Kenyan social activist Inés Hernández Montalván was arrested Sunday at the toll booth in Amozoc, Puebla, and taken to the Almoloya Social Reintegration Centre, Edomex. This is his second arrest in the last four months. His lawyer, Antonio Lara, president of the Zeferino Ladrillero AC Human Rights Center, reported that it is «a montage». «They intend to accuse Kenya that he got on a truck to rob passengers. It’s out of all notion of reality. Four months ago she was accused of violently stealing it in a private car. Now that he’s on a bus, » he said.
The first hearing of the case is scheduled to take place on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. in Almoloya prison. Lara claimed that the arrest occurred violently and that the arrested officers wore blue uniforms without a badge, although they identified themselves as members of the National Guard. He claimed the innocence of his defendant and considered that it is a strategy put in place by the Edomex authorities to punish her for her social activism.
The arrest warrant was requested by the State Prosecutor’s Office of Mexico and accepted by the Judge of Control of the Judicial District of Toluca with residence in Almoloya.
In prison, Hernandez was visited by officials of the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), Edomex State Commission on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Protection Mechanism for Defenders and Journalists, of which the activist is a party as she had to be removed from Guerrero because of the death threats she received.
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The arrest came when Hernandez and eight other colleagues were returning from participating in an activity in Puebla.
«Before I got to Amozoc’s shed there was a retainer, they had put it for us. They said they were going to check the Urban, but they didn’t show any orders. So the cops started struggling with the comrades and beating them. A companion was dragged and subjected to the patrol,» explains Flor Hernández, a member of the Zapata Vive collective and one of the activists who accompanied Kenya Hernandez at the time of his arrest.
Hernandez explains that it was several minutes before the cops said they were coming to arrest his partner. However, according to complaint, they showed no warrant for apprehension. «We believe she didn’t have it at the time, that she was arrested first and then they sought the warrant,» says attorney Antonio Lara.
According to the witness’ account, at first, the only two female policemen had doubts about entering to foresote activists. In fact, Hernandez recalls that they were insulted by the man who looked like command, an officer who was dressed as a civilian. Eventually, several men forging Hernandez by force were taken down. As she resisted entering the police van, they beat her in the ribs until they managed to get her into the van.
«They let the teammates go and told us to leave, that he wasn’t going with us,» Hernandez says.
Eventually, Kenya Hernandez was arrested and taken to the Almoloya prison. She’s been locked up there since Sunday night. At today’s hearing, the judge will have to decide whether the case against him continues and whether the defendant can pursue the case at large.
At the moment there is no more information about the indictment than the lawyer has. Animal Politics consulted with the Edomex FGE, which stated that «if the judiciary granted the apprehension order it is because it found that there are enough elements for it to be filed with a judge.»
The collectives that accompany Hernandez, on the other hand, believe it is another episode of criminalization against him. «I think the government of the state of Mexico and the main toll concessionaires see in Kenya a woman defender, activist, quite uncomfortable,» says Antonio Lara of Zeferino Ladrillero. In her view, it is the prominence of women in protests in which the passage in tolls is released that causes arrests. «They have demonized and stigmatized an exercise in protest,» he said.
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Kenya Hernandez is an officer of the Community Police of the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities in the State of Guerrero, participate in the Movement for the Freedom of Political Prisoners and at the International Meeting of Defenders and Victims of Serious Violations of Human Rights and member of the National Political Directorate of National Meeting for the Mexican People’s Unity and leader of the Libertarian Collective Zapata VivE.
Her previous arrest took place on June 6, when state and ministerial police arrested her along with three minors in the «Hortaliza-Valle de Bravo» booth in the Edomex. From there she was transferred to Chiconautla’s criminal, Ecatepec, State of Mexico, where she remained deprived of her liberty until Thursday, June 11, when Judge Susana Alvarez Marín of the Criminal Court of First Instance of Ecatepec, granted her to continue her criminal proceedings in freedom to determine her legal status. The charge was to have stolen 500 pesos in a particular vehicle.
Now they accuse him of stealing again, albeit in this case in a van. «It’s the same methodology, accusing you of robbery with violence. But releasing the toll is not a crime in this country,» Antonio Lara said.
His lawyer explained that the main objective is for the authorities to release Kenya Hernandez and, if there is a case against him, to release him. However, he did not brazenly file complaints against the agents who practiced detention, both for alleged irregularities during the arrest and for the violence used to detain the activist.
A rally is scheduled for Tuesday at 5 a.m. at 5 a.m. before the Secretary of the Governorate in which various groups will demand Kenya Hernandez’s freedom.
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