GRC Communiqué demanding the freedom of Victor Herrera Govea



Last October 2, 2009, in commemoration of the 41st anniversary of the massacre and disappearance of hundreds of students in the Plaza of Three Cultures at Tlatelolco, we came out once again to demand justice and the live presentation of all those comrades who fought in those days. As part of the ongoing libertarian, anti-fascist mobilizations held in recent months in this city, we decided to march as an anarchist, libertarian block. It’s well known that now, more than ever, the libertarian movement is being criminalized and targeted by the governments imposed in our territory; even so, we joined together to participate in the protest.

We must recognize that the required measures weren’t taken to avoid the infiltration in our contingent of people who have nothing to do with our movement, including plainclothes police and shock groups made up of hired goons.

It is clear to us that the discrimination and violations of our constitutional rights that we experienced in the Tlatelolco subway station, including searches, intimidation and extreme harassment by special teams of Mexico City police, was ordered by the Mayor Marcelo Ebrard. Many of our comrades, punks and skins, were subjected to two or three extreme inspections in the very same station, and we think it’s important to denounce these abuses.  Despite all this, most of us were able to get to the Plaza of Three Cultures to proceed with our protest.

When the march got to Garibaldi Plaza after the traditional route was changed, we encountered groups of provocateurs who incited people in our contingent and other young people in the march to loot the OXXO convenience store. As we all know, this is one of the transnational companies that the servile authorities in our country always protect, yet even though all the surrounding businesses had the customary protection, there was no security around this particular OXXO; thus, we assume that this situation was part of a setup by the city government and groups of hired goons known as “porros”.

Through information and disinformation provided by the local news media, student groups were able to identify several of the protagonists in the looting as “porros”. Even so, after being detained by city authorities, they were immediately released.

Our contingent was “encapsulated” and incriminated for the previously mentioned looting and for [graffiti] damage done to the Post Office located at the corner of Eje Central and Tacuba Street in the historic downtown. Just a few yards further on, teams of riot police blocked our freedom of movement and violated our right to protest by surrounding us and trying to make a mass arrest of the entire contingent. Even so, many of the comrades who were victims of police brutality avoided arrest.

This was the case with our comrade Victor Herrera Govea, who while being temporarily detained during the encapsulation, was brutally beaten by the regular Mexico City police force as well as by city riot police. He managed to get free and to arrive at the Zócalo with clear signs of the beating he’d received on his face and his entire body; this attracted the attention of human rights groups and other people who documented the attack on him.

When our collective got back together, we left the Zócalo as a group to avoid the witch hunt going on there by Mexico City judicial police agents, not only against young libertarians, but against the general public, as well.

Between 7:15 and 7:40 p.m., most of the streets around the Zócalo were blocked by Mexico City police, so we decided to leave by Madero to get to the Bellas Artes subway station. That’s where more than eight judicial police agents arrested Víctor Herrera, badly beating him and putting out a cigarette on his face.  When he saw this, one of our comrades, Ángel Fonseca, tried to help him and was also arrested. Both Ángel and Victor were forced into a gray Stratus with no plates, as witnessed by several of our comrades who were able to avoid arrest in this most recent attack against us.

Even though Víctor Herrera and Angel Fonseca were taken into custody at the aforementioned time, they were not presented at the public prosecutor’s office until ten o’clock that night. Víctor Herrera had to be hospitalized because of the heavy beatings he received from city riot police and judicial police. His family told us that he didn’t receive adequate attention and that he was taken back to the prosecutor’s office that same night at 2 a.m.

Our comrade Ángel Fonseca was taken before the Juvenile Investigations Agency and received no medical attention whatsoever.

Both comrades were charged with gang activity to commit aggravated robbery and property damage. Ángel was released, but Victor was taken to the prison in the South of the city known as the Reclusorio Sur after a series of irregularities outlined as follows:

Intimidation occurred while our comrade Víctor Herrera was being held at Agency 50 of the Public Prosecutor’s Office. Due to the serious injustices against him, we called for a mobilization outside the institution and were able to assemble 40 friends and family members. When the authorities refused to give us any information about Victor and other comrades held there, we pressured them to allow our comrade to make his statement and to provide us with information justifying his arrest. As usual, the official response was repression: the authorities sent two truckloads of riot police and around five police trucks to the Agency, as well as judicial police equipped with video and photographic cameras.

Our comrade’s family and human rights defenders were outraged at this measure and went to ask the operations chief why this intimidation was happening. He said they were there to transfer the comrades to the prison. At this time (around 11:15), our comrade had not even made his statement, but the authorities had revealed that the transfer order had already been signed to send him to prison.

The agents at the MP were waiting for the declarations before transferring the comrades to the Reclusorio Sur, which they did at around 12:45 a.m. It’s clear that even without the necessary elements and the required in-depth investigation, Victor Herrera was considered guilty of acts that he didn’t commit and for which there is no evidence whatsoever.

We have videos and photographs from the news media that dealt with the story that show the faces of those who participated in the acts for which our comrade is charged; nevertheless, this evidence, in which the faces of our comrades do not appear, has not been taken into consideration by the authorities.

At this time, Víctor Herrera is awaiting a decision that must be made regarding his legal situation within 72 hours according to the Constitution. This time period ends Wednesday at 2 p.m. We are calling for a mobilization to demand his immediate release unless conclusive evidence against him is produced; this is an impossibility because such evidence does not exist.

The mobilization is Wednesday, October 7, at 10 a.m. in front of the Mexico City Government offices across from the Zócalo. We hope you will attend and spread the word.







6 / October / 2009