Mexico: Political Prisoner Salvador Pinal Melendez to be Released from Prison

By Nélida Tello

Mexican political prisoner Salvador Pinal Melendez, 61, imprisoned since September 20, 2021, for opposing the Interoceanic Corridor Development (CIIT, Corredor Interoceánico del Istmo de Tehuantepec) project in the south of Mexico, will soon be released from prison and placed on house arrest. His release is tied to the mass support he received from revolutionaries in Mexico and internationally, who raised the call for his freedom.

The revolutionary and democratic organization Current of the People – Red Sun (CP-Sol Rojo, Corriente del Pueblo Sol Rojo) published the news on December 17. Pinal Melendez’s defense demonstrated that there had been multiple inconsistencies and unlawful decisions made by the presiding judge, Jorge Giraldo Robles Hernandez, resulting in the judicial circuit of Valles Centrales taking up the case to review it.

The judge of the Valles Centrales circuit reviewed the precautionary measures taken against Pinal Melendez and repealed the original ruling.

The mercenary Tacho Canasta attacked Pinal Melendez, a peasant from Oaxaca, in his own home for protesting the CIIT. Canasta was hired by the large landlords in southern Mexico and the developers of the CIIT.

CP-Rojo has raised the demand for the State to arrest Canasta for attacking peasants and community members who defend their land from the development of the CIIT. The masses of Mexico reject the CIIT because it serves imperialist interests. Imperialist countries are backing the CIIT because the transportation project will facilitate the exploitation of cheap peasant labor and extraction of natural resources. The project would also displace many peasants from their lands.

Pinal Melendez has health issues and was denied proper medical attention while in prison. His release will allow him to receive the medical care he needs. According to CP-Sol Rojo, his release also demonstrates a presumption by the State that he is innocent.

In November, revolutionaries in Mexico and internationally raised the campaign for the freedom of Pinal Melendez and also demanded that Dr. Ernesto Sernas Garcia, a progressive lawyer who was forcibly disappeared by the Mexican State in 2018, be presented alive.

While this is a victory for CP-Sol Rojo and Salvador Pinal Melendez, the organization and revolutionaries are still fighting for his acquittal. CP-Rojo has declared that they will continue to fight for justice and the defense of the rights of the people.

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