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Lifesaver for ages 9 and up -- Mexico: José Adrián needs justice!

    Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 16:01

    This is sort of what José Adrián and his mother look like. To be safe, José can’t be filmed or photographed so this photo has been distorted. © Sergio Ortiz_AI. Photograph intervened by Brushstroke App


    José Adrián (pronounced ho-zay ah-dree-an) is an indigenous teenager who lives in Mexico’s Yucatán state. His family does not have much money. He likes music, fixing phones and playing with them. Sadly, José has been treated very badly. 

    José spent a long day at school on February 25, 2016. 

    As he walked home around 9 pm, the 14-year-old saw that some boys had been fighting and that someone had called the police. When the police arrived, several people threw stones at the patrol car and damaged it. 

    Suddenly, the police threw José against the car, beat him and pushed him inside. One officer stepped on his head and caused a neck injury. Then they arrested him. They claimed that José had damaged the police car. The police took José to a jail in the nearby town of Chemax. 

    What happened next? Well, José should have been checked for injuries but that did not happen. Officers handcuffed him and tied him up. They pressured him to admit to damaging the police car. They also said he had an illegal drug (marijuana) in his backpack but they never proved that.

    Even though he was not guilty, his parents paid 3,200 pesos ($225) just to get José out of jail. That’s a huge amount for that family, so they are paying it a bit at a time. They also had to pay for the police car to be fixed even though José hadn’t been around when it was damaged.

    José is still free today. He helps his father to sell flowers. But he needs the government to correct what they did. 

    Sadly, indigenous boys from families without much money often receive poor treatment from officials. José Adrián’s case is just one example. Let’s ask the government to treat them better. 


    Please write to the governor of Yucatán state.

    • Start your letter with Dear Governor.
    • In your first sentence, tell him how old you are. You could also write about one thing you like to do. This makes your message different from all the others he will receive.
    • Then explain your concern about how the police treated José Adrián.
    • In your last sentence, ask him to apologize to José, to pay back the 3,200 pesos and give José and his family any other help they need to overcome the arrest of, and injury to, José.


    Lic. Rolando Rodrigo Zapata Bello
    Gobernador del Estado de Yucatán
    Palacio de Gobierno Calle 61 x 60 y 62 
    Col. Centro, C.P. 97000
    Mérida, Yucatán, México

    Postage:    $2.50  

    Twitter:     @RolandoZapataB or @GobYucatan


    You can send a message to José. Buy a postcard of your town, write a letter, share your photo with him, or draw a picture to send him some cheer. Avoid religious pictures but you may mention Amnesty and you may include your return address. Send your greeting with $2.50 postage to

    José Adrián
    c/o Equipo Indignación
    Calle 17-A s/n entre 20 y 22
    Chablekal, Mérida
    C.P. 97305, México

    You could copy this message in Spanish: 

    Querido José Adrián, 
    Me he enterado de la terrible situación por la que han pasado. Eres un joven muy fuerte y no estás solo en tu lucha por la justicia. Todos estamos contigo.

    which means Dear José Adrián, I have been made aware of the terrible situation you have gone through. You are a very strong young man and you are not alone in your fight for justice. We are all with you. 

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