JALISCO, México — Rocío Moreno, a student working on her Master’s Degree in History at the University of Guadaljara and a representative of the Community Assembly of Mezcala of Asunción, Poncitlán, Jalisco, was arrested on Tuesday, September 6th, at 6pm at the front door of the Milenio Jalisco newspaper offices.
Rocío Moreno went to the newspaper after someone pretending to be a member of the editor’s office arranged to meet her there.
At the same time, the person that made the appointment with Rocío Moreno called the police from the Jalisco Attorney General’s Office and told them she would be there. The police arrested her, arguing that an arrest warrant had been issued for her by the judge of Ocotlán, Jalisco, as a result of arson charges filed by Crescenciano Santana, who reported that a solar panel had been dismantled last April 10th. It’s important to note that the panel was located in a community area, so by sovereign decision the community members decided to remove it. The local police of Poncitlán witnessed the events and removed the structure.
In addition to the big ploy that lead to her arrest, there are many irregularities involved; for example, Rocío could not have been in Mezcala on the date of the reported events because she was in Guadalajara.
It’s no coincidence that her arrest occurred less than a month before the agricultural authorities are to issue the final sentence regarding the rights of the Mezcala community to their land. It’s clear to us that her arrest was staged in order to provoke people, distract attention from the land issue, and delay the appliance of justice in favor of the community.
We, the undersigned are convinced that this is part of a set-up and an act of direct repression against a respected leader in Mezcala, who has stood up in the defense of the land and has fought against the invasion of the land by businessman Guillermo Moreno Ibarra for the last 10 years. The whole Mezcala community knows that the alleged community member Crescenciano Santana is in fact the front man for Guillermo Moreno.
Arrest warrants have also been issued against 13 other community members based on information provided by the same front man.
The clumsy arrest of Rocío Moreno makes us think that the judge who issued the arrest warrant and the Justice Department agents who arrested her are acting as representatives of the invader Guillermo Moreno.
We urge the president of the Judiciary, Celso Rodríguez González, the State Attorney Tomás Coronado Olmos and his boss, the President Emilio González Márquez, to prove that they are not acting in favor of an invader of community land that has been reported for the last 10 years, but that on the contrary, they favor legality and justice.
Rocío Moreno must be immediately freed and cleared of all charges, and justice must be done to the community of Mezcala, restoring their land that has been invaded for a decade.
We exhort all people, associations, civilian groups, human rights networks, and justice defenders to insist on freedom for Rocío Moreno, who is now a political prisoner for defending the rights of her community.
Asamblea de comuneros de Mezcala
Grupo Libertario Solidaridad
Colectivo Cuadernos de la Resistencia
Comité Salvabosque en defensa del Nixticuil
Colectivo Rebelión Cotidiana
Seminario Movimientos Sociales, Sujetos y Prácticas
If you agree with this statement, please send e-mails or make phone calls to:
Celso Rodríguez González
Presidente del Poder Judicial de Jalisco
Teléfonos: 1200 1400 1200 1500
Tomás Coronado Olmos
Procurador de Justicia del estado de Jalisco
Teléfono: 3837 6000
Emilio González Márquez
Gobernador del estado de Jalisco
Teléfono: 52 (33) 3030 – 4800
This post is also available in: Spanish