Political Prisoner in the Central Penitentiary Santa Maria Ixcotel of Oaxaca.
Member of APPO and of VOCAL, adherent to La Otra Campaña.
From the Penitentiary of Santa Maria Ixcotel.
April 17, 2007
I am being held in the penitentiary of Santa Maria Ixcotel, in my city, Oaxaca. I was brought here following a fabricated accusation of possession of drugs. When I was arrested, policemen beat me up and forced me to pose for a picture holding the bag of drugs. I refused to pose. After two long days in the PGR – UMAN (Procuraduria General de la Republica – Unidad Mixta de Atencion al Narcomenudeo), I was moved to this penitentiary where I found myself accused of sedition, and other crimes against Oaxacan society, such as the burning of the Court House on the 25th of November. I hardly need to say to the courageous and worthy people of Oaxaca that these accusations are all false because we all know what the state does to take revenge against those who struggle for social justice.
I thank you all for the support you've given me. I know about the actions carried out to demand my freedom and the freedom of all the other political prisoners in the movement of the APPO and of other struggles. I thank you for this. It is only now that I am discovering this new phase of the Oaxacan Commune. The brotherhood and solidarity climbs over and far beyond the walls of prisons. I feel the presence of all of you: my family, my friends and the great people of Oaxaca- great because of your hearts, your hope, and your intelligence. I don't have words to express what your support and protest has meant to me in these difficult days, but if I could I would embrace all of you and perhaps the closeness of our hearts would express what words can't: my gratitude and love. I feel great happiness knowing that the mobilizations continue and will continue. We have to keep up the fight, without hatred towards those who want to keep us subdued- those of us who know we're in the right don't need to look into the ruins of hatred in our hearts to find the motivation to keep struggling. In each ancient face, in each of the movement's chants, in each graffiti image that appears in clandestine by the night, in each child, in each banner, and in each of us in prison- there are the noble reasons to continue fighting. I urge you never to abandon this struggle.
Just like no one knows what's best for a child like his mother, each individual, each collective, pueblo, city, and neighborhood knows what it needs to achieve a better life. Our destiny is in our hands. My imprisonment shows, in all its harshness, what the government is capable of doing to continue systematically repressing the movement of Oaxaca. But even in the face of the repression, I hope that the exhaustion of our legs and throats never exceeds the intensity of our demand for justice and freedom for everyone- both those inside and outside of jail. I am deeply touched by the opportunity to communicate with all of the Oaxacan people- dignified by your rebellion. I want you to know that the walls of this prison are only enclosing my body, but that my spirit is with you, strengthening the morale of the rebellion, of freedom, of autonomy. The music of our chants that I heard you calling from outside the prison reached the inside of my cell. They remain deeply engraved in my heart.
I hope that this message reaches you, not like a cat that furtively climbs over the walls, but rather, as a giant that demolishes those walls, spreading the depth of my conviction- that this struggle is a just one, and that we will triumph in the end.
David Venegas Reyes