Nestora Salgado: I will fight to free political prisoners

Family members, friends and activists

Family members, friends and activists received Nestora Salgado upon leaving the Tepepan women’s prison in Mexico City. Photo: Yazmín Ortega Cortés.

By: Georgina Saldierna and Josefina Quintero

Yesterday, the leader of the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities-Community Police (CRAC-PC), Nestora Salgado García, committed to continue fighting for the liberation of the 500 political prisoners that there are in the country, among them nine of their compañeros, after attaining her release after almost three years of prison accused of kidnapping.

She added that she went free because she is innocent and rejected that they had permitted her to leave prison on the condition that she abandon the country. “Those are stories that are told… I don’t have any reason to flee. I can hold my head up very high because I am not ashamed of anything,” she emphasized.

At 9:49 in the morning, the community police commander of Olinalá, Guerrero, abandoned the Tepepan women’s prison, where family members, friends and community colleagues were waiting for her. Once she greeted and hugged her allies, Salgado García headed to the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Centro to offer a press conference that at times derived into a political meeting.

The place was insufficient for the dozens of members of social organizations that sought to express their support, so that many of them had to remain outside the building. Among the attendees that achieved entering, the priests Alejandro Solalinde and Miguel Concha stood out, as well as Ayotzinapa activists and leaders from the Peoples Front for the Defense of Land, like Ignacio del Valle.

Nestora Salgado made use of the word after family members of political prisoners that are also members of the CRAC-PC criticized the detention of people that have fought for the good of their people and that the criminals remain free. It was the participation of Grisel Rodríguez, Nestora’s daughter, who at the point of tears lamented the three years of life that her mother lost in prison that no one is going to return.

In a 25-minute discourse, the commander said that she would continue fighting for the liberation of political prisoners and if it is necessary to be crucified in order to obtain it, that’s what she’s going to do. “If I have to end up in front of the United Nations building, I’m going to do it,” she emphasized.

She made a call to add on to this campaign and, in particular, she asked the governor of Guerrero, Héctor Astudillo Flores, for the prompt release of her political fellows, because they are not criminals, added.

She assured that she was detained for denouncing the corrupt municipal president of Olinalá, Eusebio González; the town prosecutor Patrón Jiménez and the ex governor of Guerrero Ángel Aguirre Rivero. “Thanks to him I was passing horrible times,” she accused.

She also considered that staying in prison without having committed a crime provokes horrible psychological damage. “It feels like being buried alive,” she added, and next added that for 20 months she was incommunicado and isolated for a crime that she didn’t commit.

Salgado García said that with that they delight in causing the greatest harm and pain possible to those who are defenseless and that it’s difficult to fight against the government, when there is a countersign. Later she judged that Isabel Miranda de Wallace, of the Stop the Kidnapping organization, didn’t have the heart to accuse her, but “I already forgave her.”

Similarly, she said she isn’t afraid of reprisals and reported that she would travel to the United States to take care of a health problem. Upon returning from that trip, she insisted, she will continue fighting. But she asked that they not come to offer anything, because she would not occupy any political position.

To the question about what message she sent to President Enrique Peña Nieto, the commander asked him to respect the indigenous peoples and the community police.

In the press conference as well as upon leaving the Tepepan prison she thanked those who promoted her freedom for their support. She demanded the same support for the parents of the disappeared Ayotzinapa students and that justice is done. She added that she distanced herself from any political party and clarified that she is not campaigning, because her principal motive is the people’s defense.

On the esplanade of the re-adaptation center, one by one the members of the community police greeted her and put themselves at her orders, because they said that for them she continues being the commander in chief.

After the reception and the symbolic breaking of the handcuffs that tied her hands, Nestora emphasized that her freedom is due to everyone.

The community leader was detained on August 21, 2013 accused of committing 50 kidnappings.

In the evening, Nestora Salgado met with students and members of social organizations at the Autonomous University of Mexico City, Del Valle building, she remembered the situation of injustice that is experienced in the peoples; consequently, now “that the doors of other countries are being opened to us, I will go and talk about the injustices.” She affirmed that she would do everything within her power to help people.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

En español:

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Re-published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee


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