"In Oaxaca, southern Mexico the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO) is seeking to force the resignation of Oaxaca state governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, known as URO. Each night protestors are erecting up to 500 barricades in the streets of Oaxaca City.
The movement has declared Governor URO banished and has proclaimed the Assembly the sole decision-making body for the state. What started with a teachers’ strike has escalated hugely.
The state authorities are trying to crush the rebellion by force. At least six activists have recently been shot dead. An eye witness writes: “The situation here is very scary, shootings are taking place daily, threats and harassments are the methods being used in the government repression.” Stressing the need for solidarity, he urges: “Please try to do whatever you can wherever you are. Do not remain silent.”
Lorenzo San Pablo Cervantes, civil servant and APPO supporter was shot dead by security forces in Oaxaca City on 22 August. On 10 August there were five murders. Indigenous Triqui activists Andrés Santiago Cruz and Martínez Martínez, plus12 year old Octavio Martínez Martínez, were all killed near Putla in Oaxaca state by gunmen – reportedly paramilitaries linked to the PRI party of governor URO. Mechanic José Jiménez Colmenares, married to a teacher, was shot while participating in an APPO march in Oaxaca. A doctor involved in APPO, travelling by car, was shot by 2 people on a motorbike.
Many have been arrested or “disappeared”. Amnesty International states “Activists Ramiro Aragón Pérez and Germán Mendoza Nube are being detained and are at risk of torture or ill-treatment.”
Activists have been occupying radio and TV stations and broadcasting news of the struggle. Women occupied state TV station Channel 9 on 1 August and broadcast alternative programmes, many focusing on women’s situation. On 21 August police and paramilitaries launched a terrifying attack on the occupied station, shooting and wounding 58 year old protestor Sergio Vale Jimenez. APPO supporters responded by occupying 10 commercial radio stations.
On 5 September APPO issued an urgent communiqué, warning of the authorities’ plans to initiate fake guerrilla actions to justify already planned massive and brutal repression. But, say APPO, the people will respond to such terror with “insurrection”.
Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group calls on all UK citizens, political parties and organisations, trade unions, NGOs, charities and autonomous groups to protest the repression in Oaxaca. The Mexican authorities must know the whole world is watching.”
Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group 15.9.06
edinchiapas (at) yahoo.co.uk
Detailed reports on the above events can be found at
Mexican Federal Government:
President Vicente Fox Quesada (until Dec. 1st 2006)
vicente.fox.quesada (at) presidencia.gob.mx
radio (at) presidencia.gob.mx
webadmon (at) appresidencia.gob.mx
Mexican Embassy to the United Kingdom
Ambassador: Juan Jose Bremer de Martino
16 St. George Street
London W1S 1LX
tel. +44 (0)20 7499 8586
fax. +44 (0)20 7495 4035
e-mail: mexuk (at) easynet.co.uk