PBI-Mexico accompanies hearing of criminalized Indigenous Nahua water protector Alejandro Torres Chocolatl

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PBI-Mexico has tweeted:

Today, July 25, from @PBI_Mexico we are accompanying the linkage hearing against defender Alejandro Torres Chocolatl, a member of @fpdtampt [the Peoples’ Front in Defence of Land and Water] who has been criminalized for his work in defense of land and water.

We welcome the opinion of the judge, who ordered the non-binding process and the withdrawal of the arrest warrant immediately. It is a victory for the peoples fighting to defend their rights, land and territory.

Today, La Jornada Oriente reports:

Yesterday afternoon the defender of the territory in the area of Cholula and the volcanoes, Alejandro Torres Chocolatl was released from the three false accusations made against him since 2020 by the State Water and Sanitation Commission of Puebla (Ceaspue), for his opposition to a collector of the Industrial Park of Huejotzingo that would pollute the Metlapanapa River.

Video by La Jornada Oriente.

Miriam Huerta Lechuga, head of the Criminal Oral Hearing and Execution Court of the Central-West Judicial Region, determined that the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) could not prove the accusations of attacks to communication routes, security in means of transportation and obstruction of public works made by Ceaspue to Torres Chocolatl.

Throughout the proceedings, it became evident that the supposed investigation by the FGE was based only on statements made by four employees of the accusing agency and that not a single piece of evidence was provided to support its accusations against Torres Chocolatl, a chicane that was widely used during the six-year term headed by the late former PAN governor, Rafael Moreno Valle Rosas, to fabricate crimes and persecute his adversaries, opponents, dissidents and critics, as was the case, for example, of Enedina Rosas Vélez, the courageous peasant farmer who led the opposition to the Morelos Gas Pipeline.

Video by La Jornada Oriente.

Finally, it also became evident that none of the declarants who accused Alejandro Torres Chocolatl or his partner Miguel López Vega could sustain their claim that they were the ones who allegedly threw “Molotov cocktails” at a Ceaspue truck, which is why this accusation also fell apart.

On his way out of the House of Justice of San Andrés Cholula, Torres Chocolatl said that not only was his innocence clear, but that his victory in court is also a triumph for the women and men who defend the territory.

The Guardians of the Metlapanapa River, the Peoples’ Front in Defense of Land and Water Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala (FPDTA-MPT), Peace Brigades International, representatives of the Finnish Embassy, members of the Tiyat Tlali Council – who defend the territory in the Sierra Norte – and emissaries of the Otomí people were there.

Further reading:

PBI-Mexico accompanied Indigenous Nahua water protector Alejandro Torres Chocolatl arbitrarily detained by state agents (July 1, 2023)

PBI-Mexico visits Radio Zacatepec, a community radio station under threat for reporting on dangers to the Metlapanapa River (January 3, 2022)

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