Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pardon to a friend unjustly sentenced... 15 years later

Santi and Alicia when he was freed on bail
Better late than never.

I met Santiago Botana when he was working at the camping of some friends, many years ago. I also met his mother, Alicia, there, an intelligent woman from Argentina. I never get to know either as to develop a deep friendship but I can say that both seemed good and solidarious people and that I can't remember even a single instance in negative light. 

Some months later, in November 17th 1995, Santi was injured at his home in Madrid when manipulating some flares, item used in his hobby of speleology. He lost some fingers in the accident, being in coma for ten days. Because of his ideology, he was soon accused of preparing some sort of terrorist attack in the upcoming fascist celebration of November 20th. In spite of being set free on bail initially (sign that the judge considered him harmless), later, in 2001, he was sentenced to four years of prison for possession of explosives.

It has been known to me now that he was pardoned (dated November 17th 2010) and his sentence commuted for that of one year, what in practice it means he will not have to go to prison.  

Santi thanked all who have supported him in all these years and signed the petition for the pardon and made an appeal for unity in struggle, without which this would not have been achieved. 

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