Stand with Maria Teresa of #Las17 in El Salvador!
Send your messages and letters of solidarity to: email@example.com by this Sunday 10 July!
This May, WGNRR celebrated with partners and allies worldwide the release of Maria Teresa Rivera of #Las17, a group of women in El Salvador who, upon accessing healthcare facilities as a result of miscarriages, stillbirths, or other life-threatening obstetrical complications, were accused of having undergone an abortion, charged with aggravated homicide, and wrongfully imprisoned.
Three years into a 40-year sentence, on 20 May 2016 Maria Teresa had her conviction overturned by Judge Martin Rogel Zepeda, and was released from prison. This decision was welcomed by local partners such as la Agrupacion Ciudadana por la Despenalizacion del Aborto, WGNRR, and allies worldwide as a momentous step towards attaining justice for #Las17. This week, however, the prosecutor in Maria Teresa’s case has appealed Judge Rogel Zepada’s decision to overturn her conviction. If approved, this appeal could mean that Maria Teresa may be unjustly forced to return to prison.
A three-judge panel is currently reviewing the prosecutor’s application for an appeal. As international attention may help sway the panel’s decision, La Agrupación is asking for supporters both in Latin America and the Caribbean and worldwide to send letters of support, calling for justice for Maria Teresa and requesting that the appeals panel let Judge Rogel Zepeda’s decision stand.
Allies can send messages and letters of solidarity (preferably in Spanish, though messages in English are also welcome) to: firstname.lastname@example.org, by this Sunday 10 July.
La Agrupacion will then collect all received letters and messages and present them to the appeals’ panel next week, to demonstrate widespread public and international support for Judge Rogel Zepeda’s decision, and Maria Teresa’s ensuing release and freedom to resume her life.
We at WGNRR will continue to stand with Maria Teresa, #Las17, and la Agrupacion in the fight to ensure that #ElSalvador upholds its human rights commitments, and that Salvadoran women are no longer criminalized and wrongfully imprisoned on suspicion of having an abortion. Join us in showing support for Maria Teresa!