Independence Day: Political Prisoners Freed in Mexico


July 8, 2010 by tristan savage

As we work for the freedom of our comrades in prison here in Guatemala as well as in the United States, it´s worth pausing a moment to celebrate the liberation of the political prisoners of San Salvador Atenco, Mexico, who were released on June 30th. It´s not often we get to celebrate the real independence day (with the return of friends who have been locked up and tortured for years), and today I am grateful to have something in mind as my extended family send around chain emails about freedom and liberty for the 4th of July.  The struggle of these Mexican campesinos for autonomy began in 2002 when the Mexican government informed them that their community would be demolished in order to build a new airport.  When local families decided that the land was not for sale and resistance would be necessary to defend it, the People´s Front in Defense of the Land was born.  In Mexico, “Atenco” means “resistance”, and the Mexican government has tried to destroy the will of the people there every way it can think of: mass rapes of their women, life incarceration of organizers, violent attacks on the town by militarized police.  Today is a beautiful day for the struggling people of Atenco.

Original article from, x carolina:

––When did you find out you were getting out of prison, don Ignacio?

––We’ve always known we’d get out, from the very first moment.

––Was that due to your trust in the people to free you?

––It had more to do with our rage. A rage we’ve stored up inside us. Maybe at first we felt fear. Anguish, along with troubles, uncertainty, rage, impotence. All that transcends pain. It overcomes suffering. We were never sorry, never repentant. This kind of anger knows no human limits. It builds up inside you and, in a way, helps you avoid physical pain… The rage I’m talking about is recent and has also been with us during years, during centuries, of latent suffering… On the question of whether or not we were going to get out, we knew we would because the struggle was not going to let up. It may have fallen back a little bit out of fear, anxiety. But even though we were separated, with people on the run or in jail, we all thought the same way. We had one thing in mind to begin with. Not to give up. Because our pain was overcome by our rage, our unrest, and the confirmation of what we, as people from the bottom of the heap, have always known.”

So begins the interview with Ignacio del Valle by some of us from the free and independent media on Sunday, July 4, in San Salvador Atenco, during the celebration of the liberation of 12 prisoners that the Mexican State planned to torture to death in its extermination camps, with infamous sentences of 112 years, 67 years, 32 years. There’s music, lots of music. Dancing, lots of dancing. Food, lots of food. Pulque, lots of pulque. Smiles, lots of smiles. Hugs, lots of hugs. Thanks, lots of thanks to everybody who played a part in the victory ––to the women of Atenco who’ve offered us coffee, breakfast, lunch, and supper at every march, rally and event held during the last four years; to Atenco’s old guard, especially to con Francisco Alarcón, who speaks nahuatl and blasts off the old cannon at all the parties and rallies; to the Committee for Freedom and Justice for Atenco; to the social and human rights organizations; to international solidarity.

To read the rest of the article, click here

2 thoughts on “Independence Day: Political Prisoners Freed in Mexico

  1. Tristan says:

    Thanks to this video, now I also have another thing in mind when I think about Independence Day:

    Which maybe is not such a bad thing. If the Founding Men of the US empire had been spending more time working on their costuming and band practice, they wouldn´t have had so much free time for the enslaving Africans and exterminating indigenous Americans parts of the agenda.

  2. Joseph says:

    Tristan, I’m really disturbed. I’d pour bleach in my eyes after watching that, but I don’t think it would erase the memory, or get that tune out of my head (with the wrong words now, even).

    If only somehow I could get my dysfunctional OCD brain off of an overweight Ben Franklin impersonator jamming on a strat and back onto political prisoners being freed in Mexico, I think my day won’t be totally ruined!

    Okay, Okay, I’ll admit it was kind of fun to watch. But I really do need a different song to get stuck in my head now.

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