated in the coming days. Please visit FreeNestora.org for more news and information or to make a donation.