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Rep. Adam Smith sends letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging efforts to secure release of Nestora Salgado

Nestora Salgado speaking out against crime in Mexico in June 2013. - Courtesy image
Nestora Salgado speaking out against crime in Mexico in June 2013.
— image credit: Courtesy image

Congressman Adam Smith on Tuesday sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to continue efforts to release Nestora Salgado from prison in Mexico.

Salgado is a resident of Renton who was arrested for her leadership in a community police group in her home of Olinalá in the state of Guerrero, which has a long tradition of legally-recognized community self-defense groups. Federal courts in Mexico have acknowledged that Nestora was acting lawfully, and a federal judge issued her immediate release, yet Guerrero state courts refuse to release her.

Smith's letter was also signed by Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, as well as Representatives Suzan DelBene, Jim McDermott, Rick Larsen, Denny Heck, Derek Kilmer, and Juan Vargas.

“We urge you to employ the resources of the State Department to continue efforts to secure Ms. Salgado’s release,” states the letter. “The authorities in the State of Guerrero have not demonstrated a concern for her well-being, nor have they carried out the due process of law afforded to Ms. Salgado.”

The signers also expressed concern about conditions of Nestora’s imprisonment, as she suffers from neuropathy in her hands and feet, yet has been denied access to medication and adequate exercise, and is kept in isolation. These concerns are shared by representatives of the Mexican federal government.

“We remain troubled by the detainment conditions to which she is subjected,” the letter continues. "It is for these reasons that we seek your assistance to achieve a diplomatic conclusion to this long fought battle so that Ms. Salgado may return to the safety of her family in Washington State.”

This is the second letter Smith has sent to Secretary Kerry urging him to ensure that Salgado is afforded due process and bringing attention to her deplorable prison conditions. He also joined Salgado’s family and legal representation at Seattle University in a press conference to bring attention to her case and advocate for her release.

This letter comes one year after Salgado was imprisoned.

To read the full letter, click here.

-From a press release

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