(Mexico City, Mexico) Letter from Anarchist Political Prisoner Luis Fernando Sotelo

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(Editor’s Note: This letter comes from anarchist political prisoner Luis Fernando Sotelo who is currently locked up in the Reclusorio Sur of Mexico City. The letter speaks out against the buying and selling of favors in the prison, and the intimidation/repression Sotelo has faced for both being a political prisoner and for speaking out against the corruption in the prison. The original in Spanish was published by Ké Huelga Radio and can be found here).

Monday, July 30, 2018

To the Compañeros y Compañeras
To the Collectives and Cooperatives in Solidarity
To the Different Autonomous and Rebellious Media
To Those Who Fight and Resist the Capitalist Monster

Greetings. Your gestures of support, solidarity and fraternity with my family and I are much appreciated. I hope to continue demonstrating steps forward of resistance and the construction of life.

For a long time, more than 3 years, I have lived in a restricted area of the prison, living in a cell by myself, surrounded by empty cells. But Wednesday night, they relocated people into this area with the following characteristics: 1. People who take controlled medication (anxiolytics, antidepressants, etc.) 2. People who have disabilities (no longer have an eye, leg, or who have a high-risk disease such as diabetes, etc.). I still live by myself in one cell, but now I have close neighbors…

On Wednesday afternoon they asked me to call the technical council and I was told that the relocation of vulnerable people would be given to shorten time in the holding cell. But within the context of the corruption and bribery of “prison authorities”, it is common for the cells to be sold. It is also well known that there are privileged inmates, who buy favors such as the use of extended visiting hours.

Recently the head guard has been changed, and since I am a political prisoner, I have been harassed for numerous reasons beneath orders of this person with the last name Labastida. On several occasions I opposed the sale of the cells, being the person that I am, and because of that, people who visit me have been subjected to retaliations and harassment. That is how they justify putting me into a holding cell with the most rigid control. And since my visitors and I haven’t given anything to the prison authorities, now they want to restrict my visiting hours until 3:00 pm, as before there was permission for them to visit me until 5:00 pm.

It is clear that the harassment comes from the presence of Commander Labastida. And I hold the deputy secretary of the penitentiary system responsible, Azael Ruiz, for the injuries and violence we, our relatives and compañer@s suffer. Since Tuesday, July 24th, those who have visited me have been intimidated and harassed as they are escorted to the exit. The director of the South Prison (reclusorio sur) has already promised to cease these practices being carried out by the guards, but he himself must be aware that the inequality originates from the sale of entitlements. Thus, he is also responsible for all these grievances. On Thursday, the 26th, I personally came to an agreement with the vulnerable people so that they would stop having to pay for the passing of the list and for the right to receive visitors (the first is 30 pesos and the second is 50 pesos). I also ripped up the guards’ list where they keep track of who and how much to charge for things. The custodian who was working that day, nicknamed “pencil” or “cil”, locked up all the non-privileged people, although they were going to pay for the list and visit. He invited them to attack me, saying that it was my fault for being unruly/rebellious. He also threatened me saying he would punish me for disturbing the order. Indeed, disturbing the order is to shake up the powerful directors of the corrupt system, just as this guard protects or tries to protect the director and commander.

As of now I’m good, there hasn’t been any clashes/conflicts with other inmates. I try to respect them. But with that guard and key holder who exercises subjection, I try to rage against capitalist brutality.

I’m feeling desperate because I’m still in jail, and I’m not with the people I want I want to be with at the time I want to be with them and that is hard. I do not disregard every collective effort to get me released or every word of encouragement or embrace from the companer@s. And I must recognize this desperation as a motivation or incentive to remain in the fight.

I hope to write as soon as the spirit and ideas move me.
A hug and all my combative fire!

Fernando.

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