Nestora Salgado moved to medical unit in Mexico City prison

Nestora with Olinalá community police. (Photo courtesy Free Nestora Salgado.)
Nestora with Olinalá community police. (Photo courtesy Free Nestora Salgado.)

Nestora Salgado, the Renton woman who headed a community police force before she was arrested in Mexico, has been transferred out of a maximum security prison to a medical unit in Mexico City, according to her attorneys.

Salgado had been getting inadequate care for her deteriorating health, her supporters have said, and she started a hunger strike in May in protest of her conditions.

“Nestora will have much better access to medical treatment, her family, and her legal team,” said Professor Thomas Antkowiak, in a press release from Seattle University. Antkowiak has been working on the case as the director of the International Human Rights Clinic at the university’s law school.

In a press release last week he characterized the move as a win resulting from negotiations with the Mexican government.

This is a first step in the journey to secure her outright release,” he said.

According to her supporters, she has been moved from a maximum security unit in Nayarit, where her attorneys say she had been denied access to visitors and her legal team, to a medical unit in Tepepan women’s prison in Mexico City.

Salgado’s supporters protested Monday throughout the U.S. and in other countries. A delegation of supporters also headed to Mexico this week to get more information about the conditions of her arrest nearly two years ago.

They say that if Salgado, who is a U.S. citizen, was arrested without the Mexican government officially notifying the U.S. Embassy, her rights would have been violated and she would have to be released.

Salgado was arrested in 2013, after the community police force that she commanded in Olinala, Guerrero, detained a local a city official on suspicion of stealing property. The official complained, and Salgado was accused of kidnapping and organized crime by federal authorities and placed in maximum security prison.

The federal charges were dropped by a judge but state prosecutors in Guerrero, Mexico, have blocked her release, according to her attorneys.

Her family told The Seattle Globalist earlier this year that Salgado is innocent of the charges, that her arrest was politically motivated and they expect a long court battle.