On Thursday August 25, in the city of Veracruz Mexico, a rumor spread that certain schools would be closing their doors because they had received threats from members belonging to organized crime organizations. This rumor was spread through many sources, Twitter being one of the most important. The hashtag #Verfollow was inundated with tweets stating that all parents should pick up their children from school because they were being kidnapped. Needless to say the tweets caused widespread panic in the city. Later that same day the governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte Ochoa took to his own twitter account to inform citizens that the rumors were in fact false, that he had found the source, and that they would face legal consequences for their actions.
This resulted in the arrest of Maria de Jesus Bravo Pagola, and Gilberto Martinez Vera who are now being charged with terrorism and sabotage and if convicted could face up to 30 years in prison. Through various investigations we have come to learn that in fact these two individuals were not the source of the rumor. By the time these two individuals had sent their tweets many other tweets had already appeared on twitter, and many school officials were calling parents and urging them to pick up their children.
We urge you today to take one minute to sign this petition that asks for the prompt release of Maria de Jesus Bravo Pagola and Gilberto Martinez Vera which through torture are being forced to plead guilty to a crime they did not commit and could face the next 30 years of their life in prison.
Due to the severity of these events, a call was made on Wednesday August 31, 2011 in representation of the state of Veracruz in Mexico City. A letter was delivered to the government of the state of Veracruz to demand the release of Maria de Jesus Bravo and Gilberto Martinez.
Freedom for Maria de Jesus Bravo and Gilberto Martinez!
Below a translated copy of such letter. By signing this petition, you are inturn sending this letter to Lic. Javier Duarte Ochoa, Governor of the State of Veracruz.