Borderland Beat by DD
some material from Mexico Voices
I posted a story on 11/26 here on BB entitled11 Ayotzinapa Protesters Arrested Are Denied Bail that gives more detail of the arrest.
Do the demonstrations and marches by the protestors demanding the return of the missing 43 teachers college students, justice for the kidnapping of the 43, and justice for the 11 detainees arrested in front of the Presidential Palace after the demonstration on Nov. 20 have any effect?. Will the government listen and respond by taking action to meet their demands?
|Juan Daniel López Ávila (izquierda) Leaving|
Villa Valdama Maximum Security Prison in Veracruz
Maybe some judges are listening and paying attention. Yesterday the 11 detainees were released from the maximum security prisons where they were incarcerated in Veracruz and Nayarit.
District Court 17 for Criminal Matters based in Xalapa, Veracruz, ruled that the charges brought by members of the Federal Police and the Attorney General's Office (PGR) against 11 people detained as suspects of vandalism committed on November 20 at the Zócalo in Mexico City, are implausible and do not conform to the "rules of basic logic."
An official of the PJF [Federal Judicial Police], who is familiar with the case and requested anonymity, told this newspaper (La Jornado) that the court document gives the impression that the list of charges was drawn up very quickly, without either care or legal precision, and with a clear intention of intimidating the detainees for having taken part in the November 20 march.
The youths were arrested by riot police who violently dispersed the crowd of protesters who remained in the Zócalo the night of Thursday, November 20, after the massive march in support of the Ayotzinapa disappeared students.
Families of the detainees, among whom is Lawrence Maxwell, a Chilean student, say that several of the youths were severely beaten by police.
The youths were charged with rioting, criminal conspiracy and attempted murder. In the court record, it is very clear that the detainees flatly denied having participated in the excesses. Despite that [their denial], the PGR consigned them [to prison] under the assumption that since they were at the rally in the Zócalo (along with tens of thousands of others0, they are considered suspects of having participated in the attacks on police and members of the Presidential Guard.
On the charge of attempted murder of a federal police officer, the judge said there “is no way the defendants tried to take the life of a federal agent since the punches they allegedly threw mainly hit the police shields and riot gear carried by the police and those throwing the punches injured themselves more than the police. He ordered the charge reduced to “attempt to injure a police officer”, and reserved that charge for a judge in Mexico City to determine. But that charge is not considered a “serious crime” in Mexico and did not affect their ordered release.
The judge did note that the police officers statements alleged that the “anarchist” who tried to punch the police officer was wearing a mask, and allegedly carrying rockets, sticks, rocks and Molotov cocktails. But the then pointed out that the police officers did not collect any of those items from the defendants or from the alleged crime scene. The only evidence collected was the cell phones of the defendants.
The court also notes that there were "inconsistencies in the statements of the arresting officers, as the initial number of rioters is not the same at all times, because in the first instance it is stated that are 30, then later it says there were sixteen or eighteen, and finally they argue that the people taking part in the commotion and who wanted to flee are the 11 defendants who are at the disposition of this federal court."
"With regard to the crime of criminal conspiracy, this court considers that the information contained in the notice of disposition [document making accused available to the court] and in the respective proceedings of ratification by the agents of the Federal Police who signed it, it is implausible and does not conforms to the rules of basic logic.
"In their statements, the accused declared that neither do they know each other nor do they belong to any criminal group. The reality is that none of them acknowledged having met in the specific place where, according to the informative section, the events occurred (...) especially since no irrefutable proof was offered and nothing is said in the charge sheet with respect to the defendants as a group or as members of various cells of people, who came together with the purpose of committing a crime."
The judge disclosed that the General Department of Prevention of Cyber Crimes of the Federal Police conducted a "tracking" of the emails, Facebook and social networks of the accused without finding any "incriminating data." As the PGR tells it, there are indications, but not full proof, that the 11 detainees belong to groups of anarchists that the authority has long-identified, including the Núcleo Insurrecto Sole-Baleno, Conspiracy of Cells of the Anarchist Fire-Federation of Mexico, Front for Animal Liberation and Subversive Front for Global Liberation.
The problem is that the SEIDO did not provide decisive evidence to demonstrate that the eleven detainees knew each other. The prosecutors start only from the assumption that they were part of a conspiracy because they called each other "compa" [slang for compañero, partner or comrade]
The judge considered that with respect to the insufficient evidence provided, he proceeded to issue a release order for lack of evidence to prosecute.
With regard to the offense of rioting, he considered that
"there was not sufficient proof to show that the suspects were located in the circumstances of manner, time and place of execution of the crime of rioting."
Within criminal case 45/2014, the court noted that at 9:00 a.m. yesterday, the judge "issued an order of release, for lack of evidence in favor of the 11 detainees, due to insufficient evidence provided by the agent of the Public Ministry [prosecutors, investigative police; branch of PGR] to confirm its entire body of evidence of the crimes of injury, criminal conspiracy and rioting."Score one for the demonstrators and marchers