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Victory! Laura Monterrosa released

from the Editors  |  Issue: April | May 2018
Supporters of Laura Monterrosa

Supporters of Laura Monterrosa
PHOTO: https://grassrootsleadership.org

 

As we go to press Laura Monterrosa was released from detention March 16.  Her release is the result of a months long campaign that drew support from around the country.

AUSTIN —I was at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center on Saturday to support Laura Monterrosa.  She is a 23-year-old asylum-seeker from El Salvador,

Today’s group was organized by Workers Defense Project (PDL). Grassroots Leadership is the main organizer, but they’ve been coming every day for about 2 weeks and needed a break.

At least by going in to visit her, it gave her support and kept her out of solitary, where they have been punishing her for speaking up about her abuse!

I sat with her. She’s in her early 20s and is a lesbian who had been sexually assaulted by a female guard. A little different situation, but sexual assault is sexual assault and so are harassment, intimidation and threats.

I realized she didn’t really speak English and I know only a few words of Spanish. I tried to ask how she had been feeling. She spelled out on the chair the word “dead.”  She had cut her wrist. I said, “So sad.”

She said, “No más, no más, no más,” meaning she wouldn’t do that any more.  I tried to tell her “muchas personas” know her story. I told her she was strong.  I pointed to her and then raised my arms like I was flexing them to look strong.

She didn’t seem to believe it, but she is.  — Karel Riley, Texas

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