SEATTLE — This Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, is the second anniversary of Nestora Salgado’s arrest, and a National Day of Action to get her released.
On Aug. 21, 2013, Nestora Salgado, a Renton resident who is a naturalized U.S. citizen and leader of a legal indigenous community defense force in her hometown of Olinalá, Guerrero, was arrested. For two years, she has been imprisoned in Mexico on false charges. She was kept in isolation without medical attention in a high-security jail for 21 months until a hunger strike in May galvanized international support for her case and helped secure her transfer to the medical wing of a more relaxed facility. (Read this story in The Guardian describing her predicament.)
Nestora represents hundreds of people in self-defense groups who have been jailed for defending their communities against powerful, politically connected criminal cartels. In Guerrero, indigenous people have the constitutional right to form such forces, known as comunitaria; they have been emulated in other states and communities by Mexicans who consider it a necessity for self-preservation and dignity.
TAKE A STAND! — Here’s what you can do as part of Friday’s National Day of Action to urge Nestora’s release:
TWEET — Tell U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to call on the Mexican government to release U.S. citizen and political prisoner Nestora Salgado. Do it by tweeting: Act now to #freenestora @JohnKerry
CALL — Phone the State Department press officer at 202-647-2492 between 5:15 a.m. and 4 p.m. Pacific time, or after hours until 8 p.m. at 202-647-1512.
RALLY — If you are in the Seattle area, rally at the Mexican Consulate, 2132 3rd Ave. (3rd and Blanchard in the Belltown neighborhood), from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Protests are also happening in other U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, San Diego and Chicago, where Nestora’s daughter, Grisel Rodriguez, will be speaking as part of a weeklong series of events. (See the Free Nestora page on Facebook for details.) Solidarity actions are also planned in Mexico City and a large march will be held in Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero.
For more information, visit FreeNestora.org.