MEXICO: Activists Acquitted, But Lawyer Still Missing

Featured Image: #DrSernasPresentaciónConVida solidarity action in Ecuador

By Mike Talavera

Last Thursday, 22 activists involved in Corriente del Pueblo Sol Rojo (Sol Rojo People’s Movement) in Oaxaca, Mexico, were acquitted of “terrorist” charges they had been facing since June, 2015. However, their lawyer, Dr. Ernesto Sernas García, is still missing after having been disappeared in May of this year.

The 22 militants had been detained in 2015 for “possession of explosives,” but Sol Rojo maintains that they were targeted because of their revolutionary politics. Over the course of three years of court proceedings, the activists were imprisoned for 14 months.

In a press release, Sol Rojo credited Dr. Sernas García for the victory. “[It was his] strategic litigation [which] has not only proven the innocence of our comrades, but the responsibility of the old and outdated state in the criminalization of fighters of the people.”

It was due to this successful defense that Sol Rojo suspects that the lawyer was abducted by “state elements,” and the Mexican government has to date been unable to provide any details of Sernas García’s whereabouts. Sol Rojo reiterated their commitment to the lawyer’s family in their statement to get to the bottom of his disappearance.

Comrades around the world have taken up Sol Rojo’s international call: #DrSernasPresentacionConVida. On November 2, the US Red Guards movement coordinated solidarity actions at Mexican Consulates in five different cities, calling for the lawyer to be presented alive.

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“We call on all progressive formations around the world to join in the International Campaign to Present Dr. Sernas Alive with actions against the reactionary Mexican state, and to popularize among the masses the cause of the forced disappearances of activists and democratic fighters,” Red Guards Austin said in a November 3 post.

Sol Rojo also commemorated the memory of their comrade Javier López Martínez, “Comandante Rojo,” one of the original activists detained, who unfortunately passed away in March of this year and did not live to see themselves acquitted. “We say that with this acquittal, comrade Commander Rojo has also been acquitted of any charge and must be recognized so for all the people,” the statement said.

In conclusion, Sol Rojo called for the release of political prisoners around the world, including the 23 Brazilian Activists who were arrested in 2014 for protesting the destructive preparations for the World Cup, Comrade Dallas in Austin, Texas, activist Ibrahim Georges Abdallah, and others.

The editorial board of Incendiary News extends its solidarity to Mexico and joins the international call: Present Dr. Sernas García alive!