Juarez labor lawyer braces for possible new arrest in Chihuahua


Susana Prieto says she's being politically persecuted for demanding that U.S.-run factories pay better wages to Mexican workers

JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) — A Juarez labor lawyer recently released from a Tamaulipas jail says she has two pending arrest warrants in Chihuahua state.

Susana Prieto Terrazas said the warrants for allegedly causing the temporary illegal detention of a public servant and allegedly lying to authorities were issued June 9 and 10. She was arrested in Tamaulipas state on June 8 on separate charges of inciting a riot and coercing factory workers into walking off their jobs.

Susana Prieto Terrazas (photo from Facebook)

“I am (being) politically persecuted on orders from maquiladora owners with money and the leaders of bought-out unions,” she wrote on her Facebook page on Monday. “I was a political prisoner in (Tamaulipas) and now I am that in Chihuahua, with the likelihood of being (in prison) soon…”

Maquiladoras are U.S.-run factories in Mexico. In Juarez, these plants employ nearly 300,000 people.

The lawyer has gained notoriety for supporting strikes and spearheading the 20/32 campaign, demanding a 20% pay increase for workers and a 32,000-peso ($1,600) bonus.

A spokesman for the Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office in Juarez said the agency doesn’t comment on pending warrants.

Prieto was released from jail in Tamaulipas on the night of July 1 under the condition she did not return for 30 months nor travel outside Chihuahua. She has been back in Juarez since July 2.

The lawyer and labor activist went to Matamoros, Tamaulipas (across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas), early in June to organize workers denied full benefits during COVID-19 furloughs. She broadcast her June 8 arrest on Facebook Live and her transfer to a Monterrey, Mexico, airport on July 1.

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