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Letter from Hector and Antonio Cerezo Contreras

Atlacholoaya, Morelos

Domingo 6 de julio de 2008, por Comité Cerezo México

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To the social organizations, human rights defense groups, student collectives, and all people in solidarity.

We send you our fraternal, combative greetings and a solidarity hug from our trench in the struggle: the Atlacholoaya prison in the state of Morelos. As you all know, six years and nine months have gone by since we were arrested without a warrant, tortured, and, four days later, taken to the maximum security federal prison then known as “La Palma,” itself a living monument to the violation of the human rights of prisoners and the people who visit them.

These have been almost seven years of enduring unjust, illegal imprisonment, but also of personal and collective struggle to regain our freedom and the freedom of ALL the political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in the country. A struggle against human rights violations in general based on a critical view of the world aimed at transforming relationships of exploitation, oppression, and discrimination suffered by the Mexican society into relationships of solidarity, equality, and freedom.

Almost seven years have gone by, during which time we have been transferred to federal centers where we’ve been subjected to different forms of physical and psychological torture designed to destroy our dignity, our rebelliousness, our principles and ideals, as well as the solidarity, affection, and support of all those who have courageously and honorably taken on our struggle for freedom.

If we have been able to resist prison with dignity, this is due to the solidarity and example of the men and women who have forged the history of our country through their praxis. We’ve done nothing that hasn’t been done by our people. All those people who resisted the conquest and Spanish colonialism are alive in our memory, alongside those who struggled for independence against national and foreign reactionary forces; the Magonista, Zapatista, Villista, and Jaramillista revolutionaries; the thousands of youth who gave the best of themselves, even their very lives, in the 60s and 70s to see a more human Mexico; all those who forged the independent workers’ movement; those who founded the popular neighborhoods; the schoolteachers and others who have created consciousness; the striking students; the alternative world movement; the Zapatistas; the people of Atenco; and the noble, warrior people of Oaxaca.

How could we fail to remember and emulate the courageous, dignified attitude of so many political prisoners in the terrible San Juan de Ulúa prison, in the Belén prison, in Islas Marías, in Lecumberri, in Military Camp no. 1 and in hundreds of clandestine torture and death centers that the federal government still runs! How could we forget the men and women who have shown us that prison is another trench in the struggle, a classroom, an art studio, a little street on which to raise our fist as a sign of protest, a space for analysis and study, a source of written words and shouts (with exclamation points), a space for resisting, for doing what we should!

They are the ones who have shown us not to lose hope and not to renounce a smile, a love of life and struggle. They have shown us to be true to our principles, to create collectivity wherever there are more than two of us, to pick ourselves up every time loneliness knocks us down, to keep on building and building every day even in an abusive, individualistic, selfish environment that’s indifferent to human suffering.

They are the ones who have shown us that despite the pain and troubles of reclusion, like being abandoned by a loved one, a family member, or one’s social organization, like economic needs or the personal frustration of seeing a life project cut short, it is our duty, our commitment, not to give up in the face of adversity and never to forget why we are resisting and for whom.

The struggle is a long-distance course of perseverance and resistance our whole life long, of total dedication without expecting any recognition or rewards, only the satisfaction of having complied with what the historic moment demands of us.

The existence of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience is not only a tragedy for the prisoners themselves and their family and friends; politically, it’s a way of breaking up, punishing, and terrorizing the social movements that oppose a particular State policy.

The criminalization of the social struggle through judicial reforms that legalize human rights violations like torture, sexual humiliation, murder, and forced disappearances are part of the low-intensity warfare against the people and its organizations. Paralyzing, silencing, disorganizing, and destroying critical consciousness is one of the goals of the rightwing in power in order to follow through with neoliberal policies in the country. For this reason, the struggle to defend the oil and to make this industry serve the people’s needs is of vital importance for all the leftist forces in the country. It’s a struggle just as vital and important as the struggle for an end to repression and the freedom of ALL social activists and the live presentation of disappeared people.

Finally, we cordially invite you to attend the stage presentation of our testimonies, to visit the Cerezo Committee’s website, to read the Revuelta magazine, and to watch the documentary Seguir siendo (Keep on being). We thank you for your time, your solidarity, and your struggle, and we extend our thanks to all of you who have made the presentation of our testimonies possible and granted us the space in which to do so.

Fraternally yours: Hector and Antonio Cerezo Contreras

Prisoners today: forever free!

The political prisoners and prisoners of conscience belong to us all!
For the presentation of people disappeared in the past and today!

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