Mexico: repression in Atenco, Puebla, Queretaro

Ricardo Lopez Espinosa, a community leader in the conflicted central Mexican village of San Salvador Atenco and a member of the local People’s Front in Defense of the Land (FPDT) was freed from jail in Molino de Flores Aug. 17 but still faces charges following his arrest two days earlier in connection with an attack on a state police patrol June 5. Lopez Espinosa denies involvement in the attack, and says his arrest by state police in Atenco was illegal. (La Jornada, Aug. 18 via Chiapas95)

Meanwhile, in the city of Puebla, the local “Espiral 7” community center was raided by federal Judicial Police, who searched and photographed the premises. The agents said they had an order to search for drugs, but none were found, and there were no arrests. The raid came on the eve of a visit to Puebla by Zapatista leader Delegate Zero, where he was hosted at Espiral 7 by local organizers of the “Other Campaign.” (Enlace Zapatista, Aug. 10)

Campesino communities in the Sierra Gorda of Queretaro state report that local leaders of the ruling National Action Party (PAN) have been forming paramilitary groups since a visit by Delegate Zero earlier this year. (Diario Monitor, Aug. 17)

See our last posts on Mexico, Atenco, Puebla, Queretaro and the Other Campaign.

  1. Further escalation in Atenco crisis…
    Judicial police arrested Porfirio Hugo Reyes Nuñez, member of the Popular Front in Defense of the Land (FPDT) of San Salvador Atenco, and confined him in the prison of Santiaguito.

    The Mexico state general attorney, Abel Villicaña Estrada, explained that the arrest warrant against Reyes Nuñez had been issued for criminal attacks against means of communication. He also specified that further arrest warrants had been issued in consequence of the confrontations between police and campesinos of San Salvador Atenco last May.

    Reyes Nuñez was intercepted in the night of Thursday in a school in Texcoco where he was hiding, by police assigned to the apprehension group of Toluca, and transferred immediately to the state prison under strong security.

    On Friday morning, about 150 campesinos from Atenco left for the prison of Santiaguito, where they carried out a protest march to demand the release of their compañero and more than 30 persons still imprisoned as a result of the evictions and confrontations on the highway Texcoco-Lecheria and the center of Atenco, on the 3rd and 4th of May.

    At the prison of Santiaguito, where 27 of the detainees are confined in addition to Reyes Nuñez, the demonstrators denied that there was any justification to keep their compañeros imprisoned, noting that a federal judge considered the formal arrest order issued by the second judge of Toluca, Jaime Maldonado Salazar, as “inadmissible”.

    After a march of five kilometers a rock concert was performed in the park next to the court buildings of Santiaguito, where shouts demanding the release of their compañeros were raised.

    In the morning, general attorney Villicaña Estrada accused the prisoner of being one of the agitators who instigated the blockade of the Lecheria-Texcoco highway on May 3rd, hours after the confrontation between the police and the flower vendors in Texcoco.

    The attorney general confirmed that the police officer Doroteo Blas Marcelo, who is accused of improper acts against the women arrested in Atenco on May 4, had already presented himself to the first criminal court of Tenango to face the charges.

    However, since the officer arrived with a temporary suspension of the arrest warrant, granted to him by the federal justice, he will not be committed to prison, but will be able to face the charges free on bail. (La Jornada, Aug. 25, translated by Chiapas95)

    On August 28, FPDT militants, led by their attorney Barbara Zamora, burst into the quarters of the National Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) and noisily demanded that the magistrates investigate “grave violations” of human rights by the security forces at San Salvador Atenco y Texcoco in the conflicts of May. They charged that some 200 were improperly arrested, including FPDT leader Ignacio del Valle. (APRO, Aug. 28 via Chiapas95)