MEXICO CITY – A Mexican activist wanted in connection with disturbances four years ago in a town near this capital went to the Venezuelan Embassy to request political asylum.
America del Valle said she took the step in hope of persuading Mexico’s judiciary to quash the charges brought against her and a dozen other people for the events of May 2006 in San Salvador Atenco.
“I have made this decision, which was not at all easy, but I do it with firmness and hope that the Supreme Court justices grant the release of my comrades, since my liberation depends on that as well,” she told reporters in a conference call.
On May 3, 2006, authorities’ violent eviction of flower vendors from a market in the town of Texcoco led to a clash between police and machete-wielding residents of nearby San Salvador Atenco.
Police arrived in force the following day to retake the town. Two protesters were killed and 50 others wounded in the ensuing confrontation, while 26 women detained at the scene reported suffering sexual abuse at the hands of the cops.
Only 16 of the 200 people taken into custody were ever charged.
Three people charged with orchestrating the riot – including Ignacio del Valle, America’s father – were convicted and sentenced to lengthy prison terms on kidnapping charges, but no police officers have been prosecuted, despite last year’s non-binding high court finding of serious abuses in the Atenco operation.
America del Valle’s arrival at the Venezuelan Embassy came as the Supreme Court begins consideration of a habeas corpus motion seeking the release of her father and the other Atenco defendants.
“America is in good health and with the firm desire that the injustice be resolved and they free all those jailed for the Atenco case,” her brother, Cesar del Valle, said Wednesday. EFE