Mexico: Atenco leaders come in from clandestinity

After 16 months in hiding, three leaders of the People’s Front in Defense of the Land (FPDT), Martha Pérez Pineda, David Pájaro Huertas and Ulises del Valle Ramírez, returned to the central Mexican village of San Salvador Atenco to lead the Sept. 16 “Grito de Independencia” celebration. The three re-emerged from clandestinity after a judge issued an amparo, a special order suspending the arrest warrants against them. The father of Ulises del Valle is FPDT director Ignacio del Valle Medina, who remains imprisoned at the top-security Altiplano facility. Several more FPDT leaders remain in hiding, including América del Valle, Jesús Adán Espinoza Rojas, Bernardino Cruz Cardona and Jorge Flores. Twenty-eight FPDT adherents are in prison following the May 2006 violence at Atenco. Hundreds of Atenco residents attended the Grito ceremony, rattling their machetes in the air as a symbol of resistance. (La Jornada, Sept. 16)

In another victory, the FPDT won control of the committee responsible for Atenco’s ejidos, or collective lands, in Sept. 10 elections. The FPDT list was led by Javier del Valle García, nephew of Ignacio del Valle. The defeated candidates from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) had sought to sell 3,000 hectares of Atenco’s ejidal lands. (La Jornada, Sept. 11)

See our last posts on the Mexico and Atenco.