U.S. resident Nestora Salgado, coordinator of the Olinalá, Guerrero Community Police, left the Tepepan prison in Mexico City Friday March 18th after 31 months in jail.
Court number 67, based in Mexico City, signed her release on Thursday March 17th after judges from Tlapa, Huamuxtitlán and Ayutla, Guerrero, determined there was no evidence to convict her by alleged crimes of armed robbery, kidnapping and murder (after almost three years in prison).
Leonel Rivero, Salgado’s lawyer in Mexico explained that the judges followed the same criteria as other criminal causes for which he was acquitted in late February.
The legal team formed by Leonel Rivero and Thomas Antkowiak proved the innocence of Salgado in the case of the murder, demonstrating she was not in Huamuxtitlán where it occurred and always proceeded according to the law governing the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities (CRAC).
Thomas Antkowiak, a Seattle attorney representing the community police leader jailed in Mexico said courts in Mexico cleared Nestora Salgado of remaining charges Thursday night and ordered her freed.
Salgado is a resident of the Seattle suburb of Renton who returned to her native Mexico and led a vigilante-style — but legal — community police force, which mounted patrols to protect residents from corruption and organized crime.
Salgado was arrested in August 2013 after people detained by her group said they had been kidnapped. A federal judge cleared her of those charges, but a related state case has kept her imprisoned.
Antkowiak directs the International Human Rights Clinic at Seattle University Law School, which has pursued her case before a United Nations panel. Last month, that panel ruled Mexico’s arrest and its continuing detention of Salgado are illegal.
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