Self-defense: María Guadalupe Pereda Moreno

Originally published in Spanish on alLímite

By Mexican Activist Julián Contreras Álvarez1

Translated into English with author permission

On October 14 of this year a young Law student, of 19 years old was arrested, Maria Guadalupe Pereda Moreno alleged responsible of a murder crime. According to media reports, threatened by her former partner, attorney Carlos Balderas of 37 years old, with a gun during an argument outside Pereda Moreno’s home who disarmed and shot him to death three times; information provided by the authorities themselves realize a history of domestic violence by Carlos Balderas, in life, against the today detained.

The case is socially relevant because of the judiciary and political implications, whatever the sense of judgment that drives the prosecution in the next hours against the detained: either intentional homicide, negligent homicide (excess of legitimate self-defense), or by homicide in legitimate self-defense (justification that causes that eliminates unlawfulness)

If the prosecutor establishes a charge of intentional homicide, involve the following:

1. The denial of the version of the facts provided by the press, in the sense of a probable legitimate defense. Denial from which it follows the prosecutor proceedings and that the accused could certainly appeal if these do not correspond to the facts.

2. The denial of a legit self-defense, in the facts given by the press, as a justification of the offense; which at first instance also can be counteracted, where, from a gender perspective, it would be key.

In my view, in the first case, even if the proceedings were correct, the society would give greater credit to the press version than to the prosecutors; in the second case, a population ravaged by violence in its various manifestations, I would consider more legitimate the answer of a young abused previously and repeatedly: three shots against an abuser it cannot be read as excess in an area where extreme violence against women keep them up in a constant fear and even terror (last week the press reported brutal murders against 5 women in less than 36 hours in this town).

In both cases, the authority faces considerable social disavowal (that heavily depends on the press coverage on Pereda Moreno’s case) with possible and desirable protest actions. The rejection will be based on distrust more than justified by the cumulative discredit of the justice institutions, locals and nationals, that in a quarter of century and systematic attacks against the women of this border, have been characterized by their omissions, collusion and frank protection of criminals, especially of those with high profile closer to the established power.

Our student partner, in both cases, faces a trial whose penalty would go from 8 to 20 years in prison, depending on the mitigating and aggravating that consider the Judge in his decision or judgment.

Moreover, if the prosecutor establishes an indictment for manslaughter or the judge discarded it, after an argument against the accusation of homicide opting for the wrongful, it would imply that if faced an excess in the answer because of the aggression could remain within the framework of legitimate defense, but without diluting the unlawfulness and therefore a penalty, but attenuated response.

Under the Criminal Code of the State of Chihuahua, the penalty for murder with an excess of legitimate defense is a quarter of that willful, thing that could make her face a possible penalty of 2 to 5 years in prison, and if the sentence is less than 3 years she could obtain her freedom with a suspended sentence. If this were the case, the political pressure in general of relatives, friends, partners, feminists and activists could play an important role for her freedom.

Finally, if it’s established that the murder was in legitimate defense, Pereda Moreno would be released without penalty. But we must say that legally this is the most difficult given the lack of gender perspective at the time of solving these kind of cases and notwithstanding the political struggle of women has made the law obliges according to their consideration. Recurrent criteria ‘rationality of the means employed’ merely confined to an immediate context of the fact, without mediate considerations such as gender, class or race, put our colleague in an adverse scenario. It is important to consider that her legal defense turn on consideration of the facts as legitimate defense to ensure the implementation of a gender perspective. For this, it would be essential, resume not just legal but also politically, the contributions of Amicus Curiae2 presented by the Human Rights Commission of the Federal District and Liberation Committee of Yakiri Rubio, an important precedent in this type of cases.

The more likely is it that, first, the authority denies the cause as justification alleging that the three shootings were disproportionate or, in the worst of the scenarios, that Pereda Moreno wasn’t anymore, in a situation of defense. These considerations of a purely formal character, deny, as already mentioned, the mediate context where it can be explained the “legally disproportionate” answer and out of a restricted defense framework.

The jurisprudence regarding a legitimate defense, had been a cold interpretation, promptly, which strictly application to the women raises moral and political injustice, because in a mediate level , not considered repeatedly the application of law, the real constant existence against women of our city, and in general in the country, put them in a constant defensive position. The demand for a broader interpretation considering gender, which already requires the law, poses a methodological problem to overcome the risk of falling into a relativism that will end in other injustices that is designed to prevent them. Against this legal problem, the duty of give solution is mainly of jurists, as is ensuring a fair trial, with a gender perspective, for Pereda Moreno.

The primary duty of us is demand justice and not allows the strict application of the law without the gender considerations that requires the authority.

But beyond what the law may say and interpretation of it, María Guadalupe Pereda must be defended, firstly from moral and political criteria, considering that this act was not only fair and decent, but politically relevant for women empowerment and their right to self-defense, in a highly aggressive context that is tolerated, fomented and built by an openly criminal State.

We must defend our colleague Maria Guadalupe Pereda Moreno because the current court system in the state of Chihuahua will not grant justice. We must defend her because it is unlikely that the Mexican State will consider the law student’s actions to be a legitimate act of self-defense, not only for alleged legal reasons, but also for political reasons, while her behavior sends a message of weariness and indignation against patriarchal violence and at the same time calls for a worthy self-defense in a society where the law of the strongest prevails. Maria Guadalupe’s actions openly and courageously confront this State of Exception where not even the most basic human rights are respected

The freedom of the student Maria Guadalupe Pereda, as in Yakiri Rubio emblematic case, must be demanded by the women’s movement and everyone in general who aspire to justice and emancipation of mankind. The call should be to the creation of a committee for the liberation of our colleague.


1 Originally from Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua. Bachelor of Literature, Law student and Master in Literary Studies. Militant of the Revolutionary Socialist League.

2Amicus Curiae. Latin term meaning “friend of the court”. The name for a brief filed with the court by someone who is not a party to the case. Copyright 1998-2008 David Carney, dba Tech Law Journal. All rights reserved. Retrieved October 18, 2015 from

#RefugeeStruggle: ‘We Have Rights as Human Beings’


Excerpt from “Who’s Coming North? – Migrants’ Journeys Through Mexico”

Jorge has already been deported once from the US. His crime, a very serious one according to US authorities, was to work at a car wash.

“There’s not slavery like there was before, but there’s more deaths now,” he said. “They make slaves out of undocumented people, and once the work is done, they kick them out of the country.”

He’s lived more than eight months in the shelter, helping construct a dormitory for unaccompanied children and preparing to make the dangerous journey north to be with his wife and three kids, who are still in the US. He stayed longer than he planned to at La 72 because he believes in what they’re doing and because he wants to help others like himself on their journey.

“Here they give people help, a roof to sleep under, food, security, and they treat people in a dignified way,” he said. Continue reading

I Want to Live as if I Wasn’t a Criminal


Excerpt from “Who’s Coming North? – Migrants’ Journeys Through Mexico”

Wendy is just 17 years old, but she walked three days alone along the same route where Edwin and his friends were robbed by masked paramilitaries. As an unaccompanied minor making the dangerous journey north, she joins the ranks of what the UN has termed “children on the run,” the more than 60,000 underage migrants coming to the US every year without an adult to guide them.

“My family doesn’t care what happens to me,” she said. “They’re just not interested.”

Like roughly 80 percent of the migrants passing through La 72, Wendy is from Honduras. She says the economic situation and increasing security concerns have made the country all but unlivable.

“The law in my country doesn’t work. The cops don’t help you, you have to pay them first. Every day there’s more crime committed by the police,” she told me. “Someone has to do something.”

Her main goal in leaving Honduras, what she hopes to accomplish in the US, is to get an education. Continue reading

Statement of Solidarity With The Eaton Maquiladora of Juarez city

The caption reads: “EATON workers choose zero abuse; we are outside the maquiladora and we aren’t going to move’

The caption reads: “EATON workers choose zero abuse; we are outside the maquiladora and we aren’t going to move’

Written in Spanish by Julián Contreras Alvarez, and translated with the author’s permission.


The unjustified dismissal of close to 50 workers from the EATON maquiladora in Juarez City, in response to demands for a fair dividend for profit shares, has forced 38 workers into an indefinite sit-in, as of June 9th, to demand reinstatement, payment of lost wages, a fair profit-share dividend, and arising from the needs of this fight, an independent union to look out for the interests of the workers at the maquiladora. On Friday 19th, the forty-ninth worker was fired after shouting “Strike!”, interrupting production at the middle of the line, and joining his co-workers’ resistance.

The workers have proven their great organizational skills, wearing red shirts embossed with the words “I choose zero abuses”; they have maintained their sit-in on the sidewalk outside the factory for two-weeks now, even as temperatures reach around 40 degrees Celsius. They can be seen at Hermanos Escobar Avenue and Rafael Pérez Serna leafleting, flying their banners, and calling for solidarity with their struggle.

The response of the workers inside the factory has begun to worry management. There have been some intermittent stoppages in solidarity with the workers’ sit-in. The first of these was for two hours this past Friday, and it was led by the only 20 women employed in the plant. To discourage workers from interrupting production, management has instructed the personnel department to disqualify the workers arbitrarily dismissed for demanding their rights. [Translators’ Nota Bene, “disqualification” can adversely affect the possibility of a settlement for the dismissed workers under Mexican labor law.] Continue reading

We Can Pretend Mexico’s War Isn’t ‘Made in the U.S.A.’, But the Numbers Don’t Lie

From #USTired2: Stop the US Government’s Deadly Plan Mexico

ustired2For too many people living in the United States, it has been easy to ignore what’s happening in Mexico. But the plain truth is that the money that’s fueling this war is coming from one place: the United States. And it’s our job to stop it.

First, of course, there is the amount of money that drug traffickers make selling narcotics, marijuana, and amphetamines here in the U.S.: even conservative estimates put this at $30 billion each year. The drug trade is so profitable that one UN official argued that during the global banking crisis in 2008, drug money was the only thing keeping the world banking system afloat. So the drug habits of people here in the U.S. are making billions of dollars for the cartels—and therefore for the big international banks—every year, providing the monetary incentives for the kind of graft and corruption that has infected the Mexican state from top to bottom. Our love of cocaine and pot is fueling the disintegration of the entire Mexican political structure.

Read the rest of the article here.

Take action here.

Join the December 3rd National Mobilization for Peace in Mexico here.

Read more about Plan Mexico here.

Deferred (In)Action: Where’s the solidarity with indigenous people facing militarization?

From Alex Soto, 

Komkch’ed e Wah ‘osithk (Sells) 

Tohono O’odham Nation


Reposted from the O’odham Solidarity Across Borders Collective.

To all those unaware of the fine print of Obama’s immigration plan:

First and foremost, it will direct more resources to border security. Meaning…further militarization of Indigenous communities who are divided by the so-called border, such as my home community of the Tohono O’odham Nation. Our O’odham him’dag (way of life) will once again be attacked by settler border politics, as it was in 1848 and 1852 when the so-called border was illegally imposed. Attacked like we were in 1994 when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was enacted. These borderland policies are being devised and implemented without any settler consciousness to the Indigenous peoples who will be most negatively impacted by such policies. The Indigenous nations who pre-date so called Mexico and the United Snakkkes end up almost voiceless.

Basically Obama’s 2014 Immigration plan = border militarization = 21st century colonization.

So in light of Obama’s latest immigration plan, I’m writing this to say “DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE”. The plan is anti-Indigenous and anti-Migrant. Please look at the bigger picture (NAFTA). Please see the trade off. Please see the state’s 2014 divide and conquer tactics.
Then ask yourself, what does an anti-colonial migrant/Indigenous response to this all look like? What does a world without NAFTA borders look like? What does collective liberation look like in O’odham lands? Lipan Apache Lands? Yoeme Lands? Kickapoo Lands? Indigenous homelands which are now in the so-called border region?

Where’s the solidarity with Indigenous people facing militarization?

I recognize this is a complex issue. I do not want fellow Indigenous migrants coming from the southern hemisphere to be criminalized by racist laws. I do not want families to be separated, loved ones to be deported, or for them to ever have to walk the hot desert in the first place, just to have a “chance” in this neo-liberal, NAFTA world we are forced to slave in. But at the same time, I do not want my homeland to be a police state. I do not want our ceremonies to be disrupted. I do not want our jewed (land) destroyed by border security apparatus. I do not want our sky to be polluted by more Border Patrol helicopters, cameras placed atop rotating cranes as tall as skyscrapers, or drones. I do not want freedom of movement for O’odham to be granted only to the holders of bio-metric colonial passports. I do not want CANAMEX/NAFTA corridors scarring our lands with freeways (Loop 202/Interstate 11). Ultimately I do not want, in the words of my late grandfather, who saw the Berlin Wall with his own eyes while being stationed in Germany, “an O’odham Berlin Wall” built at the border.

These are just a few thoughts I have at this time. Overall I maintain my hopes we can all get our shit together. We just have to weather the neo-colonial, mainstream migrant rights industrial complex funded by the creator knows who (but is worth a longer analysis), Dream ACTors and at the same time, we also have to weather the settler state, while empowering our own community. Either way, we got this… because we have to.






#akathebrowningofwhite supremacy





For additional resources please check:

Call to Action: Stop the US Government$ Deadly “Plan Mexico”


Alive they were taken, alive we want them back! Justice for the Ayotzinapa 43 & all victims of the war in Mexico! Here in the US we are tired too

On September 26th and 27th in Iguala, Guerrero, 43 students of the rural teachers school “Raul Isidro Burgos” in the nearby town of Ayotzinapa, were kidnapped by local police officers with the aid of hooded men from the drug cartel “Guerreros Unidos”. Another six people, including three more students of Ayotzinapa, were killed. The response of the local, state, and federal authorities has not just been mediocre and inept, but also seemingly complicit. The State’s actions show the level of corruption, incompetence, and disdain of Mexican authorities towards the many thousands of people who have been killed and disappeared. Social protests have erupted throughout Mexico, with massive demonstrations that have sparked a light for hope and justice. 

Here in the United States we feel their pain and share their anger. WE ARE TIRED TOO.


On December 3rd, 2014, we will go out into the streets and demand the US government to abide by the Leahy Law and to stop military assistance to the Mexican government, which flagrantly violates human rights with total impunity. Join us in sending two powerful messages to Mexico: To the people of Mexico, you are not alone. To the Mexican government, the world is watching you.


Watch this website, in progress for more updates here.

And the Facebook page for updates and news here.


Slideshow: The Front of People in Defense of the Land March; Get Attacked At Unitary Agrarian Tribunal

1of22Photos by Debora Poo Soto

[Scroll below for slideshow.]

La Jornada del lucha del FPDT que fue atacada.

No se detendrá la lucha por la vida y por la defensa de las tierras de San Salvador Atenco, las personas articuladas en el Frente de los Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra dan pasos firmes, quizá por ello los atacan.

El 1 de junio de 2014, en una asamblea ilegal fue aprobado el cambio de tipo de suelo, como resultado de ello se supone que ahora cada persona que posee parte de las tierras ejidales gozaría ahora del pleno dominio. Lo anterior implica que podrán vender su parte de tierra, de ese modo la tierra comunal queda a merced del mejor postor.

Debido a las irregularidades de dicha asamblea algunos ejidatarios exigen – legalmente- que esa asamblea y el acta que de ella resulto sean anuladas. Como parte del proceso de resistencia el FPDT convocó a una manifestación, la marcha partió del corazón de Atenco y se dirigió, a paso y pedaleada veloz por la carretera México-Lechería, al centro de Texcoco.

Al entrar a Texcoco la manifestación llevaba al menos un carro de policía al frente incluso una vez que la manifestación se acercó al edificio del Tribunal Unitario Agrario, algunos policías en uniforme se acercaron, pero –al parecer- recibieron ordenes de retirarse porque simplemente desaparecieron. Cabe señalar que a retirarnos del lugar, a una cuadra de distancia era visible la presencia policiaca.

Si bien la presencia de la policía no garantiza la protección de las leyes y los Derechos Humanos fundamentales, su desaparición de la escena implicaría que no protegieron el Derecho a la protesta y de facto dieron espacio para la agresión que pocos minutos después sufrió el FPDT.

Cuando el contingente ser acercó al Tribunal Unitario Agrario del Distrito 23, y los policías uniformados desaparecieron las personas del FPDT, quienes les acompañaron, y quienes documentaban el evento, fueron agredidos.

La agresión se llevó a cabo por un identificado grupo de priistas, que al frente tenía algunos jóvenes, mismos que el 1 de junio iban uniformados con playeras con la leyenda: Atenco Paz y Progreso y que en esta ocasión impidieron que el contingente siguiera avanzando. La respuesta fue organizada e inteligente, por parte de quienes están luchando por sus tierras y defienden la vida, guardaron inmediatamente los machetes y las mujeres entrelazaron los brazos, se pusieron entre quienes agredían a su compañeros.

Son entonces las mismas personas que el 1 de junio impidieron el acceso a la asamblea, quienes intentan evitar que el FPDT desarrolle su lucha de manera pacífica y por las vías legales. Sin importar que las mujeres se pusieran en medio volvieron a arremeter contra el contingente.

Por lo anterior el FPDT decidió la provocación y se retiraron del lugar, marcharon de regreso hasta la salida de Texcoco, para después trasladarse a Atenco y compartir la comida. Ellos y ellas saben que la lucha será larga y saben que el camino será largo, no caen ni se desgastan ante las provocaciones.

Ojalá quienes van caminando por la tierra y la vida, puedan hacer que aquellos que se mueven sólo por el dinero y lo material comprendan que la vida no tiene precio, y que el dinero no nos acompañará después de la vida.


Peaceful march from Atenco to Texcoco in the State of Mexico. The Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land came to the Agrarian Tribunal to demand the annulment of changing soil type passed in an illegal assembly. Opposition groups attacked the protest:

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