Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

UN Panel Ruled That Nestora Salgado is a Political Prisoner

Posted by DD material from El Daily Post  
See footnote at the end of this story for previous BB coverage of Nestora 
The United Nation's  Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in Geneva, Switzerland has ruled that the detention and continued imprisonment Nestora Salgado by Mexican authorities was and is illegal and arbitrary.  The ruling was made in December, over a month ago, but only communicated to her lawyers yesterday (Tues. Feb. 2).  No explanation was given for the delay.

El Daily Post, reported today that the UN group said;

“In the first place, there is no doubt that the arrest and detention without charges is illegal and thus arbitrary."  Not only did the panel call the arrest arbitrary it said Mexico "should not only free her but also compensate her for the violation of her human rights.Furthermore, the military arresting civilians for presumed crimes when national security is not at risk is worrying.”  

with her husband in Washiington state
 Salgado grew up in Olinalá, a mountainous town of farmers and artisans in Guerrero.  She legally migrated to the US when she was 20 years old and settled in the Seattle area, married a US citizen, and ultimately applied for and was granted US citizenship.  

After making several trips back home to visit family in Olinala she became increasingly concerned about the lawlessness and cartel domination that her hometown was experiencing.  That concern and anguish reached a boiling point  a taxi driver was killed for not paying a "piso" (protection money) to a cartel.

She organized and led a community police force, (completely legal for indigenous communities under state and federal law) with mounted patrols to protect residents from organized crime and corruption.  She was viewed as a local hero much the same as Dr. Mireles was in Michoacan.  

But she was to meet much the same fate as Dr. Mireles when she was arrested in August 2013 by federal and state authorities for "kidnapping".  A federal judge cleared her of those charges but she has continued to be held in prison on related state charges even though  Guerrero’s governor called for her release last year.

 Salgado was accused of kidnapping in connection with the arrest of several teenage girls on suspicion of drug dealing, and of a town official who was allegedly trying to steal a cow at the scene of a double killing.

Even though  state law allows Olinalá and Guerrero’s other indigenous communities to organize their own police forces and make arrests, the families of the detained girls complained to state and federal officials who then said the arrests were illegal and constituted kidnapping.

In her first interview in June of 2015 (nearly 2 years after her arrest) with the international press since her imprisonment Nestora told the Guardian  she was guilty of nothing more than helping her community stand up to the narcos and their corrupt political allies, and called on the Mexican government to release her and drop all the charges.

 “I have no regrets about what I did, and I never will have any regrets,” she told the Guardian. “I am not a person who likes to confront the authorities, but in a place where dialogue is not possible, what else can you do?”

In the Guardian interview,  sitting on her prison hospital bed in white and blue flannel pyjamas, Salgado, 43, said she had never underestimated the risks involved in taking a stand.

“The government is against people who want to do the right thing and protect their communities,” she said. “I know I have made my family suffer, but it is a sacrifice that had to be made.”

 “I knew that when I started to expose the municipal government that there was a risk I would be arrested or killed,” she said. “I didn’t care. It was necessary.”

Government officials ignored her US passport.   She was denied contact with her lawyers and family for almost year.  Since imprisonment she has been denied adequate medical care and access to clean water, although recently she was moved to another prison ostensibly so she could get better medial care.

Salgado's daughter
The ruling by the 5 person UN panel is not binding on Mexico but her supporters are hopeful that it will increase the pressure on EPN to release her from prison.  Since she is a US citizen her supporters also plan to use this UN ruling to again demand the US Department of State to press Mexico for her release.   

As reported in El Daily Post, The International Human Rights Clinic at Seattle University Law School has been pursuing her case at the U.N.’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in Geneva, Switzerland, for about two years.  

Thomas Antkowiak, the law clinic’s director. said of the report;  

“This is a very important channel for political pressure: We have an impartial, international panel that says she’s detained illegally. I think it’s kind of a breakthrough,” he said. “We’ve been in ongoing negotiations with the government in Mexico, the federal government mainly, and those have gone nowhere. We’re hoping this is going to inject new life into those negotiations.”

 “She’s endured over two years of illegal detention, without evidence or a trial against her,” Antkowiak said. “She’s a political prisoner.”

As reported in the Guardian story, 

“We are facing a monster in Mexico and we know how dirty politics are,” said her husband, José Louis Villa. “The government gives three choices to activists. You can be bought, you can be killed or you can be put in prison.”

Meanwhile, La Comandata remains defiant. In an 30-minute interview, she only appeared to drop her guard for a brief moment as she described seeing herself in the mirror last month for the first time since her arrest.

“They try to destroy you in that place,” she said. Then she straightened her back and continued: 

“But I am strong.”

**DD;  The government of Mexico at all levels is afraid of a "hero of the people" .  BB has has reported extensively on Nestora and her case.  The following links are some of those stories, but for a full list simply type "Nestora Salgado" into the search box located at the bottom right of this page.  For stories that were posted on Forum and not on  front page, just go to Forum and do the same in the search engine there. 


  1. Her story is one of thousnds the military has aressted alot of people under false pretense and disappeared thousands then blamed them on the cartels ... I remember in tamaulipas i used to hear that they would abduct men and throw them off of helicptors because the confused them with halcones or traffickers

    1. The difference is, she has a US citizenship. So that will draw much unwanted attention to her case. That Dr. Mireles man would get the same results if his plight was really internationally known. BB readers know him but not many outside of the scope of keeping up to date on the drug wars. it is really sad, but the media give all the attention to the criminals and not much on the cartels. If the UN really looked into Mexico's inhumane behaviors, there would be some serious sanctions applied. You are right though.

  2. Great story, dd! Why do you always put narcos and sicairos in italics, in your stories?

  3. What a joke the Mexican government is, an absolute joke.

  4. Narcos on the US is police, anti-narcotics.
    --In mexico narcos are drug traffickers, in no instance police, military or government officers who are only the victims of their own greed or necessity...
    --the corrupt mexican government that presides like a GOD over all the crime in mexico, can not be mentioned or blamed for LOCAL INJUSTICES, LOCAL, entiendes? nada que ver con el gobierno federal, nothing, complain about nestora's parents that did not teach nestora to be a decent law abiding woman, wife or mother, like many other mexican parents, el presidente is only one poor guy trying to hide a aall the millions of dollars he steals and robs from the public treasury and gets paid for selling the rest as junk because like Johnny Lee he can.

    1. She is a wife and mother and Dr. Mireles to[father].

  5. And Dr. Mireles?

  6. Replies
    1. Wow only 7 comments for clean nice people like mireles n salgado !!!!???? I'm barely number 8 now if buela chiva publishes mine

    2. BB staff has been forcibly cramming her down our throats.. using old pics of her where she was somewhat attractive.. even her own followers admitted she crossed the line "detaining" the goverment official she pretty much kidnapped.. add to the fact she flew in straight from the U.S & tried to start some revolution like she was in Mexico whole life.. FREE DR MIRELES!!

    3. Has the UN reviewed mireles case??
      What about the missing students?

    4. 7:18 Nestora will ways be pretty at any speed, BB did not "invent her", but you honey, no plastic surgeon would handle your stinkin' ass

  7. Who in there right mind would refer to her as "Comandanta" shes packing a .22 rifle lol

    1. Obviously, el pri, el prd, their sicarios, governors, ejercito ito, policias, caciques, la chaky gordillo, and peña nieto's cabinet and whole closet find her dangerous...
      --i still find Comandanta Nestora Salgado pretty too, but that is not what this is all about...

    2. Ah yes... The 22 calibre. Only the oldest cartridge still in use the highest murder rate caliber and the few bullets that hit their mark before you hear the sound. Less recoil as well for better aim.

      No a 22 wont bust through steal or armour but let a peewee little 22 smack you in the dick and tell me that it's just a 22lr

    3. Sounds like you have had a bad experience with a 22.A 22 can still do some damage and even kill.

  8. I commend her for taking a stand. She should thank her lucky stars she is alive.

  9. As far as her husband is concerned SHAME ON HIM, his father got killed over the actions of his wife.. way to pay respect for the man that made you!

    1. All the more reason to stand up to this atrocity so her father didn't die in vain!It's how you look at it; like is the glass half full or half empty?There's 2 ways of looking at it.If you don't stand it more people will die and hey I'm glad the UN is involved.

  10. I just don't feel her case as I do for Dr Mireles

  11. We need more people like Nestora..and the Doctor.. It don't matter what you're packing or where you come from Mexico needs more valientes por el pais..a woman stood up to cartels a Woman while not many men do a woman US citizen stood up for Mexico ...


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