Oaxaca: Justice for Our Sister Marcella Sali Grace!

Justice for our sister Marcella Sali Grace!

Brother and sisters,

Our hearts are full of sadness and rage because our sister Sali was brutally raped and murdered 20 minutes from San Jose del Pacifico, and up to now the Oaxacan Attorney General’s Office, as is its custom, is not doing anything despite the fact that there exist witnesses who have information to identify those responsible.

Marcella Sali Grace was born in the United States, with a big heart in solidarity with just causes.  She had many friends because she was always inclined to help, using her artistic talents to paint a banner or a wall, or dancing Arabic dance to raise funds for the struggle, or putting on punk shows, or giving self-defense courses to women because she knew very well how the men accosted them.  This was one of her struggles, that women be free and respected.  Sali was so involved in the struggle that she was an international companion of brothers and sisters who felt harassed by the bad government of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz.

Unfortunately, on September 24, a woman’s body was found with the physical characteristics of Sali, in a deserted cabin twenty minutes from the village of San Jose del Pacifico.  When a village member went to feed some dogs in that area, he was struck by a fetid odor coming from this cabin and notified the municipal authorities of the village, who proceeded to remove the body, which was already in a state of decay.  After that, they did not give any more information to the people in the village.

Yesterday, compañera Julieta Cruz (who knew Sali was headed for San Jose del Pacifico) was informed that a young, foreign woman was found in the Miahuatlan amphitheatre.  She went to the amphitheatre and identified the body of Sali by her tattoos, as her face was unrecognizable. Julieta thinks it is because of burns, but it doesn’t explain why the rest of her body has fewer visible damages.  When we asked for the case number, we were denied, as well as prevented from seeing the results of the autopsy; they argued that because we weren’t relatives they couldn’t give us any information.

Due to her solidarity work with the popular struggle of the people of Oaxaca, and other struggles in the world and against racism on Mexico’s border with the U.S., on different occasions and to different people, Sali mentioned that recently in Oaxaca she had suffered political persecution and surveillance.  This makes us think that her cowardly murder is tied to the widespread repression of social movements and directed particularly at international observers.  Because of this, we don’t rule out the possibility that the masterminds of this murder are the very ones who ordered the repression of the people of Oaxaca who are struggling for justice and freedom.

In the face of these bloody events, and because of the brutal cruelty used against compañera Sali, we don’t leave aside the possibility that this may be a clear message directed at all the people of Oaxaca, as well as compañeros in solidarity from different parts of the world.  We say this based on the recent national and international news which says that “APPO members were the ones who killed U.S. journalist Bradley Roland Will” — as there is no justice in Oaxaca, we worry about the distortion of information that could interfere with procuring true justice for our compañera and the clear bureaucratic sluggishness with which the authorities involved in investigation are already treating this case.

In the face of these lamentable facts, WE DEMAND:

The immediate speeding up of the investigations.

The immediate clarification of the facts.

Punishment for the actual murderers and their masterminds.

Justice for our sister Marcella Sali Grace!

Enough of murders, violence and hate against women who fight for justice!

We ask you to sign on (at the email indicated) to this demand for justice and to become a part of the urgent activities to demand the clarification of these cowardly acts.

Information: (01 951) 5178190 CIPO

9:00 am Presence at the U.S. Consulate in Oaxaca
(Santo Domingo Plaza, Col. Centro, Oaxaca)

12:00 noon Rally at the State Attorney General’s Office:
To demand the case be brought to Oaxaca and to speed up the bureaucratic procedures for the administration of justice.  (Domicilio conocido, San Antonio de la Cal, Col. Experimental).


Encuentro de Mujeres Oaxaquenas “Compartiendo Voces de Esperanza”

Colectivo Mujer Nueva

Consejo Indigena Popular de Oaxaca Ricardo Flores Magon

Voces Oaxaquenas Construyendo Autonomia y Libertad

Colectivo Tod@s Somos Pres@s

Encuentro de Jovenes en el Movimiento Social Oaxaqueno


The original appeal for solidarity “¡Justicia para nuestra hermana Marcella Sali Grace!” was published in the Web site of Voces Oaxaqueñas Construyendo Autonomía y Libertad on 25 September 2008.  Translation by Scott Campbell.

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