El Salvador - Maria Teresa thanks supporters after release from jail

By Maria Teresa Rivera

On 20 May 2016, Maria Teresa Rivera was finally freed from prison in El Salvador after a judge dismissed the charges against her. But almost immediately, the Attorney General’s Office announced it would appeal. In 2011, Maria Teresa had been given a 40-year sentence after suffering a miscarriage. Thousands of people across the world rallied to her cause. This is her thank you message to everyone – but she still needs your support.  

I want to thank everyone who supported me and who never left me alone, everyone who believed in me and always said that I was innocent even though you did not know me. This was very special to me.

When I heard that I was free I felt very happy because I had not seen my son for a year and a half. That kept me in despair and anguish because I did not know how he was. When they told me I was free I did not have words, I felt happy because I was going to see my son – that was my wish – to be with him.

The first thing my son told me was that he loved me a lot. I told him I loved him too. When I saw him, I knew I was never going to be apart from him again. Thanks to God I am with him now.

I am worried about my financial situation because I don’t have a job or the means to support my son. But I think that God will open doors.

I have always wished for my son to be different from me, that he becomes a professional. I was not able to study because I did not have the means.  But I want to find a way to make sure my son can study.

I am very grateful to every man and woman who has been following my case, with that lighted candle, and who hoped that I would be free.
Maria Teresa Rivera

[Since my release] I have been sharing my experience with others – and thanking God that I am not there [in prison] anymore.

I am very grateful to every man and woman who has been following my case, with that lighted candle, and who hoped that I would be free. That gave me so much strength, because if you believed it on the outside, I had to believe it too.

Every one of you is an angel sent into my life at the moment when I needed it most. Thank you to each of you. I know that you will not leave me alone and you will keep supporting my “compañeras” – more than 25 women who are still in prison and who are innocent like I was.

In El Salvador justice has been served and this needs to happen again with my “compañeras”. I ask everyone - men and women who followed my case – to support them. I will also join you. I don’t have the economic means, but I have the moral strength to help make them feel strong by keeping alive the hope that they will also be free, and that justice will be done.