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A message from a Mexican prison by Nestora Salgado

Nestora Salgado - Courtesy image
Nestora Salgado
— image credit: Courtesy image

The following is a statement from Nestora Salgado, the Renton woman presently being illegally held in a Mexican prison. The Freedom for Nestora Committee released this statement on Aug. 21, 2014, the first anniversary of her imprisonment:

I am told that those who have organized a Committee for my freedom asked for a few words on this the first anniversary of my imprisonment.

I have been thinking about what kind of message to send. However, I am afraid that what I have to say won't be what the good people that are supporting me will want to hear. Perhaps they think I am a heroine and that strong and poignant words will come out of my mouth. This is not going to happen. You know, politics never interested me. If I took on the job of becoming a member of the community police it was as a form of community service for my community and town. And I make no apologies for doing this.

Prison is painful and weighs very heavy on me. The conditions of my imprisonment are not like what you see in the movies where inmates have contact with each other. As you know, I live in isolation similar to a rabid dog. I cannot speak or communicate with anyone. This is very painful. It was especially painful on my 43rd birthday which I had to spend without the company of my grandchildren, my daughters, Jose Luis and all the members of my family. I really suffered in the absence of music, food, dancing and especially without the company of all of you.

I must confess that I do feel depressed and dejected for several days in any given week. How is it possible that so many people who support me think that I am an example of strength for women? I think that my supporters need to focus less on me and more on the other community police prisoners and those of Michoacan. These men have been unjustly imprisoned. They have wives, daughters and sons who are suffering and need help and comfort more than I. As far as I know, the radio, TV and printed media do not say much about them. Journalists ought to pay more attention to them and less to me. I hope the wives of Gonzalo Molina, Arturo Campos and Marco Suastegui will be interviewed soon.

I live with the fact that I am often depressed and wish I could wake up from this nightmare in my house in Renton, Washington or on my small farm in Olinala. I don't have the fortitude to be a political prisoner. I admit that I am in a fragile state but this does not mean that I am weak or broken. I am not today and I will never be. I am very encouraged that people in other countries take in interest in injustice in Mexico. I am told that there are supporters as far away as Australia. What keeps me alive is that I know that my imprisonment is unjust. What keeps me strong is the knowledge that the government holding me hostage is the same government that makes deals with organized crime; and that I am imprisoned by unscrupulous government officials who don't want the Mexican people to freely organize and defend their rights.

I am not broken. I will hold on as long as necessary. I am thankful to all the women and men who support me in Mexico and in other countries. I want to salute all those women and men who fight every day in their towns or wherever they may be for a democratic, just and free Mexico, purged of organized crime and corrupt officials.

Aug. 16, 2014
High security prison, Tepic, Nayarit

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