Clinic achieves Salgado's transfer from max-security prison

May 20, 2015

In the midst of a 16-day hunger strike, Nestora Salgado-García, the Renton woman who has been illegally imprisoned in Mexico since August of 2013, will be moved from a remote, maximum security prison to a detention facility in Mexico City where she'll be able to receive crucial medical care.

Tom Antkowiak"Nestora will have much better access to medical treatment, her family, and her legal team," said Professor Thomas Antkowiak, director of the International Human Rights Clinic, which has led international litigation on Salgado's behalf. "This is a first step in the journey to secure her outright release."

The transfer resulted from the Clinic's negotiations on Monday with Mexican government authorities.  Antkowiak, co-counsel Alejandra Gonza, and the rest of Salgado's legal team have been negotiating for weeks after the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights intervened in the case.

In January, the Inter-American Commission called on Mexico to act immediately to protect the "life and physical integrity" of Salgado. The Washington, D.C.-based Commission issued precautionary measures in response to Salgado's alarming detention conditions and deteriorating health.

Salgado was arrested in August 2013 for her courageous community work in the small indigenous village of Olinalá. Guerrero law and the Mexican Constitution guarantee the rights of indigenous communities to form their own justice and security institutions. Salgado was a leader of a community-policing group that legally forms part of state law enforcement, and had the express approval of Guerrero's governor.

Authorities abruptly changed position, however, when the group arrested a local official for committing a crime. Salgado was immediately seized by military forces and flown nearly 1,000 kilometers away to the maximum security prison of El Rincon, in Nayarit. She was denied visits from her chosen attorney for nearly a year.

Refused bail, Salgado has lived in solitary confinement 23-24 hours a day. She has also been denied necessary medical treatment and clean water. According to the Inter-American Commission, this "serious, urgent, and irreparable situation" requires immediate action from Mexican authorities.