Despite the US government's lies that it holds no political prisoners in its prisons, Alvaro Luna Hernandez is an internationally recognized political prisoner imprisoned in Texas. Alvaro was a fierce advocate for the rights of immigrants, and other poor and oppressed barrios, in Houston, Texas, in the 90's. He spearheaded the Movement to Free undocumented Mexican immigrant RICARDO ALDAPE GUERRA from Texas' death row in 1996, framed for the killing of a Houston cop.
Supporters raise Alvaro's banner at May 1
Immigration Demonstrations in Austin
With the rise of mass political demonstrations and a movement in defense of immigrants in this country, Alvaro's case shows the truths that this government will jail activists, repress dissent in order to deprive these social movements of genuine, grass roots leadership. Alvaro became a target of the political police and was framed in order to silence him and to kill the movements he led. With the rise of immigrant struggles, and the global movements for human rights and to expose racist, corrupt governments, Alvaro's case has taken on special prominence and the movement to free him is gaining resurgence, as shown by the May 1 demonstrations in Austin, Texas, where his supporters have raised his banner.
After 10 years in a Texas prison solitary cell, for defending himself against a racist West Texas Sheriff who was in the act of assaulting, even murdering him, and of the Alpine Police Dept. with a long history of brutality and the killing of innocent, unarmed Mexican Americans, as cited by the 1970 U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, * Alvaro continues to protest his innocence and refuses to surrender despite the brutal conditions of solitary confinement he is subjected to daily, aimed at breaking his spirit of resistance. From his solitary cell at the Hughes Unit in Gatesville, Texas, Alvaro is calling on all oppressed peoples and groups to unite, to oppose the anti-Mexican hysteria and xenophobia of the US government and its right wing rulers, to defend the human rights of immigrants, and to bring political clarity to these movements in raising the banner of de-colonization of the occupied territories of the Southwest United States, land stolen from Mexico in the colonial war of plunder and annexation of the 1800's, to tear down the military border and for the reunification of the divided Mexican Homeland.
As freedom, justice loving people, we must support Alvaro and struggle to free him from this racist, unjust political imprisonment, so he can return to his community and lead the movements he spearheaded years ago.
For more info on how you can help, email or .
A solidarity message can be mailed directly to Alvaro at:
ALVARO LUNA HERNANDEZ, #255735
Hughes Unit, Route 2 , P.O. Box 4400, Gatesville, Texas 76597 USA
Alvaro Wins Transfer
In August, Alvaro was accused by prison administrators of gang affiliations and transferred to X-Wing (investigative/administrative segregation) of the Beto Unit. Alvaro has consistently denied gang affiliations and states he was targeted because of his political views, and connections he made with fellow Mexicano captives. This segregation was part of a campaign of harassment by prison administrators that included, at one point, transferring Alvaro from laundry room to field labor work detail and threats from guards. After sustained outside pressure, Alvaro was granted his request for transfer.
"This victory could not have been possible without the enormous support that I received from many people and groups," Alvaro writes. "It is only through the power of mass mobilizations that we can be victorious against the prison-industrial beast."
Political Prisoner Files Suit on Behalf of Mentally Ill Prisoners in Texas
On November 27, a pleading (Civil Action #H-78-987) was filed in Judge William Justice’s court in Houston on behalf of mentally ill inmates in the George Beto Unit of Texas.
U.S. political prisoner Alvaro Luna Hernandez (recognized by the Jericho Movement and other progressive organizations for his history of community organizing), a former prisoner held in Beto, filed the suit after witnessing conditions on Beto’s X-Wing (solitary confinement/pretrial hearing detention area) for five months in 2001.
Alvaro was transferred to X-Wing (solitary) in August under the auspices of alleged gang affiliation. This is a charge Alvaro still denies, and states was in retaliation for outside pressure supporters have brought to bear on the prison. In the civil action, Alvaro states he witnessed several suicide attempts by mentally ill inmates confined in solitary, as well as disturbances, including excessive noise, flooding of corridors and the burning of mattresses. The official response, he notes in the court pleading, was to deny said inmates food and drinking water, and to house these inmates for months at a time in “old style” double-door solitary confinement cells.
Further, Alvaro notes, unit officials currently engage in the practice of housing general administrative segregation and unit transfer status inmates (i.e. inmates to be transferred) in solitary, in violation of a 1983 order not to house such inmates in these punitive-type cells.
In filing the action, Alvaro requests the court conduct an investigation of the conditions of Beto’s solitary confinement area and specifically the mistreatment of mentally ill inmates on Beto’s X-Wing.