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Mexico, 1/22/2016

Estimado Sr. Presidente
Enrique Peña Nieto
President of Mexico

Estimada Señora Procuradora
Arely Gómez González
Attorney General of Mexico

Dear President and Attorney General:

We are writing in protest of the continued imprisonment of human rights defender and indigenous leader Nestora Salgado García. Her appeal for release was rejected by the First Criminal Chamber of the Superior Tribunal of Justice of Guerrero on January 6.

Nestora Salgado García has worked for many years for the rights of indigenous peoples to self-determination in Guerrero. Prior to her arrest in August 2013, she led the Regional Coordinating Body of Community Authorities: Community Police (CRAC-PC). This community police force was organized to combat increases in violent crime, political corruption and violations of the rights of indigenous people in the municipality of Olinalá. The Governor of Guerrero initially promised to support the community police force but then decided to eliminate it  in November 2014.

Salgado García was illegally and arbitrarily detained on August 21, 2013, on fabricated charges of aggravated kidnapping. She has been kept under detention for more than two years and has yet to be tried for the charges she faces. The decision to uphold the detention order against her follows an appeal demanding her immediate release, based on a March 2014 decision of the First Unitary Tribunal of the Twenty-First Circuit of Chilpancingo. That decision revoked the original detention order due to a lack of evidence against Salgado. In spite of that court decision, she was never released.  

During her time in detention at the maximum security federal prison in Nayarit, Nestora Salgado García reported that she was not provided access to proper medical treatment and that she had been subjected to ill-treatment.  On January 28, 2015, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued precautionary measures in favor of Salgado because of the risk to her life and personal integrity. In May 2015 she began a hunger strike because the government still had not complied with the IAHCR measures. At the end of May she was transferred to Tepepan detention center in Mexico City, where she is still being detained.  

We believe that Nestora Salgado García is being detained solely as a result of her legitimate and peaceful work in the defense of human rights. Therefore we strongly urge that you

  • immediately and unconditionally release Nestora Salgado García, and drop all charges against her;
  • guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Nestora Salgado García;
  • implement the measures requested by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights;
  • guarantee in all circumstances that human rights defenders are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.


Brian J. Stefan-Szittai     Christine Stonebraker-Martínez