Friday, February 11, 2011

Join Amigos in call to release 3 year old from immigration detention

Join Amigos in call to release 3 year old from immigration detention

We urge you to join us in the bi-national effort to release the 3 year old, Heidi Frayre and her uncle Juan Manuel Frayre from immigration detention.  Addresses follow.

Honorable Secretary Napolitano:

Amigos de las Mujeres de Juarez, a U.S. based organization located in the El Paso, TX, Las Cruces, NM and Juarez, Chihuahua tri-state area, join Chihuahua-based groups working to end gender violence, in denouncing the U.S. immigration detention of three year old, Heidi Frayre and her uncle, Juan Manuel Frayre, who fled Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua for their lives and are seeking political asylum in the U.S.  Heidi Frayre is currently held at the St. Michael's Home for Children operated by Catholic Charities in Houston, which holds juvenile immigrants in their custody on behalf of the U.S. Office of Refugee and Resettlement.  Juan Manuel is currently detained at the Otero Detention Center in Chaparral, New Mexico.  Heidi is the daughter of a feminicide victim in Ciudad Juarez, Rubí Frayre, one of countless women and girls murdered in this City since 1993.
Adding to this tragedy is the brutal murder of Rubi's mother and Heidi's grandmother, Marisela Escobedo killed on December 16, 2010.  Marisela was staging a 24/7 protest in front of the Chihuahua Governor's palace asking for the apprehension of Rubi's murderer, Sergio Rafael, Rubi's husband, who was earlier released from State custody.  Marisela was shot in the head at point blank range and the tragedy was documented on security cameras from the Governor's palace. Below is a detailed account of these two tragic deaths.

We respectfully request, Secretary Napolitano, that Heidi Frayre and Juan Manuel Frayre be released to relatives in El Paso, Texas, as they await information on their political asylum cases. They are not a flight risk to return to Mexico and they have family in El Paso, TX, where Juan Manuel's brother, who also sought political asylum has been released to family members in El Paso.  This family has suffered enough tragedies.

As an organization that has worked with and supported Mexican NGOs since 2001, we also ask the U.S. government to revise its immigration policy that excludes most Mexicans from receiving refugee status. We fear for the lives of the many activist women who have worked long and hard to obtain justice for the families of women like Rubí and Marisela. Several other activist women were recently killed in Ciudad Juarez like Susana Baez and Josefina Reyes who denounced Mexican military abuses and the feminicides.

Due to the failure and disregard of both the Mexican state and federal governments, Marisela was murdered for asking for justice for her daughter Rubí.

"I am not going to move from here until they detain the killer of my daughter" was the declaration of Marisela before putting in place her small campsite in front of the Cross of Nails NOT ONE MORE in Chihuahua City. She was prepared to spend Christmas and New Years in this emblematic place, where, the past November 25th, she participated in
a demonstration with the mothers of Justicia Para Nuestras Hijas (Justice for our Daughters) to hang on the cross, the names of the more than 300 women who have been killed in the state of Chihuahua in 2010 alone.

Rubí was 16 year old when she was killed by Sergio Rafael in August, 2008. After her corpse was found in a lot together with the bones of pigs, the mother of Rubí, Marisela, a retired nurse, dedicated here life to seeking justice for her daughter, by becoming a human rights defender.

The same day that the Secretary of State, Francisco Blake Mora, asked citizens to "reject fear to fight the criminals", Marisela was killed in front of the doors of the Palace of Government in Chihuahua City, while she was engaged in her peaceful and indefinite protest to demand that the authorities detain the killer of her daughter Rubí.

Marisela not only rejected fear, she walked for days from the office of the prosecutor to the judicial center in Juarez to demand punishment for the killer of her daughter. She always walked with her 3 year old granddaughter Heidi in a carriage and a placard with the picture of her daughter Rubí. An oral trial freed the killer, shaming the system of justice.

Marisela, a tireless fighter, together with the lawyers of the Centro de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres (Center for Human Rights of Women) succeeded in obtaining an appeal tribunal (made up of 3 magistrates) who would overturn the decision of the judges.  She succeeded in obtaining a sentence against Sergio Rafael, the confessed murderer, condemning him finally to 50 years in prison.

"I am tired of doing their work, now let them do theirs" said Marisela. However, while the authorities never managed to find Sergio Rafael, Marisela, with her own resources, found him in Zacatecas and advised the Attorney General of Chihuahua, who alleged, that because of bureaucratic  procedures, they could not detain him.

The Attorney General of the state of Chihuahua informed the mother that, together with the Attorney General of Mexico, "they would keep seeking the killer of her daughter over the whole country." They never found him.

For two years, she traveled the country. She returned to Zacatecas, and went to Mexico City where she asked for an audience with President Calderon and with Attorney General Arturo Chávez Chávez. Both refused to see her. She spoke with authorities in the federal prosecutor's office who promised to search for the killer of her daughter. They never found him.

Days before being murdered, she turned up at an event where she met the Governor of Chihuahua, Cesar Duarte and she took out a placard that said "justice, a privilege of
governments". The request angered the governor, as was noted by various local journalists. The governor scolded her and treated her with contempt. Later, she succeeded n getting an interview with the state attorney of Chihuahua who promised her that he would review her case.

Lucha Castro, coordinator of the Center for the Human Rights of Women declared, "at this time, we cannot ignore any line of investigation including a crime by the state because Marisela was not going to stop until they detained the killer of her daughter."
Marisela died at the doors of the Palace of Government (is this right? The Governor's Palace) and in front of the cross of nails that was placed by the group, Mujeres de Negro (Women in Black) and the mothers of the young women killed in the state of Chihuahua. Marisela was killed for asking for justice.


Amigos de las Mujeres de Juarez

Secretary Janet Napolitano
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528

President Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20500

Senator Jeff Bingaman
703 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

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