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Protesters Call For Release Of Renton Woman Held In Mexico

Ted S. Warren
AP Photo
FILE - Grisel Rodriguez, left, and Jose Avila, right, pose for a photo, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, in their apartment in Renton, Wash. They are holding a photo of Avila with his wife, Nestora Salgado, who has been detained since she was arrested.

The 104th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution drew hundreds of protestors outside the Mexican consulate in Seattle.

The demonstration called for answers in the disappearance of 43 Mexican students in September. Protestors also want the release of a Renton woman who has ties to the students. 

“We want them alive,” the protestors chanted, referring to the students who disappeared from a rural college in the state of Guerrero. Similar protests were scheduled throughout Mexico in place of the traditional independence celebrations. 

Protestor and college student Carlos Hernandez has been jailed twice in the U.S. for crossing the border without documentation. He was seeking to flee corruption in his home country, Honduras.  He now has his green card.

“To think that anyone in Mexico can get took by the police and disappear…I mean the police is supposed to protect everyone. It’s not there to oppress you,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez says that’s also what happened to Nestora Salgado, a U.S. citizen who had been living in Renton. Salgado’s supporters at the rally say she is being held in a Mexican jail as political prisoner.

Salgado was arrested last year for organizing indigenous people in Guerrero, her home state and the same place the students disappeared from. Her daughter Grisel Rodriguez says those same students blocked roads in protest the day after her mother was arrested.

“The students and my mom were fighting on the same side, and for the same reason: to be able to live safely, to be able to speak without the fear of being killed.”

A federal judge in Mexico ordered Salgado’s release last spring. Her daughter wonders why, now that the governor of Guerrero has resigned, her mother is still behind bars.