Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Detained Mexican ActivistNestora Salgado to Be Freed



Borderland Beat by DD republished from TeleSur and the BB Forum

Detained community police leader and activist, Nestora Salgado, is to be released, according to legislators.

For those of you who are not familiar with the story of Nestora, here is a little background excerpted from the Forum article. To read the entire article go to the Forum hyperlink above.

At first, the 41-year-old mother of three was, in the words of a supporter, “a sensation” in her mountainous Guerrero homeland, where she returned recently after 20 years in the United States. As she led this remote town in an uprising against vicious criminals, she was fierce, confident, and charismatic.

“She had more right to be the leader because she has more guts than any man,” said villager Marisela Jimenez.

On the day in October when Olinala (her hometown) rebelled, it was Salgado who commandeered a police patrol car and used its megaphone to call people into the streets. “Leave your fear at home! Come out!”
And, as church bells tolled in solidarity, they came out, by the thousands. Within days, they had expelled many of the crooks, villagers say.

But her adopted American “can-do” met a Mexican “can’t-be.”

Today, Salgado sits in a Mexican penitentiary, far from her home and her people, accused of kidnapping and guilty, certainly, of having run afoul of a clash of cultures, politics and generations-old clan rivalries.


The name of Salgado’s hometown, Olinala, means “place of earthquakes” in the Nahuatl language. By bus, it would take hours to get there from the nearest city, if there were buses. But few buses go. The single paved road in and out of Olinala looks as though a giant chewed its edges and took big bites out of bends where rock slides can obliterate the pathway in a matter of minutes.

Salgado left this place long ago. Already a mother of two at age 20, she followed her then-husband to the Pacific Northwest in the early 1990s, worked hard as a waitress, had another child, divorced, remarried, ended up in Seattle and became a U.S. citizen. Always tough-minded, relatives say, she learned about basic civil rights and how to demand them, and the potential power of women.

She began trips back home, staying longer each time, taking donated money and clothing to neighbors, building a house, room by room, and making plans to settle permanently.

The Guerrero she returned to, however, had changed. Los Rojos had taken over.

Los Rojos — the Reds — were a thuggish branch of one of the bigger drug cartels taking up positions through central Mexico. During the last couple of years, they managed to terrorize Olinala with small numbers of outlaws who, according to many in the town, had the protection of corrupt police and recently elected politicians.

The catalyst for the uprising was the Oct. 27 funeral of a taxi driver who, after refusing to pay extortion money to Los Rojos, had been kidnapped and killed. As townspeople buried the man, a rumor flew among the mourners that another cabbie had been kidnapped.

Passions were high. Authorities were doing nothing. The town rebelled, thousands pouring into the streets, led by Nestora Salgado.

“The people here did not know how to defend themselves. She was the first to take charge. She commanded respect.”

It was a giddy moment, by all accounts, with most of the townspeople united about the need to defend themselves.

“Fear and necessity motivate us,” Salgado told an interviewer before her arrest. “We were fed up with authorities not doing anything.” She knew some of the risks: “Do not squash us like cockroaches,” she warned the government.

Guerrero has a long tradition of legally recognized community policing under rules for indigenous populations that were enacted largely in response to a 1995 massacre of peasants by state security forces.

There are specific requirements and restrictions: Their guns must be single-shot rifles and low-caliber pistols
. Suspects in serious crimes must be turned over to the mainstream authorities.

Salgado and her supporters said they were availing themselves of those rules for indigenous pueblos to form a community police force under what is formally known as the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities, or CRAC. Other towns across Guerrero followed suit.

That summer (2013) , Salgado and her group arrested three teenage girls and accused them of dealing cocaine for their narco boyfriends. They sent the girls to a detention center at Paraiso.

Then she arrested a politically connected City Hall official and two associates, accusing them of stealing a cow. The three men were detained after the people who had been transporting the cow were killed in an ambush. That arrest was probably the last straw.

Salgado’s allies insist that each time they turned a suspect over to government officials, he or she was immediately released.

State authorities sent in the army to free the three cow theft suspects and arrest Salgado and 30 of her associates. It was late August; within hours, she was accused of kidnapping three adults and three minors (the girls, who were also freed) and transported to a federal penitentiary in Nayarit.

“I have nothing against the lady,” Guerrero Gov. Angel Aguirre said at the time. “What I cannot permit, as governor … is people taking justice in their own hands. We cannot live by the law of the jungle.”   

Angel Aquirre
Aguirre has since resigned as Governor of Guerrero in the wake of the disclosures of government corruption that has come out during  the social movement of unrest and protests that have developed after the “Iguala Massacre”.

Only 2 people have been allowed to visit Nestora while she has been in prison, her sister and mother.  And they were allowed only a 40 minute visit after traveling 40 hours on a bus to get there.  And that was only after the US Embassy intervened with Mexican authorities requesting that the visit be  allowed (intervention was because she is a US naturalized citizen).

Nestora has not been forgotten and the reason for her purported imminent release may be because the protesters all over Mexico and internationally have included the release of her,  Dr. Mireles and other political prisoners in their demands for justice for the “missing 43”.

Whatever the reason, the Guerrero state government has promised to terminate legal proceedings against community police leader and social activist, Nestora Salgado, before the year ends, according to legislators of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).

The legislators say they are confident that Salgado, community elected commander of the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities – Community Police or CRAC in the predominantly indigenous community of Olinala, Guerrero will be set free in the coming hours.

Last week, a committee of representatives met with Guerrero State authorities and cabinet members of the state’s interim governor, Rogelio Ortega, to negotiate the release of Salgado and another 14 members of the CRAC, detained on August 21, 2013.

In an interview with La Jornada Rep. Roberto Lopez Suarez (PRD), member of the human rights commission in Mexico's House of Representatives, said "The commitment of the governor is that Nestora will obtain her freedom without condition, and the rest of the 14 leaders of the community police that are in prison will also obtain their freedom in coming weeks." The federal government had already dropped charges against Salgado.

Salgado, a naturalized U.S. citizen and defender of indigenous rights, was detained without an arrest warrant, accused of kidnapping, after she and other members of the CRAC detained local politicians and municipal police suspected of having ties with organized crime.

The CRAC, formed in 1995, is a legally and constitutionally recognized innovative system of participatory justice and policing based on indigenous “uses and customs.” The more than 18-year-old project operates in more than 128 indigenous and mestizo communities of the Costa Chica and la Montaña regions of Guerrero

22 comments:

  1. Maybe the corrupt politicians are getting worried.

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  2. Replies
    1. Dont be so happy yet she is not out yet and who knows maybe she pacted with the federal gov like mireles of course after being tortured.

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    2. Finally she's getting out? Or, finally Mexico corrected a wrong? Or both.

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    3. She is not getting out, this is Mexico

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    4. I thought the PRI was bad, wow how about the PRD

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    5. MEXICO is not correct in its mistake is doing what is right,but only to quiet down the opposition. In Siria, Assad was killing opposition leaders, fixing elections,oppressing and suppressing any kind of opposition to his government,and after years of oppression, the U.S.decided to intervene. Too late. In Mexico the government is doing the same as the Assad government, why wait until is too late. Do we want a middle east similar situation in our back yard?

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  3. Slowly but surely the tide is turning!

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  4. The fourth picture is funny. Looking like some mexican cartoon with escopetas and rifles lol

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  5. One little pimple on the corrupt ass of the corrupt mexican government, and they will take another month or two to make sure of the effect one little promise has on the mexican rabble demading too much for their own good.
    --nobody is about to prosecute angel aguirre's veteran of many government perpetrated injustices and murders, or even investigate his skanky ass...
    --i see in angel aguirre rivero's resignation a future federal legislator and member of alfredo el castillo de cagada's cabinet, exactly the career path of murderer and resignation artist, UNAM professor, and resignation artist, emilio chuayffet chemor, "la emilia", now reigning over the war on education in mexico that includes killing the normal rurales and disappearing their students one bunch at a time, leaving as little proof behind as possible, maybe on bone or a tooth or both...
    --EYES on the prize, the privatization of education in mexico, with 'the best intentions' as a shield, from ABC guarderias to autonomas, libres or prostitutes, is behind the robbing of education resources, the corruption of the teachers unions, and the persecutions of teachers and students, one of the best vulture capitalist practices of the Common Core profit motivated concern for the poor ignorant mexicans...
    -- All of that applies to the practice of imprisoning community agitators or activistas, on all fields of mexican life, with prison, murder, kidnapping, extortion, trumped up charges, with the crowning of an impunity cherry on top of the mexican caca...
    --the people did not ask for their motherfucking teleton, or the release of one, two, or three activists, or the promise of releasing one of them every year, for christmas, amerikkkan Presidents pardon one or two turkeys every year, and now the mexican nalgas de burro is playing copycat, releasing one activist,(maybe) every christmas, like we are suppossed to kiss his nasty ass and say "muchas gracias senor presidente"...
    --how about "de todos modos chinguen a su puta madre que los pario pinche pena nieto y compania..."

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  6. She is an American what is she doing in Mexico, Mexico does not want Americans inferring in their country. U have no rights as a American in Mexico. Mexico does not go easy on Americans breaking the law.

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    1. 6:19 AM
      "She is an American what is she doing in Mexico"

      I seriously hope your being facetious(being funny)on this?
      But if your serious,that doesn't surprise me neither...

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    2. Another brave Mexican-American WOMAN...Don't take your women for granted

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    3. What I am saying is my mother from Mx. but live here now, why would go back to die

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    4. Apologies brother,now i understand what you meant,and your right,if i was born in Africa,there is no way in hell i would want to go back..
      Sorry about that brr,and be safe and prosperous...

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  7. ....PEOPLE LIKE Mireles and Nastora make a difference in peoples lives and they STAND BOLDLY AND OTHERS SEE, AND they are examples what a REAL HERO IS..that is so lacking today in the generation of ME WORLD...only COWARDS DIE A THOUSAND DEATHS, BUT A REAL HERO, just once!!!!!

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  8. Any news on Chino Antrax?

    He just turned 1 year in Jail

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  9. @6:19.... She was BORN in Olinala and left at age 20. Returned later and moved back at age 40.

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  10. This is one ray of light in all the darkness of Mexico. I hope it really happens. She probably had to agree to return to US. Disgusting how the fucking former governor, now out, arrested her and not the criminals who were kidnapping and murdering innocent people. God Mexico is fucked up.

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  11. Indigenous and mestizo communities?
    You all write as if there are no white (hispanic) mexicans left.
    And, hispanic mexicans are still in charge.

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  12. "Governor angel aguirre did not have 'anyhing' against la senora"
    --he still put her in prison, far away from family and friends, because he can, no prosecution and all the impunity for the priista perredista lackey of ernesto zedillo, ruben figueroa alcocer, emilio chuayffet chemor, enrique pena nieto, and their murdering associate butchers, i guess they are entitled to some more ass kissing for releasing nestora salgado... i don't think so...

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