Sunday January 5 at 10 pm, two groups of people dressed in black attacked with stones and Molotov cocktails the building of the Ministry of Communications and Transport of Mexico City and a Nissan car dealership located nearby, causing damage to the building and several cars.
In the same night, Carlos Lopez, a fellow Mexican, as well as Amélie Pelletier and Fallon Rouiller-Poisson, two friends from Canada, were arrested in Mexico City with charges in connection with the attacks.
Since january 5th, the three comrades have been held in detention and have limited contact with anyone, including their lawyer, and Amelie and Fallon have also been visited by the Canadian consulate. Though they were initially accused of property destruction, the three may now face additional charges of sabotage, organized crime, and terrorism. If these charges are brought forward, bail will not be possible and deportation for the two from Canada is highly unlikely. All three would then be held until trial without the possibility of release. The Mexican media now reports that our comrades will be held for an additional 40 days while the government continues its investigation.
These charges come at a time of intense crackdown by the Mexican state on anarchists; from attacks on demonstrations to torture of arrested comrades.
At this moment we need to quickly raise funds to support our comrades. Not only for the legal costs and the potentially large bail amounts, but also to help cover their living expenses while in prison. In Mexico, prisoners have to pay for their own room, food, bed and medical expenses while being detained. Go to clac-montreal.net/en/mx to donate via paypal or for information on how to give via cheque or cash.
In comparison, the anarchist Mario Gonzalez was sentenced on January 10th to 5 years and 9 months in prison for the misdemeanor of “disturbing public peace”. In his judgment, the judge said that the acts of the student did not cause any damage to anything or anyone.
At the time of writing this article, the two Canadian are still detained awaiting trial. On 9 January, a federal judge granted the special measure of “arraigo” that allows Mexican authorities to detain the arrested for another 40 days before charges are brought against them. According to the mandate given by the judge, this detention is intended to give time to the authorities to investigate the crimes of sabotage and organized crime in order to formulate the corresponding charges against them.
The “arraigo” (extended custody) was formalized by the reform of the Criminal Justice (2008), it is granted by a federal judge at the request of a prosecutor when federal charges are brought against the suspects. It gives police the power to detain a person without any charges for a period of 40 days that may be extended for another 40 days.
United Nations groups such as the Committee of Human Rights and the Special Reporter on judicial independence, stated that because of the obligations that Mexico is committed, “arraigo” violates “fundamentals principles such as legality, individual freedom and freedom to travel, the presumption of innocence, the right to honor and reputation, access to justice and the physical and mental integrity of persons”. The United Nation’s Committee against torture describes this measure as permitting “arbitrary detention” and promoting torture (2012 report).
Given our recent financial commitments (see here, here, here and here) our resources are rather limited at the moment, but given the urgency of the situation we have given a hundred dollars in support of jailed comrades in Mexico and we hope to be able to do the same next month. The donation was sent to the CLAC (Convergence of Anti-Capitalist Struggles), which manages the fund to assist the inmates. We also profit of our web visibility to encourage our comrades to go to CLAC’s website to make a donation too. Solidarity is a weapon stronger than borders!
Some links for more information:
CLAC’s solidarity fund for the imprisoned comrades:
Letter from Carlos López, anarchist comrade detained in Mexico
Letter from Fallon, anarchist comrade detained in Mexico
More infos about the “Arraigo” :
Document against Arraigo :
¡NI CULPABLES NI INOCENTES, SOLO CONSECUENTES! SOLIDARIDAD TOTAL CON NUESTROS COMPAGNEROS PRESOS!