Photini | 11.08.2007 00:50
State police say they were arrested because they didn’t possess immigration documents but the human rights organisation contest that the police stole their immigration papers and wallets after their arrest.
The three women and one man from Catalonia were kidnapped at 10.15pm in the Zocalo on August 5th, while watching a DVD showing federal police violence during Oaxaca’s uprising last year which to date has resulted in the paramilitary inflicted deaths of 60 people including Indymedia journalist Brad Will, the arrests and torture of 350 people and the disappearance of 50 activists.
The internationals, said to be travelling activists, were together arrested with Mexican man who was responsible for showing them the footage. A Oaxaca court released him the following morning but the Spaniards in Mexico City’s Istapalapa detention centre, are facing deportation.
LiMEDDH president Yesica Sánchez this morning called for the release of the four internationals saying their arrest in Oaxaca and subsequent detention in Mexico City illustrates the extent to which human rights abuses are being endorsed on a national level.
On Tuesday, Amnesty International labelled Mexico’s human rights agenda as “schizophrenic,” citing dozens of murders, rapes and “disappearances” committed in Oaxaca which have yet to be brought to justice.
The internationals were arrested at 10.15 on the evening of Oaxaca’s state elections which witnessed less than a third of the population turn out to vote.
Mexican TV journalist covering the election Raymundo Vasquez said the fact only 22% of the population voted constitutes a vote of no confidence in the entire electoral system. “This is our democracy; one of no faith and apathy,” he said.
But while the polling stations in Oaxaca City were empty on election day, journalists reported outbreaks of violence and riotry in the neighbouring towns Yuchitan and Tehuantepec.
Oaxaca’s uprising was sparked last June 14th when teachers union demands for higher salaries and better conditions for school children were met with police violence sparking a state-wide movement demanding the deposition of Governor Ruiz under name The Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO).
The low voting turn out has been labelled a success for APPO whose supporters now constitute over 300 groups disenfranchised with local and national government and calling for people to take matters into their own hands.