There’s a tremendous amount of discontent in our country that’s not an invention of the “Maquiavelian” minds that look for the defects in everything or criticize whatever they think is not right.
This discontent is the product of concrete deeds that affect the daily lives of millions of our countrymen and countrywomen.
The honest worker who’s responsible to his or her family and to the society is faced with price hikes from one day to the next that are justified by the normal speculation in a market dominated by huge national and foreign monopolies. Prices go up for a kilo of tortillas or for eggs, chicken, cooking oil, beef, pork and milk, as well as for gasoline, diesel fuel, butane gas. Prices go up for things that are so indispensable in order to live a health, dignified, honorable life, that day by day the question is how to face tomorrow without seeming to be beggars.
But the popular economy and that of the middle class are not only hit by price hikes and low salaries; laws like the new social security act are also being implemented that condemn millions of rightful claimants to death.
The new neo-liberal byword on health is: no money, no decent health care, or in other words, if you can’t pay, die.
These tangible blows generate discontent so deep that not even the mass media charged with putting on a circus for the people can manipulate information so as to make people forget their bitter, daily hardships. Enslavement to a low-paid job, a journey to the U.S. as a wetback, or informal employment—what other alternative is there for millions of Mexican people that aspire to a life full of dignity?
But if the people, desperate and angry about the economic and social situation, mobilize, they run into a high bureaucratic wall that offers them no solution except crumbs from the table or subjugation by force.
So then, another aspect of our reality becomes evident: there are no material resources for pulling the workers out of poverty, there are no resources for education, health, the development of the countryside or higher salaries—only resources for buying more clubs, more shields, more tear-gas grenades, more arms, more bullets.
Age-old problems can’t be resolved in a few days, say our rulers, as they make ten or twenty-year projections for dealing with them. But, yes, it is possible to organize repression in just a few days, just a few hours. Yes, it is possible to apply the law against social activists––who are treated like delinquents––with all due speed, condemning them to more than sixty years in prison, while the investigation of those who are responsible for deaths, torture, rape, and disappearances gets lost in the morass of justice that is blind to the misery of a people repressed.
Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that repression is reinforced as a means of social control, the people and its organizations resist it and try to keep on struggling. They don’t bow down their heads, but instead, displaying a historic persistence to construct a just, democratic, equitable Mexico, look for alternatives to meet the urgent need to live with dignity.
What can we, the political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, do in the midst of this grueling reality?
What can we do locked up in the thick of impunity?
We can refuse to surrender, refuse to renounce what we believe, refuse to repent for having done the best we can to bring about social well-being, the well-being of the people of which we are an indissoluble part.
We can share the dignity of being one more expression of the unbreakable will of our people to free ourselves from continuous, murderous exploitation and oppression.
Day after day, we can feel proud because we’ve chosen not to sell our pen or our thoughts to the highest bidder, because our arms will never be used for beating up demonstrators or for killing dissidents, because we don’t plan repressive strategies, because we don’t call on people to renounce a just, necessary struggle.
We can demand our freedom and that of each and every political prisoner in our country.
How we’d love to see all the organizations united around a common program of struggle! How we’d love for the freedom of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience and the live presentation of detained / disappeared people to be common demands! Nevertheless, we’re conscious that this unity that is so necessary for the social movement will be the product of a complex process whose duration will depend on the ability of all those who participate in the struggle for a better world.
Meanwhile, we’ll keep on, unrepentant, sorting out the conditions of imprisonment that are often difficult, trusting that our people will create for itself men who are capable of leading it, in the same way that it created Hidalgo, Morelos, Juárez, Zapata, Villa; men who must be more than charismatic leaders, who must be apt at creating collectivities capable of pushing forward the historic longings and aspirations that have yet to be satisfied.
This coming August 13, Héctor and I will complete six years of illegal, unjust imprisonment, of being State hostages, of being prisoners of conscience.
We want to thank each and every organization and person in Mexico and other countries that have shown their solidarity with us, and also with Alejandro and Pablo Alvarado when they were prisoners and with the members of the committees fighting for our freedom.
To these organizations and individuals we want to say that we will resist for as long as we are in prison. There’s nothing in us that makes us want to stop. To resist is to be alive, deal with adversity and be patient.
Please receive our fraternal, combative greetings.
All our love to our parents.
Six years of illegal, unjust imprisonment!
Five years, nine months since the murder of Digna Ochoa!
Prisoners today, forever free!
CEFERESO No. 1 “Altiplano”. Almoloya de Juárez, State of Mexico.