Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights
Monday, May 18, 2015
U.S. Lawmakers Demand Freedom for Mexican Hunger Striker
By Frontera NorteSur
Dutch translation by Alice Holemans, NAIS
Two U.S. lawmakers from the state of Washington have joined a renewed international chorus demanding the release of an imprisoned community police commander in Mexico. Congressman Adam Smith and Senator Patty Murphy appealed on the Obama administration last week to intervene on behalf of Nestora Salgado, who began a hunger strike May 5 in protest of her continued imprisonment at a maximum security facility in Nayarit, Mexico.
A former resident of the state of Washington who holds dual citizenship, Salgado returned to her native town of Olinala, Guerrero, where she helped organize a community police force to counter an organized criminal group that was besieging the region. By many accounts, Salgado's community force was highly successful in rooting out crime and restoring peace.
Writing in the Mexican daily La Jornada, acclaimed writer Elena Poniatowska sketched out Salgado's story of an immigrant who had worked hard to raise her three daughters in the United States but made sure to return home twice a year with food and clothing for a big family. Stunned by the lawlessness she encountered, Salgado banded together with others, formed a branch of the CRAC community police and captivated a public that elected her regional commander.