• Renton activist may soon be released from jail in Mexico

    By: Maria Guerrero

    Updated:

    There's new hope tonight a Renton activist may soon be released from jail in Mexico.

    The woman's supporters say she was unjustly imprisoned back in 2013.

    “She's my mom I miss everything," said Grisel Rodriguez outside her home in Renton. 

    Rodriguez is cautiously optimistic she will see her mother again, soon.

    Nestora Salgado seen in YouTube video is a U.S. citizen and Renton resident who's been jailed in Mexico for 17 months. 

    The former government accused her of kidnapping people in her hometown in the state of Guerrero.

    Salgado denies the claims saying she was just fighting back against corrupt leaders and drug cartels as part of a policing group made up of indigenous people.
          
    Over the years, the activist has returned to her home state on a yearly basis to help her community. 

    In the past 48 hours, the new interim governor of Guerrero has asked the prosecutor to drop the charges against Salgado.

    Rogelio Ortega replaced the former governor of the state of Guerrero following the disappearance and apparent murder of 43 students.

    Seattle University Law professor Thomas Antkowiak represents Salgado here. 

    He denies she is a vigilante.

    "She's someone who has been very courageous and self-less in her dedication to her community in Guerrero, a very poor community that's suffered a lot of violence of the last years," he said.

    Salgado's imprisonment has led to many demonstrations across the country and right here in Seattle - demanding her release.

    "She's been persecuted, she was unfairly arrested and she's been in horrible detention conditions," said Antkowiak.

    Nestora Salgado's fate will ultimately be decided by Mexican officials. Antkowiak hopes to get a response from the state’s new prosecutor in the coming days.

    "Hopefully she'll be home soon," said Rodriguez.

    With the rise of violence in Mexico, community police forces like the one Salgado was a part of are not unusual and are legally allowed in some towns in Guerrero.


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