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From: "Dana Aldea" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Subject: Universal,Atenco leaders get 67 years,May 06
Date: Sun, 6 May 2007 14:22:04 +0200

Atenco leaders get 67 years

Three campesino leaders from San Salvador Atenco were each sentenced to 67
years and six months in prison for kidnapping, local media reported Saturday

El Universal
Domingo 06 de mayo de 2007

Three campesino leaders from San Salvador Atenco were each sentenced to 67
years and six months in prison for kidnapping, local media reported

The sentence comes almost exactly a year after a violent clash between
residents of Atenco and state and federal police troops.

Ignacio del Valle, Felipe A'lvarez and He'ctor Galindo, leaders of The United
People's Front to Defend the Land (FPDT), were informed of the decision on
Friday night. They now have five days to appeal the verdict.

Alfredo Blas Herna'ndez, magistrate of the criminal court in Toluca, handed
down the sentence for the incidents that took place in February and April
2006, when members of the group held State of Mexico officials captive.

Judge Blas Herna'ndez emphasized that the sentences are not related to the
violent clashes that took place on May 3-4 in Texcoco and Atenco.

Although the leaders were arrested in the aftermath of the disturbances, the
judge made clear that his decision was based solely upon "the kidnapping and
illegal detention of the state officials.

"The sentence was calculated as a cumulative sentence," said Jose' Castillo
Ambriz, president of the Superior Court of the State of Mexico. "Each of the
crimes carries a recommended minimum sentence of 33 years, eight months,
which Judge Blas Herna'ndez rolled together to reach the 67-year, six-month

Castillo said the maximum sentence for kidnapping and illegal detention is
60 years, but Judge Blas Herna'ndez determined that the suspects were not "a
dangerous threat to society."

In 2002, the campesinos from San Salvador Atenco organized the FPDT in an
effort to oppose the construction of an airport in the municipality on the
outskirts of the capital.

The aggressive tactics - which also included instances of kidnapping and
illegal detention - forced the federal government to cancel the airport

In the May 2006 clashes, one civilian died and dozens were wounded on both

On Saturday, Zapatista leader Subcomandante Marcos led a caravan of six
buses to the Santiaguito Prison in the State of Mexico to stage a protest
demanding the release of the "political prisoners."

Later in the afternoon, hundreds of members of the FPDT marched through
downtown Mexico City before demonstrating in the Zo'calo.

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