Archive for FPDT

CALL FOR SIGNATURES TO DEMAND THE RELEASE OF THE 12 POLITICAL PRISONERS OF ATENCO

Posted in Announcement, denuncia with tags , , , , on June 13, 2010 by floweroftheword

CALL FOR SIGNATURES TO DEMAND THE RELEASE OF THE 12 POLITICAL PRISONERS OF ATENCO

SYNOPSIS: The Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Earth (FPDT in its Spanish initials) brings together a number of villages and farming communities on the outskirts of Mexico City, including San Salvador Atenco. In 2002 they commenced a process of peasant resistance to the plan for a new airport that would expel them from their land. After an intense process of social mobilization, the airport project was cancelled. After its struggle The FPDT became a national and international reference for Mexican social movements defending their land. On 3 and May 4, 2006 the residents of San Salvador Atenco suffered Mexican state repression that prompted one of the most violent police operations in the country’s history, resulting in the death of two young men, more than 200 arbitrary arrests, gross human rights violations of detainees involving police brutality, torture and sexual abuse of thirty female detainees, and irregularities in the legal process. The repression in the case of San Salvador Atenco has become emblematic as many different human rights documented the violations and disseminated their reports. Even Mexican state agencies such as the Supreme Court have recognized that such violations took place. More than four years after the events, 12 people are still unjustly imprisoned. They are political prisoners of the Mexican state. As part of a national and international campaign called Freedom and Justice for Atenco an ad was posted in a national newspaper in June, to demand their freedom. Before the end of June the Supreme Court’s Office will decide on the release of these 12 prisoners. It is their last legal recourse. It is a turning point. This legal battle is a fight to throw out sentences ranging from 31 to up to 112 years in prison. This is an urgent request for signatures from numerous individuals and organizations, national and international. The legal elements integrated in the text have been endorsed and supported by leading human rights centers such as the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center and the Fray Francisco de Vitoria Human Rights Center, as well as specialists from the community of expertise in human rights and democracy in the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences Mexico (FLACSO Mexico). That is why we invite you to sign the text attached below. We hope you can support this process for freedom and justice, and in defense of those fighting for the land.

COMMITTEE FOR FREEDOM AND JUSTICE ATENCO:
The People’s Front in Defense of the Land, Relatives of Prisoners and Persecuted, Legal Services, Legal Research, Services and Advice for Peace (Serapaz), Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Centre, Women Without Fear, Fray Francisco de Vitoria Human Rights Centre, Comité Cerezo, Romero Committee, Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity, National Center for Social Communication (CENCOS), Youth in Alternative Resistance, Bishop Emeritus Samuel Ruiz Garcia of the Diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas, actress Ofelia Medina, musician Manu Chao, actress Julieta Egurrola, Raul Vera Bishop of the Diocese of Saltillo, Coahuila, academic Adolfo Gilly, actor Daniel Gimenez Cacho, philosopher Luis Villoro, singer Ruben Albarran, rock band Cafe Tacvba, actor Bruno Bichir, Dominican friar Fray Miguel Concha Malo, director of the Center for Human Rights Fray Francisco de Vitoria, Roco Pachukote vocalist of the rock band Maldita Vecindad and children of Quinto Patio, Gilberto López y Rivas, anthropologist, journalist Luis Hernández Navarro, Carlos Fazio, academic Guillermo Almeyra, Los de Abajo ska and rock band, actresses The Queens of Chulas.

Text to sign:

FREEDOM NOW!
for the 12 prisoners of San Salvador Atenco

To the Ministers of the First Chamber of the Supreme Court:
Jose de Jesus Gudino Pelayo, Olga María del Carmen Sánchez Cordero de García Villegas, Juan N. Silva Meza, Arturo Zaldivar Lelo De Larrea, Jose Ramon Cossio Diaz.

To national and international public opinion.

We know the serious violations of human rights 3 and May 4, 2006 the Mexican government committed in San Salvador Atenco. Following these events 12 people are still in prison. We are concerned that the legal process followed was full of irregularities, it did not respected the principle of presumption of innocence or the guarantees of due process, and the evidence on which their convictions were founded was illegally obtained. We believe that these irregularities negated their right to a fair trial. It is a grave concern that the offense of “kidnapping” which we believe is unconstitutional, can be used to criminalize social demands, and that the justice system and administration was manipulated to criminalise members of the Peoples Front in Defense of Earth. We also know that there is a legal precedent issued by a judicial organ of the Federation, which held that the acts for which Ignacio del Valle, Felipe Álvarez and Héctor Galindo were sentenced do not constitute the crime of kidnapping; we believe that even though such norms are not legally-binding for the Ministers, this precedent, in the interests of legal safety and consistency as well as regarding the wider implications of the case, can not be ignored. Therefore, we call the First Chamber of the Supreme Court to release the 12 prisoners of Atenco.

IMPORTANT NOTE for those appending their signature:

For individual signatures, please include full name, nationality or state of the country, trade or profession.

In the case of signatures from organizations and groups, include the full name of your organization, and country or state of the organization.

Signatures will be accepted until Sunday, June 20 at 24 hrs.

SEND TO: firmasatenco@gmail.com

We will send them a copy of the signature and email of everyone who appends their signature.

All information about the case can be found on our campaign page: www.atencolibertadyjusticia.com

Committee for Freedom and Justice for Atenco
People’s Front in Defense of the Land

Visit our blog at: http://contraimpunidad.blogspot.com/

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3 years since Atenco and innocent people are still imprisoned – Let’s take action!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2009 by floweroftheword

Today marks the 3 year anniversary of the Mexican State’s brutal violence towards the people of Atenco. Please read below for more information and contact the Mexican Embassy to demand freedom for the political prisoners and justice for all those terrorised by state forces.

If enough of us make a short phone call or send an email, the Mexican Government will get the message that the world knows about their atrocious actions.

In solidarity,

Wellington Zapatista Support Group

Contact details for the Mexican Embassy in Wellington, NZ

Level 8, Perpetual Trust House

111-115 Customhouse Quay

PO Box 11-510, Manners Street

Wellington, New Zealand

Telephone (+64) 4 472 0555

Fax (+64) 4 496 3559

E-mail mexico@xtra.co.nz

Website http://www.mexico.org.nz

Office Hours Mon – Thurs 0900 -1600, Fri 0900 – 1500

Consular: 0900 – 1400

FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR ATENCO

By Heriberto Salas and Salvador Díaz

On May 3, 2006, the sun rose with a dark stain around the Belisario Dominguez market in Texcoco: the state and local police had posted a guard around the spot where flower growers had sold their flowers for as long as we can remember. The Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land (FPDT), which had participated in a dialogue with Enrique Peña Nieto’s government had counseled and defended the flower growers. The day before, the state government had promised them and the FPDT that they would withdraw their police forces.

At 6 o’clock in the morning, when we met up with men, women, and children carrying baby’s breath, chrysanthemums, and spikenards, joined in their chants, and helped them set up their stands on the curb, we never imagined that we would go through some of the cruelest, most ferocious and heartless repression unleashed in the contemporary history of Mexico.

Yet the flower growers, the FPDT, and the people fell into a shameless trap of the so-called “golden boy,” who in fact is a true Caligula or “golden tyrant,” Enrique Peña Nieto, supported by then prosti-president Vicente Fox Quezada, and the complicity of the PRD lapdogs of Texcoco, all defenders of a barbarous State whose enemies are the most defenseless people.

As everyone knows, the outcome of the repression of May 3 and 4 was two comrades murdered, Javier Cortés and Alexis Benhumea; 207 arrested, including 47 women; and dozens of people wounded, pursued, and disappeared. But that wasn’t all. Our small community, San Salvador Atenco, like the Gaza Strip, Tikrit, or Kabul, was militarily occupied by thousands of vicious police who crudely profaned the peaceful streets of our beloved land just as they raped our comrades, sisters, daughters, and relatives on the road to the Santiaguito prison in those dreadful days.

They were like hordes of beasts who stopped at nothing to bring their brutality down on everyone. Consider the images: A Mazahua indigenous woman covering her legs as she was viciously beaten by the killers; an elderly paraplegic dragged by two buzzards in uniform; a dog beaten by a policeman; 10, 15, 20, 30 police monstrously beating a committed Zapatista militant; warrantless house searches; an elderly woman crying because her three sons were carried away; a barefoot Atenco man forced to his knees in the middle of a new Tlatelolco Plaza de las Tres Culturas; hooligans climbing up on top of the church and searching water tanks for Zapatista militants and Atenco community people. These are the indisputable testimonies that will never be erased from the memory of Mexican people.

From there on…a journey through hell. From the persecution of militants to the torturous process of winning the freedom of our prisoners. From our initial denunciation of the outrageous violation of the supposed State of Law and the smashing of our individual guarantees to the interminable trials with all its delays. The government and its front men have twisted the laws with the same impunity that existed during the Inquisition, charging us with crimes that we never committed, issuing arrest warrants for our most visible comrades, and subjecting our peoples to close-up, unyielding police vigilance. The names of those responsible for the military occupation by the federal and state police are well known: Vicente Fox, Enrique Peña Nieto, ex Director of the State Security Agency (ASE) Wilfrido Robledo Madrid, current Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora, then State Attorney Abel Villicaña, ex Under Secretary of National Security Miguel Angel Yunes, among others.

Along this thorny path, we’ve relied on the support and solidarity of the Zapatista comrades of the Other Campaign, who have shown their goodwill and courage from the very beginning in the camp outside the prisons where our comrades have been held. Other workers, farmers, indigenous, popular, and even international organizations have also walked along beside us in this heroic effort. But of special importance is the honorable role played by the group of lawyers who have advised us all through the trials as we’ve fought against an invisible enemy embedded in the institutions of the State itself, one that plays by the same rules and exhibits all the official aberrations and inconsistencies. This united effort has made it possible to get most of our prisoners out of jail.

Needless to say, this State violence responds to the same logic of the finance capital that rules the world. It’s the same violence used on all five continents to snatch peoples’ natural resources from them, from oil to water, corn to rice, mines to forests, rivers to seas, in other words, to seize the wealth of the whole planet.

This war declared on the peoples of the world struggling to conserve their natural resources has reached our town Atenco, because we’ve defended our territory, and the communities in Chiapas who struggle against oblivion; the peoples of Oaxaca, for autonomy; the people of Guerrero, for their rivers and mountains; the peoples of San Luis Potosí and Zacatecas, against the predatory mining companies –all of these places where levels of organization and social consciousness have gained such force that they’ve become a real danger to the government and the transnational companies.

This, and no other, was the main reason for the State offensive against the Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land: a high level of organization. A triumphant social movement that was not absorbed by the political parties, a radical, horizontal, anti-establisment, solidarity organization that grew along with its social demands, going beyond the initial struggle in defense of the land.

So an intricate network of relationships was woven along with other movements in the country and other parts of the world. But it reached its peak with the bond formed with the Zapatista movement and the Front’s adherence to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Selfa and The Other Campaign. The April 25, 2006 visit to Atenco by the Sixth Commission headed by SubComandante Marcos was tremendous. The tie between macheteros and zapatistas put the government on alert. And the answer came a week later with the attempt to pulverize the FPDT.

Today the federal and state governments of Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto are still holding twelve of our kidnapped comrades, nine of them in the Molino de Flores prison in Texcoco, with sentences of 31 years, 10 months, and 15 days, and three others in the maximum security Altiplano prison at Almoloya, State of Mexico, two of them sentenced to 67 years in prison (Felipe Alvarez and Héctor Galindo), and one, Ignacio del Valle sentenced to 112 years, accused of being the intellectual author of the events of May 3 and 4. The federal and state governments have relied on the complicity of all the political parties and all the institutions of justice in the country, and even though the Supreme Court found in their investigation that the authorities did indeed commit Crimes against Humanity, it didn’t identify the responsible parties and instead, absolved them.

Faced with this ignominious exoneration on February 12, 2009, by the devious Ministers of Calderon’s Supreme Court, which allows presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto and his accomplices to maintain their impunity, the FPDT along with human rights and independent organizations, have drawn many outstanding personalities like Eduardo Galeano, Bishop Samuel Ruíz, Manu Chao, and Adolfo Gilly into a current aimed at building the Committee for Freedom and Justice for Atenco, whose aims are the same as those upheld in 2002, when we defeated the expropriation decree––the incorporation of the civil society into the struggle, now oriented towards winning the freedom of our brothers held prisoner and the strict application of the law against those who massacred our people.

In support of these demands on the third anniversary of this attempt against the people of Atenco, we call on all national and international social and political organizations to join in the demand for the freedom of the political prisoners of Mexico and the world on May 3 and 4.

———-

Once again, please contact the Mexican Embassy to demand freedom for the political prisoners and justice for all those terrorised by state forces.

If enough of us make a short phone call or send an email, the Mexican Government will get the message that the world knows about their atrocious actions.

Contact details for the Mexican Embassy in Wellington, NZ

Level 8, Perpetual Trust House

111-115 Customhouse Quay

PO Box 11-510, Manners Street

Wellington, New Zealand

Telephone (+64) 4 472 0555

Fax (+64) 4 496 3559

E-mail mexico@xtra.co.nz

Website http://www.mexico.org.nz

Office Hours Mon – Thurs 0900 -1600, Fri 0900 – 1500

Consular: 0900 – 1400

For the freedom of the people of Atenco – letter from political prisoner America del Valle

Posted in comunicado with tags , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2009 by floweroftheword

To the comrades of the Committee for Freedom and Justice for Atenco; to the supportive comrades of Mexico and the world:

An intense hug to all of you.

Insofar as possible, I’m following all the efforts undertaken to gain freedom and justice for Atenco and can’t find the words to thank you for embracing us with your strong solidarity. This fills us with dignity, strength, and hope.

The third anniversary of Red May is almost here. They overpowered us, but they’ve never defeated us; they’ve given us life sentences, oblivious to the fact that our spirit is still free and eager to keep struggling, yet we have too many reasons not to surrender in the face of prison bars and persecution.

The exoneration of the repressors by the system of injustice doesn’t mean that they are absolved by history or by the people. Luis Echeverría Álvarez, Enrique Peña Nieto, Ulises Ruiz, Mario Marín, and a long list of tyrants have been condemned by the people!

We know that the national situation is getting worse all the time, not only because of the international economic crisis –a product of the insatiable voracity of the owners of money–, but also because of the deep entrenchment of organized crime in the State itself. And it’s precisely because we’re facing such difficult times that the organization and unity of people on the ground are all the more urgent and necessary.

Out there in the streets, the schools and universities, the factories and the barrios, you are organizing and arguing about what to do. Here, from our trenches in exile or in prison cells, we are standing strong in resistance, too. It’s in the struggle that we come together. In spite of distances, in spite of prison bars, we are together, with our faces towards the Sun.

Thanks to all of you in the far corners of the world for your voices and hands of solidarity. Thanks to all of you in the Committee for Freedom and Justice for Atenco.

América del Valle

(politically pursued by the Mexican State), Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land

PS: Compañero Manu Chao. We are furious about the repressive State’s attempt to expel you from Mexico even though their agents finally had to desist in an effort to conceal their own incompetence. Your courage and steadfastness are a lesson to all of us who believe that solidarity carved out at the side of the people is a right and a duty that knows no borders and needs no permit. Atenco and México are your home, and the laws of the tyrants seek to silence you for simply defending your home with the truth. You are in our hearts and minds. Wherever you are, may the struggle continue because that’s what we’ve decided and because there are thousands of us and more…