After four years, five months, and two weeks in prison, on Monday, October 14, 2019, our compañero Miguel Peralta walked free from behind prison walls in San Juan Bautista Cuicatlán, Oaxaca. The notice came to Miguel at night, while he was located in the medical area of the prison—the result of a hunger strike which had already reached 26 days. Finally, his freedom had been achieved; he was not responsible for the two crimes fabricated by the cacique (local political boss) family of the MORENA congresswoman, Elisa Zepeda Lagunas, in the legal case number 02/2015.
Miguel’s freedom is the direct result of the organization and solidarity of countless people, collectives, media workers and organizations in Mexico and the world; of the work of Los Otros Abagadoz—a politically committed team of lawyers—who maintained the course, in spite of the irregularities and oversights of the Judicial Power of the State; of the accompaniment of a community who amidst divisive and opportunistic forces, never failed to demand Miguel’s freedom. Perhaps most importantly, Miguel’s freedom is the result of Miguel himself, who through the darkest of days, maintained his spirit of resistance and struggle, which was nurtured by acts of solidarity from around the world.
On the other hand, we want to make clear that Miguel’s freedom is not the result of justice finally being served by the judicial apparatus of the state. We know damn well that the state doesn’t serve justice, but rather serves to administer, manage, and maintain relations of dispossession, domination and exploitation. On the contrary, his freedom was thanks to the organization and mobilization that accompanied the work of his legal team. It was shown that in the legal case number 02/2015, there is no real evidence against him. Rather, the Oaxacan state, in complicity with the cacique Zepeda family of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón, kept him in prison for political reasons.
After this long and tiring process, we celebrate the freedom of our compañero, and we are ecstatic that he has returned to the streets. However, alongside the joy, we burn with rage for the years, months, days and minutes that were taken from our compañero; for the trauma inflicted upon Miguel, his family and the community of Eloxochitlán; for the tensions, divisions and mistrust that state repression and prison produce.
We know well that this isn’t the end. Seven other compañeros from the community of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón remain in prison beneath the same false charges that had been leveled against Miguel. Arrest warrants remain. Community members remain displaced. The state and cacique repression continues.
Following Miguel’s release, MORENA congresswoman, Elisa Zepeda Lagunas, released a series of public statements in different mass media outlets, repeating the same lies and constructing the same false histories that have served her economic and political power. False statements were even repeated by the governor of Oaxaca, Alejandro Murat Hinojosa, who in spite of the legal resolution, pointed out Miguel as a murderer, showing a willingness to intervene in the Judicial Power of the State.
Perhaps most worrisome is that the President of the Commission of Justice of the State Congress, Elisa Zepeda, and her father, Manuel Zepeda Cortés, have appealed the judicial decision ordering Miguel’s liberation, once again putting the freedom and integrity of our compañero at risk.
We call on all the compañerxs to be attentive to the actions of the congresswoman, Elisa Zepeda Lagunas, and the state government of Oaxaca in the following weeks and months in their attempts to continue the repression against Miguel and the community of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón. We call on you all to be attentive to the situation of the remaining seven political prisoners of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón. We hold responsible the Congresswoman, Elisa Zepeda Lagunas, for the well-being of Miguel, his lawyers and his family.
To conclude, we are forever grateful to the compas who accompanied and supported Miguel during his imprisonment, those who we encountered in this struggle in the last few years. We send you all a warm embrace and we celebrate together with you all this battle won. Miguel’s freedom is also yours.
We remain committed to this struggle, against police, prisons and courts, for the freedom of all those who remain in captivity.
Freedom for the political prisoners of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón, Oaxaca!
Freedom for all prisoners!
Death to carceral society!
Long live the autonomy and self-determination of the people!
Solidarity Group for the Freedom of Miguel Peralta