The Struggle for the Liberation of Members of the Community Police Continues in Guerrero

The Committee for the liberation of political prisoners in the state of Guerrero reported Wednesday morning that it is continuing the fight to free members of the community police who were unjustly imprisoned, including Gonzalo Molina Gonzalez and Samuel Ramírez Gálvez, detained in 2013.

At a press conference, members of the committee reported that the two members of the community police are currently in prison in Chilpancingo, Guerrero.

They recalled that Samuel Ramírez, an indigenous Na Savi, was arrested on October 6th, 2013 while on duty with the community police. He was 17 when he was charged with the possession of firearms and sentenced to four years and six months in prison.

Gonzalo Molina was arrested a month later, on November 6th, 2013, accused of kidnapping and other crimes. “Although he has proven his innocence and the crimes he is accused of are false, he remains in prison,” they stated.

In addition to Samuel and Gonzalo, the Committee noted that there are three other members of the Regional Coordination of Community Authorities-Community Police (CRAC-PC), who are in prison, and more than 70 active arrest warrants against their members.

 During the press conference, Gonzalo Molina, Samuel Ramírez and Arturo Campos (who are in Ayutla de los Libres prison in Guerrero) called by telephone from their respective prisons to talk about their imprisonment.

“We will prove with evidence that we are innocent. I know I have not committed any crime,” said Arturo Campos, who is charged with kidnapping.

There was also a conversation with Beatriz Gálvez, Samuel’s mother, who explained that for those who are in prison their situation represents a struggle for their community. “The government feels that having them inside is affecting them; the people who are affected are the relatives. They (the prisoners) have the idea that they are fighting for their community, they were put there to serve their community,” she said.

During the press conference they also reported on the case of Ángel García, who was arrested along with Arturo Campos and other comrades accused of kidnapping. The Committee explained that they could be released on bail because the prosecution changed the charges from kidnapping to illegal deprivation of liberty. However, he and his other comrades are still being prosecuted for this crime and have to report monthly in Tlapa de Comonfort, which has been financially damaging. “It creates a lot of expenses and they continue to consider us criminals, even though we have proved with evidence that we are not,” said Ángel García.

Attorney José Enrique González – who took over the defense of Samuel Ramirez and Gonzalo Molina – said that the members of the community police who are in prison “are hostages of the state: they have us locked up because they want to paralyze the communities so that the community police will not continue to function.” Political prisoners, he said, are a way to suppress social struggle.

In addition, he called for the support of civil society for the release of the prisoners, since in many cases legal means is not enough.

The Committee emphasized that CRAC-PC is an institution of indigenous peoples whose model of justice is effective and successful, and that it emerged as a possibility for peoples and communities to take justice into their own hands. In addition, they said that it is backed by Law 701 of Recognition, rights and culture of indigenous peoples and communities in the state of Guerrero; By Article 2 of the Mexican Constitution and Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Translated from the original here: http://cencos.com.mx/2017/08/continua-la-lucha-por-la-liberacion-de-policias-comunitarios-en-guerrero/