|[26-02-2010] Atenco prisoners must be freed - Gloria Arenas visits Molino de Flores|
Gloria voiced her commitment to speak in all possible places for the
freedom of the 12 political prisoners of Atenco now that the case is in
the hands of the Supreme Court. She and others present also
participated in an act of protest outside the prison, denouncing prison
conditions such as a lack of water for more than three days, telephones
that haven’t worked for more than three days, and the total lack of
attention to dormitory classification. People who are not senior
citizens or disabled or mentally ill are placed in areas reserved for
them, resulting in violence among the prisoners and worse conditions for
those who have a special condition.
Gloria also received a phone call from Inés Rodolfo Cuellar who has
become the spokesperson for the imprisoned comrades. Several other
individual prisoners sent out letters to Gloria and Jacobo, which Gloria
gladly promised to answer.
FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!
STOP THE ATTACKS ON THE ZAPATISTA COMMUNITIES!
NO MORE DISPOSSESSION!
THE OTHER CAMPAIGN GOES ON!
During her visit to the Molino de Flores Otro Plantón, Gloria Arenas
Agis read the following statement:
ATENCO PRISONERS MUST BE FREED
My name is Gloria Arenas Agis, former political prisoner. I’m here today
at the gates of Molino de Flores to demand freedom for the political
prisoners in this prison and those in the Altiplano prison.
The federal Supreme Court has decided to hear the petition for a
protective order in the case of the 12 Atenco political prisoners.
Right now, the highest court in the land has the opportunity to correct
the tremendous outrage of their imprisonment. It has the opportunity to
resolve a conflict in which the dependence of the State of Mexico’s
judicial bodies on the Chief Executive has been clearly shown.
It is both politically and legally untenable to keep these 12 prisoners
behind bars. Their imprisonment only shows that vengeance rules in this
case and that the judges have followed orders from above. The illegality
of the prisoners’ arrest and imprisonment is so obvious that people all
over the world have demanded their freedom ever since 2006. Last year,
members of the Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land (FPDT) traveled to
12 different states in the country and were received in a show of
solidarity by social organizations that organized 100 public events and
actions to demand freedom for these 12 prisoners. Several days ago, 11
Nobel Prize winners met with the Secretary of the Interior to deliver a
letter to Calderón seeking freedom for the Atenco prisoners; they also
met with a magistrate and with several legislators.
Nobel Prize winner Jody Williams said, "What they’re doing to the Atenco
political prisoners disgusts me. I mean they’re doing this because it’s
a political issue.” In effect, that’s the way the imprisonment of the
three prisoners in the maximum security Altiplano prison and of the nine
prisoners at Molino de Flores is seen in Mexico and the world –as a
filthy, rotten business, a foul display of illegality that has nothing
to do with justice or with the state of law. It’s an act of vengeance
against the FPDT, which succeeded in avoiding the expropriation of their
lands where an airport was to be built. It’s a message sent to teach an
insubordinate people a lesson for defending their lands and rights, for
standing in solidarity with other struggles, and for telling others
about their experience. The imprisonment of the Atenco prisoners is a
message sent to keep their example of organization and resistance from
being followed by other peoples throughout the country who are now being
dispossessed. The imprisonment of the 12 political prisoners of Atenco
is also a security message to world capital that says: “Capital can
strip peoples of their lands, pollute and loot the natural resources of
the country, and the Mexican state will take care of jailing and
punishing resistance at all costs to make sure this example will not be
followed by others.”
The imprisonment of the Atenco political prisoners is an attempt against
freedom of expression and organization that exposes the authoritarianism
of the federal, state, and local governments. The Atenco case is
political and not legal because the state Governor is campaigning for
the Presidency of Mexico in the 2012 elections and wants to send out a
forceful message even though it’s based on a chain of illegal acts.
The political nature of the case cannot be hidden from people in this
country and the world, and neither can the illegality of the trials and
sentences of the three FPDT members and the nine growers found near the
scene of the repressive attack against the people of Atenco. In its zeal
to lock them up, the government at all three levels has expressly
resorted to crimes of repression in the name of defending a non-existent
state of law.
Several decades ago, the crime of “social dissolution” was invented, and
it was necessary to repeal the statute in order to free political
prisoners. Today the measures that criminalize people’s struggles have
to do with “organized crime,” “aggravated kidnapping,” and “damage to
public thoroughfares,” and these are applied respectively to social
organizations, to the retention of functionaries, and to roadblocks,
all of which are characteristic expressions of social movements. Putting
manifestations of discontent and dissidence on the same level as totally
unrelated common crimes is typical of dictatorships. And these are
precisely the charges leveled against the Atenco prisoners.
The organized crime charge has been dropped, but the prisoners were
tried, found guilty, and sentenced for aggravated kidnapping and for
damage to a public thoroughfare. They’ve been unjustly imprisoned for
four years. The prison terms of 112 for some and 31 years for others are
an abomination that seriously harms the entire country.
The federal Supreme Court’s verdict must be favorable because the social
struggle is not a crime. But converting social activists into criminals
is, in fact, illegal; it’s a crime. Furthermore, there’s no evidence
whatsoever of the participation of the Molino de Flores prisoners in the
events, so, according to law, there are no grounds for a guilty verdict.
Legally, there is no proof of the responsibility of those charged;
accordingly, they must be found innocent of the crimes for which they
were tried. The verdict must be favorable because the case of the 12
prisoners is plagued with government misconduct and arbitrary actions
beginning with the arrest and continuing throughout the entire judicial
process; thus the sentences are illegal.
But the imprisonment of these 12 political prisoners is not the only
legal travesty in this case that has damaged the country as a whole;
there is also the impunity for the rapists of at least 26 women, the
torturers of the 207 people arrested, and the murder of a child and a
youth on May 3 and 4, 2006, in Atenco. Authorities at all levels are the
intellectual authors and the perpetrators of these crimes, and this
matter falls into the public domain. Impunity for these authorities
clearly shows the political nature of this case and shows the rotten
illegality now impossible to cover up with lies in the news media.
IMMEDIATE FREEDOM FOR THE 12 POLITICAL PRISONERS OF ATENCO!
February 26, 2010
category: political prisoners