PBI-Mexico accompanies Nahua water defender Miguel López Vega at hearing for defending the Metlapanapa River

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On March 29, PBI-Mexico tweeted:

“In a few minutes begins the court hearing against #MiguelLopez, defender of the @fpdtampt [People’s Front in Defence of Land and Water] accused of crimes of which he was acquitted 3 years ago. Pbi will be present at the hearing. #PbiObserve #PbiAccompanies #Let’sProtectTheirVoices”

Info Quórum also tweeted:

“Observers of national and international #HumanRights from @PBI_Mexico, @SerapazMexico [Services and Advice for Peace] and @RedTDT [All Rights for All Network] are at the House of Justice in #Cholula to witness the hearing of #MiguelLópezVega, #Metlapanapa river defender and Radio Zacatepec broadcaster. @ZvezdaNinel”

On March 26, Angulo 7 reported:

Since 2019, Ciudad Textil and the Water and Sanitation Commission of Puebla (Ceaspue), have sought to build a rainwater collector for the discharges of this industrial corridor, which would flow into the Metlapanapa River, despite the fact that it discards heavy metals and that they are “highly polluting”.

In October of that year, there was a confrontation between the residents and the State Police, National Guard and the Army for the protest they maintained.

On January 24, 2020, López Vega was arrested for obstruction of public works by not allowing its construction, damage to communication routes and means of transport, for allegedly detonating a Molotov bomb against a vehicle.

The complaint was made by Ceaspue, however, the activist’s lawyers managed to verify that there was no evidence and the Puebla justice acquitted him of two of the crimes, leaving only the attack on the communication channels and so the periodic signature was imposed as a precautionary measure.

However, he said that last week he was notified that the criminal case against him was reactivated and was summoned to the House of Justice of Cholula for a hearing for Wednesday, March 29, in order to reopen the process and with which he fears that he will be arrested again.

Following the March 29 court appearance, Red TDT tweeted:

“#Update @CeasPueOfficial grants “pardon” to Miguel López Vega for 2 of 3 crimes he is accused of. The Public Prosecutor’s Office asked for 10 days to resolve the case in a hearing. “We are not asking for a pardon”, says @fpdtampt and thanks for the solidarity.”

El Ciudadano also reports:

The State Commission of Water and Sanitation (CEAS) of Puebla offered the “pardon” to the activist Miguel López Vega, to stop the criminal action for two of the three crimes attributed to him. The condition is that the water advocate makes a “repair of the damage”.”

And Des Informemonos reported:

“After a hearing that began around 13:30 p.m. in Puebla, the Public Ministry requested ten working days from this March 30 to completely withdraw the charges, for which López Vega was arrested in January 2020 as part of the criminalization of the fight against the works of an industrial waste collector that would pollute the Metlapanapa River.”

That article also quotes López Vega saying:

“It is not a question of this dependency (the House of Justice), which is a monument to corruption, supporting us as native peoples. This is a response to the organization of the peoples, to the support of the communiqués, the signatures, the audios. On that we must continue walking and supporting the other comrades who are in prison, the others persecuted. Continue fighting for what corresponds to us.”

El Sol de Puebla adds:

“Before the scenario, authorities of the Public Ministry asked the judge for a period of ten working days to analyze the request of CEAS Puebla and give the corresponding assessment.

After leaving the hearing, which lasted more than two hours, Juan Carlos Flores Solís, Miguel López Vega’s lawyer, mentioned that the granting of the pardon is subject to the determination of the ministerial authorities.

However, he mentioned that López Vega is still on probation and must continue signing in the times marked in his process.

He also said that they will wait for the times to define the actions to follow.

We remain attentive to this case.

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