Support for Atenco at U.S. Social Forum

To our sisters & brothers of the People’s Front in Defense of the Land:

To our Zapatista sisters & brothers:

To our compañer@s of The Other Campaign:

To our compañer@s of the Zezta Internazional:

To our compañer@s adherents to the International Campaign in Defense of El Barrio & our allies throughout the world:

Greetings in solidarity from the women, men, children, and marginalized people of The Other Campaign New York, Movement for Justice in El Barrio, in Zapatista East Harlem.

We would like to share with you our last effort to achieve the liberation of the 12 political prisoners from San Salvador Atenco, Mexico. We have recently returned from a trip to Detroit, Michigan where we presented two workshops on The Other Campaign at the U.S. Social Forum.

In Detroit, we broke down borders through a live dialogue from San Salvador Atenco, Mexico. Across the neoliberal border that those from the top impose on us, we had present the faces and dignified words of our beloved sisters & brothers from the Peoples Front in Defense of the Land.

They shared a report on the critical moment we are experiencing in the campaign for the liberation of Atenco’s 12 political prisoners and America De Valle. Immediately after their powerful participation, Movement for Justice in El Barrio, proposed for its approval the “Declaration of the United States for the Liberation of the 12 Political Prisoners of Atenco.” We were very pleased that the vote for the declaration was unanimous!

Through the resolution, those present declared:

“We, as members of the civil society of the United States, gathered in Detroit, Michigan, at the United States Social Forum 2010 declare our support for the liberation, for justice and the defense of the compañeros of San Salvador Atenco, Mexico that fight for their land. We stand together with those organizing actions as part of the Global Day of Action to Demand the Freedom of the 12 Political Prisoners of Atenco on June 29th, 2010.” (Please see full text below or at http://pma2010.org/node/199)

The unanimous vote for this declaration proves, once more, that our compas of Atenco are not alone and that millions around the world support their just demands. We hope that the ministers of the First Chamber of the Supreme Court in Mexico recognize this and immediately liberate the 12 political prisoners including Ignacio del Valle and Felipe Alvarez.

We Are All Atenco!

Freedom for the Political Prisoners!

From The Other New York

Movement for Justice in El Barrio

Full text of the approved resolution:

DECLARATION OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE LIBERATION OF THE 12 POLITICAL PRISONERS OF ATENCO

The Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land (Frente de Pueblos en
Defensa de la Tierra, FDPT) of San Salvador Atenco, Mexico fought in 2002 against the Mexican government to build a new airport. This government project would displace them from their land. After an intense process of organizing the opposition to the airport, the project was canceled. The FPDT became, due to their struggle in defense of the land, a national and international reference of the social movements in Mexico.

On May 3 and 4 of 2006 the residents of San Salvador Atenco were victims of repression by the Mexican government that prompted one of the most violent police operations in the country’s history, with a balance of two youths killed, more than 200 arbitrary arrests, severe human rights violations of the detainees involving police brutality, irregularities in the process and the torture and sexual abuse of thirty female detainees.

The case of repression in San Salvador Atenco has become emblematic since numerous and diverse organisms defending human rights documented and spread the above mentioned violations. Even the Mexican government agencies such as the Supreme Court have recognized that such violations took place. More than four years after these events, 12 people are still unjustly imprisoned. They
are political prisoners of the Mexican government.

Before the end of June the Supreme Court of Mexico will decide on the release of these 12 prisoners. This is their last judicial recourse. It is a decisive moment. To lose this legal battle they will have to purge sentences ranging from 31 to up to 112 years in prison.

We, as members of the civil society of the United States, gathered in Detroit, Michigan, at the United States Social Forum 2010 declare our support for the liberation, for justice and the defense of the companeros of San Salvador Atenco, Mexico that fight for their land. We stand together with those organizing actions as part of the Global Day of Action to Demand the Freedom of the 12 Political Prisoners of Atenco on June 29th, 2010.

We ask the following to the ministers of the First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico:

José de Jesús Gudiño Pelayo, Olga María del Carmen Sánchez Cordero de García Villegas, Juan N. Silva Meza, Arturo Zaldívar Lelo De Larrea, José Ramón Cossío, 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.

We, as members of the civil society of the United States, gathered in Detroit, Michigan, at the United States Social Forum 2010, know the serious violations of human rights that the Mexican government committed on May 3 and 4 of 2006 in San Salvador Atenco, Mexico. Following these events, 12 people are still in prison. We are concerned that the process that they followed was full of irregularities, the principle of presumption of innocence was not respected nor the guarantees of due process and that the evidence that established the sentences was gathered illegally. We believe that these irregularities did not involve the right to a fair trial. It is an alarming signal that the offense of kidnapping, which we believe is unconstitutional, may be used to criminalize social demands and that the system of enforcement and administration of justice was used to treat as criminals the members of the Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra (FDPT). We also know that there is legal precedent issued by the Poder Judicial de la Federación, which held that the acts for which Ignacio del Valle, Felipe Álvarez and Héctor Galindo were sentenced, do not constitute the crime of kidnapping; this background, even when the rules are not legally-binding for the Ministers, we believe that for security and legal consistency as well as the implications of the case cannot be ignored.

Therefore, we call on the First Chamber of the Supreme Court to release the 12 prisoners of Atenco.

We also demand that the orders of arrest and political persecution based on false charges against Amerrica del Valle be immediately dropped.

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