The Campaign to Free Noelia Cotelo - La Campana

The Campaign to Free Noelia Cotelo - La Campana

Special issue of the Spanish anarchosyndicalist journal, La Campana, featuring the ongoing [June 2015] campaign to free Noelia Cotelo, an anarchist prisoner who has been tortured, humiliated and abused in Spanish prisons since 2006, initially convicted of “joy-riding” and petty theft and sentenced to two and a half years in prison, but since sentenced to four more prison terms making her eligible for release in 2017 at the earliest, as a result of her insubordination and indomitable rebellious spirit as she has confronted the unspeakable injustices behind the walls of the class “justice” system.

Noelia Cotelo, Rebel Victim of a Cruel and Murderous Penal System – Asamblea Libertaria

For years now, but with more intensity and determination over the last three years, various anarchist collectives, organizations, publications and prisoner support groups in Spain have been waging a protest campaign against the prison system and to free Noelia Cotelo Riveiro.

This campaign has been ignored by the mainstream communications media, which never publish articles about the shameful business as usual of the prison system and only rarely feature stories about one or another extraordinary incident, but, even in that case, address the “news” in a journalistic and banal way that serves to further confuse public opinion concerning the concealed knowledge of what really takes place inside the prisons.

Beginning at the age of 19, the young Galician Noelia would be trapped for years and years in an intricate penal labyrinth of truly unbearable violence and punishment, even for all those who meekly submit to the lacerating sword of the state, which is by no means the case with Noelia. She is rebellious, insubordinate, in a condition of constant revolt against a Law (always punitive and liberticidal), against a judicial and penal system (by its very nature hostile and violent, indeed, murderous, towards the human condition) and a carceral social and political Order (condemned to perpetuate the injustice of its existence by any means necessary) which does not hesitate to use all the means at its disposal to attempt to guarantee an impossible “legitimacy” and, above all, impunity—this is indeed real and effective—for its actions, however despicable and merciless they might be.

It means little or nothing to those who rule and benefit from this system of social control that the procedures they use are despicable, or enticing—they use one or the other, depending on the case and the circumstances—because what is decisive for them is that these procedures should be effective in the creation of narcosis and the general stupefaction of society. In fact, the latter sees nothing, and hears nothing, and hardly even has the vaguest notion of what happens inside prisons, because what takes place there is nothing but the stark reflection of what takes place in society as a whole. For this is the only way they can “convince” society to accept the monstrous swindle that the liberty and happiness of the social “whole” can be achieved by building spaces of non-liberty and unhappiness for tens of thousands of people, more than 70,000 in our country.

Noelia went to jail, accused of a minor crime (theft, without injuring anyone), to serve a sentence of almost three years, which we shall not hesitate to call shameful and inhuman, both because of the justification alleged by the judge in his sentencing as well as for his responsibility for the events that would subsequently take place.

Noelia’s initial sentence of somewhat more than two years has to this point been extended to eight years in prison, with more to come. According to her latest convictions—all for things that happened in some of the prisons to which she was transferred, in which she was victimized, always concluding with her being convicted of some infraction—she will not be released from prison until 2017. Even this date, however, means nothing, because she will have to face new trials and, surely, new convictions. In the latest trial alone (in 2015), the prosecutor asked for an additional seven years in prison to be added to her sentence.

In any event, given Noelia’s stubborn rebellion against the injustices to which she is subjected every hour of every day—such is the reality of prison!—it is certain that new incidents will take place, the prison guards and officials will perform more unspeakable acts, judges and prosecutors will express even more scorn, there will be more institutional violence … and more convictions. The crime that has been committed every day for eight years against this young woman in the jails of Spain is not an exceptional one; it is not even the dramatic suppuration of an institution that has suffered a random infection. By no means. It is a crime ordered from above, by those who are responsible for enforcing the Law, the Judge and the Prison Commissioner; a business-as-usual situation, the offspring of the calculation and fear of freedom on the part of power and its minions.

Only solidarity can put an end to this continuing infamy, solidarity that does not rest and will not rest as long as even one scrap of dignity remains on this, and on the other side, of the prison walls.

La Campana – Asamblea Libertaria

Translated in July 2015 from the Spanish original obtained online at: http://www.revistalacampana.info/pdf/la_campana_dossier_6_a3.pdf.

Original title: “Noelia Cotelo. Víctima insumisa de un Sistema Penal cruel y homicida”, La Campana, publicación anarcosindicalista – información y debate anarquista, Vol. 5, Dossier No. 6, June 7, 2015, p. 2.

La Campana is published by Asamblea Libertaria, an organization within the Sindicato Único de Trabajadores “Solidaridad Obrera”.

Free Noelia Cotelo Riveiro! Against the Everyday Crime of Imprisonment

Noelia Cotelo Riveiro celebrated her 19th birthday in the environment of drugs and the marginal world of small-time crime associated with that environment. At that time, the young resident of La Coruña was not a social or political activist, she was just a woman who was struggling to get by and find her way in life among friends in the freest way that she could.

Her Ordeal Begins

Her first serious run-in with the police and her first encounter with the judicial system took place in the spring of 2006, in La Coruña, when Noelia and a friend were accused of “unauthorized use of a motor vehicle”. The two youths had found a car with the keys in its ignition and took off on a joyride. On the following day, the National Police located the vehicle and arrested Noelia, but did not capture her companion, who managed to escape in the same vehicle, which was later found abandoned in a parking lot in the La Coruña, not far from the police station. According to the police report and judicial inquiry, “goods” valued at 92 euros were missing from the car.

While she was still awaiting trial on charges related to this incident, Noelia was involved in an altercation with a nurse at the Juan Canalejo Hospital, where she was undergoing treatment for drug dependency, and experiencing a full-blown panic attack. In this condition, she was arrested and taken to the police lock-up, where similar incidents took place, now with a police agent who was attempting to offer to treat her with the usual dose of methadone employed in such cases.

Under these conditions, the day arrived when she was scheduled to appear in Court in La Coruña for a pre-trial hearing regarding her case. Noelia, however, despite the fact that she was seen in the vicinity of the Courthouse, did not appear before the judge, who then issued a warrant for her arrest. Finally, once she was located and taken into custody, she was sentenced to the brutal punishment of two years and nine months in prison.

This iniquitous sentence was the first of a series of serious injuries inflicted on Noelia by the State; from then on, she would be treated with all the disdain, scorn and malicious cruelty that the state authorities and its most servile functionaries reserve for those who challenge them or those who refuse to quietly accept humiliation and mistreatment. From that day forward, the road to Calvary that Noelia would have to travel was already mapped out.

The initial two years and four months have, as of today, become eight years in jail, with no end in sight. According to her most recent convictions—all for incidents that have taken place in several of the prisons to which she was transferred, all of which, although she was the victim, routinely culminated in her conviction—she will not be released until 2017.

Repeatedly Transferred from One Prison to Another

After she was first locked up in 2007 in the Teixeiro Penitentiary (in La Coruña), Noelia was submitted to constant relocations, transferred from one prison to another, in an endless game of musical cells so that she would never leave the same place where she would remain isolated and imprisoned: a cell three meters square.

Her family, with hardly any resources, would have to figure out how they could visit their daughter, who was now situated hundreds of kilometers from their home, without the financial wherewithal to visit her as often as is allowed by law and which every human deserves. In such cases, “prison decentralization” represents, besides a miserable act of vengeance on the part of the State against the families of the prisoners, the consummation of a strict policy whose explicit goal is to isolate the prisoners from inconvenient witnesses and thus provoke in the prisoner a feeling of absolute helplessness and the prostration of the victim under the effects of the practices of torture and harassment that are customary in prisons.

The locations chosen by the punishment State for exacting its vengeance on Noelia every time she rebelled were the prisons of Teixeiro, Valencia, Ávila, Valencia again, and Granada; her acts of defiance were composed in part of complaints regarding cases of aggression, torture or mistreatment, and in part attempts to convey to the other side of the prison walls the reality of her suffering.

Isolation

Once trapped and engulfed within these various walled compounds, in all of them, from the very first moments, she was subjected to an almost absolute regime of isolation. As her friends on the outside summarized one of her reports that she managed to send them: “They restrict her communications, her recreation time, and her access to warm clothing. They do not allow her to participate in educational courses, or therapeutic, recreational or sports activities. She is beaten and hosed down with cold water. She is alone and isolated for months in a windowless and unheated cell…. She is only allowed to walk in the courtyard twice a day for half an hour, despite the fact that the harshest sanctions established by the FIES policies allow for a minimum of two such recreational periods and prohibit such punishment from being imposed for more than 14 days in a row. She is not provided with medical treatment, despite the fact that she is suffering from serious infections in her mouth and her ears. The prison officials laugh at her health problems and assure her that she will die within the walls of the prison. The day will come when they will give her a very strong dose of methadone which will almost kill her, at the same time that they are suggesting that she should commit suicide, day in and day out.”

Beatings and Attempted Rape

During the days of October 23-24, 2012, in the Brieva Penitentiary (in Ávila), certain incidents took place that, despite their seriousness and their despicable nature, were ultimately whitewashed by a judicial machinery that managed to protect the prison employees who committed them, because they, in their status as “authorities”, have credibility, while the clearly visible bruises on Noelia’s body, her broken wrist, and the inexplicable presence in that location and at that hour of a prison guard with a woman in a state of violent emotional disturbance … all were inconclusive and did not constitute any grounds for suspicion of the testimony of the prison guard, the guardian angel of the penitentiary.

On the 23rd, Noelia protested against the treatment she was receiving. On that day she managed to make a telephone call to her mother, and told her what was happening to her, just as they were threatening to give her a beating. Almost immediately, after hardly a minute had passed in her conversation with her mother, her mother heard some prison guards shouting and rudely insulting Noelia, demanding that she hang up the phone. Within a few seconds the call was interrupted.

From that moment on, the situation only became worse. The guards dragged her to her cell, beat her and handcuffed her to her bed, breaking her wrist. In order to sedate her they administered drugs to her and then left her alone for a little while, stunned and confused. One of the guards, who went by the name of Jesús and who had participated in the torture sessions, returned on the night of the 23rd-24th and, taking advantage of Noelia’s condition, set hands on her. Noelia, however, managed to wake up and, aware of the hands of the guard pawing at her body, she resisted and succeeded in preventing the sexual abuse or rape that was on the verge of taking place.

Because the marks of the violence she suffered are quite visible and Noelia shouted that she would report what he did, the guard tried to absolve himself of responsibility for his actions with a counter-accusation, accusing the victim herself of “trying to gouge out my eyes”. Although she was threatened with death, she persisted in her intention to expose the incident. “We will make your murder look like a suicide!”, she was told by another guard, this one going by the name Abelardo, a threat that was never investigated by any judge or, much less, by the Judge Advocate of the Penitentiary, as she knows so well!

The institutional response to these incidents consisted in imposing an even harsher policy of isolation on Noelia and the confiscation by the guards of her blankets and warm clothes, which were distributed among the other prisoners.

Noelia’s Account of Her Mistreatment Reaches the Outside World

Despite the despicable ruling of the Director of the Prison, Noelia’s complaint successfully made it to the outside world. News of what had happened to her came to the attention of her mother and her anarchist comrades and even, months later, to the Ávila Court system, where Noelia’s, and her mother’s, complaints would be filed against the Director of the Prison, the guards implicated in the events in question and against the Trade Union of the Prison Guards, ACAIP, the latter being accused of disseminating false reports and slanderous, demeaning and unfounded accusations in the communications media concerning the young woman. Noelia was then transferred from Brieva to the Albolete Prison Complex in Granada.

Her situation would not improve at all. She continued to be subjected to the regime of isolation and her communications were restricted, although from now on the truth of what happened to her would slowly be disseminated in the outside world. All thanks to the work of Lola Riveiro, who tirelessly, wherever necessary, raised her voice, sincere and tranquil, against the vile treatment to which her daughter was subjected.

The Declaration of Lola Riveiro

My name is Lola, and I am Noelia’s mother: I am traveling to Granada (to the Albolote Prison Complex), where, tomorrow (October 18, 2013), I will visit my daughter. Noelia called me, shocked and angry, because ever since the previous beating (administered on October 7, while she was being transferred from Brieva to Albolote) the torture has never stopped for her. What began as a sprained ankle is now a broken ankle, her nose is broken, her wrists are painful and swollen because of the handcuffs, they have stripped her naked, they have taken everything from her, and again even the letters that she was writing…. All of this while she is subjected to death threats, she is told that she will not live to see another day. Noelia fears for her life and so do I. Which is why I am calling for a campaign of phone calls, starting now … to the Albolote Prison Complex.

We will call them and we will make them understand that Noelia is not alone. That her family and friends do not believe in ‘suicides’ … ‘accidents’ … ‘overdoses’ … because we know that Noelia wants to live … we want her to be healthy, alive and free. Thank you for your solidarity and support. We request that this appeal should be distributed as widely as possible.

Anarchist Solidarity with Noelia

After the events of October 2012, solidarity and press campaigns to support Noelia carried out by anarchist prisoner support groups also intensified. For the first time, demonstrations and rallies were held to “Free Noelia!” and also, of course, calling for the destruction of a Prison System that is productive of so much suffering, and which is only useful for upholding the injustice of the current social (dis)order.

Along with other libertarian groups, the collective of Mujeres Libres de CNT Zaragoza, the Juventudes Libertarias de Málaga, and the publication, Retroceso. Diario Libertario de Lugo, have issued their respective communiqués, demanding an investigation of Noelia’s complaints and that the impunity and complicity of doctors, judges, psychologists, prison guards and social workers must end.

The Appeal Issued by Mujeres Libres CNT, Zaragoza (Excerpts)

[After describing Noelia’s brutal treatment in various prisons of the Spanish State, including Brieva and Picassent, the beatings and the attempted rape, and confirming that Noelia’s attorney “has publicly exposed the fact that Noelia is living as a prisoner under conditions that violate Prison Regulations and legislation concerning the prison system”, the Mujeres Libres CNT Zaragoza collective demands:]

“That an investigation must be carried out concerning the sexual abuse suffered by Noelia in the Brieva Prison, as well as the injuries and tortures to which she has been subjected and for which no one has been found responsible.

“That male prison guards must not be employed in the women’s modules and prisons, so that no more episodes of machismo violence, harassment or sexual assault will ever happen again.

“That the impunity and complicity of doctors, judges, psychologists, social workers and members of all the other professional categories that assist in these practices, must not continue.

“That, once and for all, all types of mistreatment and torture used as systematic and daily instruments employed by the prison guards to run the prison machinery must be abolished.

“That ‘dispersion’ as a form of blackmail exercised by the fascist policy of the Spanish State must end.

“That the jails and the penal system that underpin the State as its punitive apparatus in the service of the regime of domination and capitalist exploitation must disappear.

“The immediate release of comrade Noelia Cotelo.”

Finally, “we urgently call upon all the collectives, trade unions and social organizations of Zaragoza and the rest of the Spanish State to call attention to and publicly denounce with all the means at their disposal the situation of comrade Noelia Cotelo. If we do not rectify her situation, Noelia will die in prison and no one will be held accountable, and her name will be added to the list of the hundreds of State-sponsored assassinations that have been covered up. Time is running out for her. We have to stop looking the other way and being passive accomplices in the situation of thousands of prisoners of the Spanish State. Our struggle for Noelia is the struggle for all of them. Free Noelia Cotelo Now! Demolish the Prisons!”

El Retroceso in Support of Noelia

The lead article in El Retroceso, the libertarian daily newspaper of Lugo, published on January 15, 2014, tells us that Noelia, who “has been suffering harassment, abuse, mistreatment, torture and a whole catalogue of terms for inhuman treatment in prison, which has still not come to an end, and it would seem that they have no intention of putting and end to it”, has resolved to declare a hunger strike.

“Our comrade is not prepared to contribute to her silence and remain in the mould. With this clear intention, on January 8 she decided to begin an indefinite hunger strike, with the support of her imprisoned comrades in struggle.

“Her demands, and ours, are:

• That all the mistreatment, torture, humiliation, beatings, and obscene verbal abuse must cease in all the prisons.
• The complicity of the doctors and judges must end.
• That no episode of machismo violence, harassment or sexual assault must ever take place again. That male prison guards must not be employed in women’s modules and prisons.
• That family members must be brought together, and that no law or punishment can separate them. No to the dispersion of imprisoned people. Every person in his or her own region. No to the constant transfers from prison to prison.
• That all imprisoned people must be treated with dignity, that they must be provided with necessary treatments, that they must be treated by the requisite medical personnel. That health, which is such a universal thing, must be for all. No more DEATH in the prisons. Medical negligence must end.
• That we must not be lied to anymore, that reinsertion is not humiliation, that we do not need to be reinserted anywhere, we need respect. Hatred and violence only generate more hatred and violence.
• That the so-often discussed transparency must be applied to the Prison Institutions and to everything that concerns them. No more impunity. No more covered up state assassinations.
• That an end must be put to this whole farce. That poverty must not be punished with prison; that prisons must not live on poor people. That the commodity system must be abolished. We are people, not money.”

Noelia, Anarchist

It is in this context of her struggle for dignity and her rebellion against the carceral order that Noelia is developing her libertarian views and thought. The day would come when she would declare (Noelia’s letter written during the hunger strike she conducted in March and April of 2015, reproduced in its entirety on pages 7 and 9 of this special issue of La Campana): “I have personally always defined myself as, and have openly declared that I am, an anarchist, an enemy of power, an enemy of every authority figure and ultimately of all Governmental Oligarchy (State-Monarchy-Parliament) and its rotten Capital system of death and domination; reasons which have been used against me by the IIPP and the Interior Ministry not only to include me in FIES-5 but also to intercept all my communications and limit me to sending two letters per week, because I have a lot of support from and close affinity with anarchist groups on an international level … but if life has taught me anything, it is that, just as one makes a journey by walking, being an anarchist is not demonstrated with words—it is demonstrated by deeds, by realizing our beautiful Libertarian Ideal in practice….”

Noelia has denounced torture and has engaged in several hunger strikes. In her declaration announcing that she is an anarchist, she does not limit herself to demanding her freedom, she also calls for the abolition of an inhuman and immoral system. On several occasions her decision to refrain from food almost led to fatal complications, when her condition verged on that of a hypoglycemic coma.

Hunger Strike in the Albolote Prison Complex

In March 2014 she began a hunger strike in the Albolote Prison Complex, in Granada. Her mother recounts the incident as follows:

“It was almost a month since I last heard from Noelia, my daughter…. Today she called me, she has been on a hunger strike since the 14th because they were denying her the right to communicate by letter as well as by telephone. She deliberately injured herself so that she could go to the infirmary and call me on the phone to tell me everything that they are doing. They would not let her communicate any of her complaints to the outside world. They took away all her clothing, they ripped up all of her photographs. They threw out her shampoo, her body lotion, her soap, etc., etc….. They told her that if she wanted she could buy these things at the commissary. She told me that before they were older prison guards, but that this time they were guards who had just graduated from the academy. It’s fucking unbelievable how they train these government police dogs! I can’t do any more. I don’t know what to do this time, there are so many injustices, I don’t know how these savages can go home at night after spending their days mistreating people…. I ask for nothing…. Only justice, and if I do not get it, I don’t know what I might do…. I’ve had it up to here, it is always the poor who pay, those of us with nothing. But we do have dignity, and we are not savages like them…. We have to do something right away, like send faxes or letters, even if they are not allowed to receive them, so that they know that they are not alone. A thousand thanks to all…. I am just one person, I cannot do everything…. Libertarian embraces! [Abrazos libertarios]”

Her Repeated Complaints, and the Consistent Aggression of the Prison Authorities

Again and again, Noelia submits complaints against every case of brutal treatment she receives and, despite all the suffering that her decision to do so entails, she stands firm, she has not remained silent in the face of her attackers, nor is she afraid of the highest echelons of the prison system. Her complaints, however, are almost always reviewed by the same judge, who, without any other justification than his interested complicity in matters relating to the case at hand, refuses, over and over again, to pay any attention to her complaints. As a result, Noelia has fallen prey to new penalties and also to more convictions in trials held by video conference, without the presence of real lawyers who might be able to defend the prisoner, trials that are again and again presided over by judges who are prepared to sacrifice the truth in favor of “reasons of state” and the defense of the “penal and judicial institution”.

The Latest Hunger Strike

On March 23, 2015, Noelia began another hunger strike that would last 37 days, until April 30, when she had to abandon it without having attained any of her demands, for on May 29, she was in court again, and this time the Prosecutor requested that she be sentenced to up to another 7 years in prison. In the middle of her hunger strike, she deliberately injured herself by cutting the veins in one of her arms. The circumstances of this latest hunger strike are described by Noelia in the letter that she succeeded in sending to the comrades of the anarchist group, “Tokata” (this letter from Noelia is reproduced in its entirety on pages 10 and 11 of this special issue of La Campana).

Her conviction in the trial held on May 29 was finally suspended on the appeal of Noelia’s defense team, because the evidence provided by the attorney for the defense was not received by the Court or “was not ready for presentation” for “reasons related to the bureaucratic delays of the Spanish justice system”. In any event, the results of the prison trial and the corresponding request by the Prosecutor for another 7 years of prison for Noelia still loom over her as a threat and may still be enforced.

The Struggle against Prisons and Solidarity with Its Victims

Not without some difficulties and stumbling blocks for coordination that were overcome, the solidarity movement outside the prisons is growing. In various parts of Spain, demonstrations have been held and actions of protest and solidarity have been engaged in, calling for the release of Noelia. The Libertarian Youth of Malaga, the Libertarian Daily Newspaper of Lugo (communiqués reproduced on pages 6 and 7 of this special issue), Madrid and many other collectives have engaged in a large number of actions, although up until now they have been unsuccessful in obtaining Noelia’s release from prison.

At this time, Noelia has had four other sentences tacked on to her first conviction so that she will not be released from prison, at the earliest, until 2017, which means she will spend almost ten years of her life behind bars, most of that time subjected to a regime of isolation in a three meter square cell, subjected to every kind of physical and psychological cruelty.

We will struggle to help Noelia recover her freedom and at the same time we shall intensify our confrontation with the unjust ruling economic and political regime, one of whose strongest foundations is precisely the criminal harshness of the Penal System and the walls of its prisons.

La Campana

Translated in July 2015 from the Spanish original obtained online at: http://www.revistalacampana.info/pdf/la_campana_dossier_6_a3.pdf.

Original title: “Noelia Cotelo Riveiro, ¡Libertad! Contra el crimen cotidiano de la cárcel”, La Campana, publicación anarcosindicalista – información y debate anarquista, Vol. 5, Dossier No. 6 (June 7, 2015), pp. 3-7.

La Campana is published by Asamblea Libertaria, an organization of the Sindicato Único de Trabajadores “Solidaridad Obrera”, in Pontevedra, Spain.

Communiqué of Noelia Cotelo Riveiro

A text written by Noelia Cotelo Riveiro, imprisoned in the Fall of 2013 at the Albolote Prison Complex, published by boletintokata on October 8, 2013, in its section, “Prison = Torture”, under the title, “Communiqué from Noelia Cotelo Riveiro, Held Hostage in the Extermination Centers of the Spanish State”.

First of all I have to say that unfortunately I am not just “a tortured prisoner”, I am Another Tortured Prisoner in this allegedly democratic country that supposedly guarantees civil rights. From the dungeon where I am in an isolation bunker, where I have spent 6 years shut away, simply because I rebelled against the injustices and atrocities that are perpetrated against us inside this place by the executioners who instill us with a burning zeal for justice and the will to revolt and to make them pay for the wages that they receive from the state for mistreating us, violating our rights, physically and mentally torturing us or even murdering us with complete impunity.

Availing themselves of the abstract term, “reinsertion”, they kept me in a dungeon three meters square for 23 hours a day. They are supposed to let me out for exercise in a courtyard similar to a cage that is hardly exposed at all to the sun, and of course I go alone, since the illegal regime of FIES is still in effect. Sent far away from my family, far away from my home and far from my beloved friends. This is the carceral underworld that no one talks about because they are afraid that no one would believe them.

In a brief summary of my stay in these extermination centers I want to relate an account of my passage through these places and publicly expose what took place there. In the Brieva Prison Complex: the lockup where submission among the prisoners prevails, and the word of the executioners is law. In this prison they tortured me, they broke a bone in my wrist that had to be set in a cast, the product of repeated daily beatings. They have totally prevented me from communicating with the outside world (telephones, visits and letters) as a matter of course, and these executioners have even gone so far as to lodge complaints against my mother in order to keep me from communicating with her. On numerous occasions I was handcuffed and strapped into a straightjacket after being tortured and, on the night of October 23, 2012, after having been handcuffed, I woke up to feel the hands of a henchman of the state on my body. Why has nothing been done? Because this rotten oppressive system encourages its executioners to act with complete impunity. I am still alive, but many brothers and sister comrades have been despicably murdered when they “theoretically” had served their full sentences. Some are driven to suicide by the suffocating oppressor regime; some are attacked without cause and killed (and later it is arranged to look like suicide); the methadone they give us is adulterated in order to knock us out (and to murder us in such a way as to exculpate them, the “overdose”), we are humiliated, harassed and even the sick brothers and sisters die in the prisons because they are not granted protection under the statute that provides for release due to terminal illness.

Brieva, Picassent, Albolote … just so many extermination camps and slaughterhouses of the State. There are 75,000 of us imprisoned in Spain, a lot of pain, torture and suffering (for both the prisoners as well as their families), which is why I want the solidarity campaigns that unite us to redouble their efforts and to fight for the abolition of torture, for the abolition of the prisons and the FIES regime and so that no one will ever have to live through these experiences that we have lived through. We raise our voices as one and with our fists raised we will fight, regardless of the consequences, for our rights and for our freedom.

Against the carceral society and its henchmen!
For anarchy!

Noelia Cotelo
Autumn 2013

Translated in July 2015 from the Spanish original obtained online at: http://www.revistalacampana.info/pdf/la_campana_dossier_6_a3.pdf.

Original title: “Comunicado de Noelia Cotelo Riveiro”, La Campana, publicación anarcosindicalista – información y debate anarquista, Vol. 5, Dossier No. 6 (June 7, 2015), p. 8.

La Campana is published by Asamblea Libertaria, an organization of the Sindicato Único de Trabajadores “Solidaridad Obrera”, in Pontevedra, Spain.