Immigration hunger strike protester arrested, charged with meth possession
by Sarah Chambers
July 08, 2013 04:55 PM | 3035 views | 13 13 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pictured from left is Salvador Zamora and Martin Altamirano in a July 12, 2011 photograph where the two men had not been eating during their hunger strike since July 1, 2011 in their protest against immigration reforms and hoped for better legislation for immigrants. The two men at the time were only drinking half a gallon of water with a little honey each day. (Staff/Laura Moon)
Pictured from left is Salvador Zamora and Martin Altamirano in a July 12, 2011 photograph where the two men had not been eating during their hunger strike since July 1, 2011 in their protest against immigration reforms and hoped for better legislation for immigrants. The two men at the time were only drinking half a gallon of water with a little honey each day. (Staff/Laura Moon)
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MABLETON — Martin Altamirano, one of two Hispanic men who engaged in a hunger strike in 2011 to protest Georgia’s tough new immigration law, faces drug charges after being pulled over for a routine traffic stop last week.

Altamirano, 47, a native of Honduras and current Austell resident, was pulled over shortly before 11 p.m. July 2 by Cobb police on Veterans Memorial Highway near Powder Springs Road after changing lanes without using his turn signal, according to the arrest warrant.

Altamirano exited his vehicle to speak with one police officer when another police officer reported, “I could see a brown paper bag in plain view under the driver’s seat.”

Police say the bag contained a white substance that tested positive as methamphetamine, a man-made drug that can be taken in pill form, snorted, smoked or injected.

Altamirano was driving a 1998 Honda Civic with Minnesota tags. He had a male passenger with him in the car who was not charged.

Altamirano was arrested by the Cobb County Police Department and jailed on a $5,000 bond. He was charged with improper lane change, a misdemeanor, and possession of methamphetamine, a felony.

Altamirano engaged in a hunger strike from July 1 to July 12, 2011, in protest of Georgia’s immigration law, House Bill 87, which was signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal in 2011.

He was joined in the strike by Salvador Zamore, who fasted for more than six weeks eating only yogurt while Altamirano helped take care of him.

“I was feeling weak and dizzy; it’s weird to describe,” Altamirano said at the time. Two weeks earlier he had vowed he would continue his hunger strike until death.

Comments
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A Taxpayer
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July 09, 2013
If he's been living in Austell ever since he was hunger-striking, what's he doing with Minnesota tags?
Jeff A. Taylor
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July 09, 2013
Ah, yes. The illegal lane change probable cause. Classic. Leo Frank says hi.
aleromal
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September 20, 2013
Look like you know very well our law enforcement !

Thanks and God bless you
anonymous
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July 09, 2013
Do these two guys work? If not, where do they get money to live on?
Rich Pellegrino
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July 10, 2013
He is a well respected auto mechanic in Mableton....do you work (just asking cause you know what they say about those pointing fingers)
Rich Pellegrino
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July 09, 2013
There some of you go foaming at the mouth again before engaging your brain:

1) He is a legal resident of the U.S.

2) He is innocent until proven guilty (and will be proven innocent with the charges likely dropped), as he has never used or sold drugs in his life.

3) He is an example of the type of immigrant we want in this country--someone willing to non-violently sacrifice his life for human rights of others. (How many of you would?)

anonymous
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July 12, 2013
Yes, Pellegrino, I work, but I can't say I would be effective at my job if I went 11 days without eating. Nor could I say I was a committed employee or that I was committed to my customers if I did that.
Pat H
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July 09, 2013
Does he also have an immigration hold? This man is stupid in three dimensions.
later
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July 09, 2013
Thats why he was able to do the hunger strike for almost 2 weeks!!!!
1LEGUP
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July 09, 2013
Hunger strike they say, I say, 'what a terriffic idea!" Now if only we can get the rest of the illegals to follow suit, but follow it to the bitter end and not stop like this wimp did, that would releave Georgia of most of it's illegal burdens on our tax-payers. Well, for a while anyway till more of them "steal" their way across our lax borders.
Deportation
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July 08, 2013
This is part of why we don't want illegals here in the US. We already have a drug infested nation so we don't need any more issues! Make him serve his time and send him back!
Rich Pellegrino
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July 09, 2013
If we applied that same standard to all of the legal immigrants (as he is) to this country we would likely all "be sent back", including members of your and my families. So look in the mirror before you point fingers.
anonymous
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July 08, 2013
Wow this is shocking news! Who'd have thought it possible that a person willing to break the law to come here would break drug laws?
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