[Ppnews] Mexican Political Prisoner Gloria Arenas Released
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Oct 30 11:25:46 EDT 2009
Mexican Political Prisoner Gloria Arenas Released
Written by John Gibler
Thursday, 29 October 2009
Photos by Comite Verdad, Justicia, y Libertad Jacobo y Gloria
Gloria Arenas Agís was released from prison
around 7:30PM on October 28, ten years after
Mexican federal agents abducted, tortured, and
thenafter several days of being held
incommunicadoarrested her and her husband Jacobo
Silva Nogales on charges ranging from terrorism and homicide to rebellion.
Arenas and Silva are the co-founders of the ERPI
(the Insurgent Peoples Revolutionary Army), a
guerrilla movement based in Mexicos impoverished
Guerrero State, with roots going back to the
Lucio Cabañas guerrilla up-rising of 1967-1974.
Mexico State prison officials released Arenas
without advanced notice or asking her to sign a single document.
"I did not know that I was going to be released,"
Arenas told a reporter from La Jornada upon
leaving the Mexico State prison in Chiconautla,
"all of a sudden they just told me, get your things and leave."
Minutes later she was standing outside the
prison, alone, with two plastic bags. Elizabeth
Silva, Jacobo Silvas sister, arrived first and
took Arenas to her house where she was met by scores of supporters.
Jacobo Silva remains in federal prison in the
state of Nayarit, where he was recently
transferred without notice from the nations
highest security prison, known as Altiplano.
Silva has conducted both his and Arenass legal
defense from within maximum-security prison for
years, submitting a series of successful appeals
that should have won their release as early as 2007.
In 1999, Silva and Arenas pleaded guilty to the
charge of rebellion, though they denied charges
of terrorism and homicide for an armed attack on
an army convoy in Guerrero in 1996. At that time
in Mexican law, the crime of rebellion carried a
five-year prison sentence. A judge gave Arenas
and Silva a sentence of over twenty years.
But the law states that anyone guilty of
rebellion shall not be charged with additional
crimes against the state that may have been
committed in the act of rebellion, such as the
deaths of soldiers or the destruction of army
vehicles. The judge had justified the long
sentence for the crime of homicide, not rebellion.
Arenas and Silva both deny having participated in
the armed attack of which they were accused,
though they fully acknowledge belonging to the
ERPI guerrilla movement. When the judge asked
Silva his profession in 1999, he responded: "Guerrillero."
Silvas main appeal led the judge to drop the
charge of homicide, upholding the charges of
rebellion and property damages. Both Silva and
Arenas should have been released immediately, but
were not. Years after their trial, the Mexican
legislature changed the sentence for rebellion
from five to seven years. Silva appealed again
and won. Again they should have been released,
but a judge from another jurisdiction said that
Arenas and Silva were subject to an on-going trial in another court.
Silva filed yet another appeal, though its
resolution had not yet been announced when Arenas
was suddenly told to gather her things and leave.
Arenas said that she would start working
immediately with existing social movements to
help free Jacobo Silva and all the political prisoners in Mexico.
"I was released due to the movement and social
struggles," Arenas told La Jornada. "And there
are still hundreds of compañeros who still need to be freed."
For more information about Gloria Arenas and the
history of the ERPI, please see the
chapter-length profile of her in
Unconquered (City Lights, 2009). For more
information about the ERPI today, please see the
Z Magazine article
Hidden Side of Mexicos Drug War."
A Poem by Gloria Arenas Agís in Spanish and English
Por Gloria Arenas Agís
La cárcel ladrona
roba mi libertad
pero la libertad es inmensa
sólo le puede arrancar trozos...
Las rejas atajan
niegan la caricia
la presencia añorada
pero no pueden evitar el amor.
Las rejas aíslan
rodean de silencio
y de ausencia
pero no pueden callar la voz.
Las rejas son frías
congelan el alma
humedecen los ojos
pero no pueden apagar el fuego.
No pueden impedir que yo
siga siendo yo
y que tú sigas siendo tú
By Gloria Arenas Agís
robs my liberty
but liberty is immense
prison can only rip off shreds of it
The bars interrupt
deny the touching
the longed-for presence
but they cannot obstruct love.
The bars isolate
surround with silence
and with absence
but they cannot still voice
The bars are cold
harden the soul
wet the eyes
but they cannot extinguish fire.
They cannot impede that I
continue to be myself
and that you are still you
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the PPnews