Guerrero: Liberty for Raúl Hernández, prisoner of conscience

Raúl Hernández free (@ Tlachinollan)

After having been held for 28 months in the prison of Ayutla de los Libres, Raúl Hernández Abundio, member of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM), was released on Friday, 27 August.  The judge overseeing his case, Alfredo Sánchez Sánchez, ordered Hernández’s immediate and unconditional release, basing his demand in arguments advanced by the defense.  Sánchez Sánchez said that Raúl Hernández “is neither guilty nor judicially responsible for the murder of Alejandro Feliciando García, which occurred in January 2008.”  Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, the defense lawyer from the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, proclaimed the development to be “a triumph for the social movement both in Guerro and Mexico generally.”

Hernández left prison at 2:45pm and was received by members of the OPIM as well as his juridical advisers and lawyers from Tlachinollan.  Via telephone conversation with media sources, he stressed that he “feels happy, now that they have given me my liberty,” and that “we will continue to work so that they give us infrastructure, schools, medical clinics; we will continue to struggle, and I will continue to work.”

In a 27 August communiqué, Amnesty International (AI), which has recognized Raúl Hernández as a prisoner of conscience, requests that Hernández’s “groundless” processing be thoroughly reviewed, and that he receive compensation for his “unjust imprisonment.”  AI claims that “the case against Raúl Hernández constitutes reprisal on the part of the authorities for his legitimate activities in promotion of indigenous rights by means of the OPIM as well as his exposure of the abuses committed by local caciques, soldiers, and authorities.”  In a communiqué released the same day, Tlachinollan reiterates that “the sentence proclaimed today shows the forcefulness of the evidence brought forth by Raúl and his defense and furthermore confirms the inconsistencies of the accusations that the national and international human-rights organizations have denounced with the strong convinction and belief that Raúl is innocent, and that his imprisonment followed from the constant denunciation of fundamental rights carried out objectively by his organization since 1998.”  Raúl Hernández was imprisoned since April 2008, charged for the crime of murdering an informant of the Mexican army, crime he did not commit.

For more information (in Spanish):

Following two years in prison, judge demands liberty for Raúl Hernández (La Jornada, 27 August)

Amnesty International demands compensation for Raúl Hernández, given his unjust imprisonment (El Sur de Acapulco, 28 August)

Prisoner of conscience Raúl Hernández is released; call for clarification of crime for which he was unjustly accused (El Sur de Acapulco, 28 August)

Indigenous defender from Guerrero accused of murder is released (La Jornada, 28 August)

Amnesty International communiqué(27 August)

Communiqué-Raúl Hernández, free (27 de agosto)

Weblog on the case of Raúl Hernández

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: PGJE requests 50 years for Raúl Hernández (11 August)

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