Filed under: Announcement, Mexico, Political Prisoners, Solidarity
An update and call for solidarity with anarchist political prisoner Jorge “Yorch” Esquivel, detained since December on trumped-up charges.
Jorge “Yorch” Esquivel is a beloved compañero of the punk and anarchist community, and a long-time participant of the Okupa Che Guevara. He was arrested on December 8, 2022, by plainclothes police as he was leaving the campus of the Ciudad Universitaria (of the UNAM university) in Mexico City as part of a campaign of criminalization against the Okupa.
On February 24, 2016, an operation was carried out in which plainclothes policemen arbitrarily detained him, “planting” drugs on him in order to fabricate crimes against him. The whole case was plagued with irregularities. He was transferred to Oaxaca and then to a maximum security prison in Hermosillo. The authorities used this strategy under the supposition that the distance would hinder his legal defense, but even so, thanks to the solidarity and legal work, he was reclassified from the crime of drug dealing to simple possession of narcotics, so he was released on bail in March 2016.
Jorge decided not to continue with the farce case against him and thus did not continue the process. In the meantime, the frame-up continued to be put together. Constant threats and journalistic reports did not cease; the press even took him for dead and accused him of participating in organized crime.
On December 9, 2022 he was arrested in exactly the same place – a few steps outside Ciudad Universitaria, where the Okupa is located and again by plainclothes police – with the grounds for this illegal detention being that the Attorney General’s Office appealed the decision to reclassify the crime.
The compañero’s health is fragile due to an extended hospitalization a couple years back and more recent bouts with different illnesses.
Jorge is currently incarcerated in the Reclusorio Oriente prison in Mexico City, in the observation and classification area. In this area he has been unable to receive visits other than from his lawyers.
The legal process is in the evidence stage. The Attorney General’s evidence includes the testimony of the police officers who detained Jorge; one of them is deceased and the other has not been located. Due to this, the hearing scheduled for February 17, 2023, did not take place and a date was set for April 14.
On behalf of the legal team that has been working in solidarity to defend Jorge, two expert reports will be presented by an external expert (called a perito in Mexico), one in dactyloscopy to prove that the packages of narcotics were never touched by Jorge, and another one in criminalistics. These expert reports will be presented once the hearing is held on April 14.
This expert’s fees amount to 70,000 Mexican pesos (approximately 3804 USD/3567 euros/3164 pounds), which must be paid in two installments. In order for this person to start her work, she needs to receive the first half, and the second half should be paid at the time of the next court date.
Thanks to the solidarity of individuals, collectives and networks, it has been possible to cover Jorge’s expenses inside the prison, which have been very high due to the blatant corruption that reigns in Mexican prisons run by mafia groups that charge prisoners for everything from use of the bathroom to water, electricity, even the cell they are held in. The legal expenses up until now have been mostly covered as well, however, we call upon the solidarity of our friends and compañeros around the world to help us to raise the amount of the expert’s fees as soon as possible.
If you are interested in supporting us, please contact us at [email protected] for more information.