Revolution #71, December 3, 2006


Repression and Resistance in Oaxaca

As we go to press, the situation in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca is very tense. On Friday, November 24, following a week of intensified police repression, torture, and disappearances, the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) called for a 7th Mega March to the zócalo (central city square) in Oaxaca City to surround the Federal Preventive Police (PFP) for 48 hours, and press their demands for the PFP to withdraw and for the governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, to resign.

The PFP have been in Oaxaca since October 29, sent by the federal government to protect the governor and its institutions, and to defeat the struggle of the people which has been challenging the governments authority for six months. While the PFP was able to displace the people from many of their encampments and recaptured radio and TV stations, the people have not stopped struggling. On November 20, the PFP attacked a march of 1500 supporters of APPO who were commemorating the 96th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution of 1910. They also beat reporters and photographers from national and international press and made several arrests.

On Friday, the eve of the Mega March, the PFP began to move some of its troops out of the zócalo, and stationed water cannons and barbed wire around the perimeter of the zócalo.

In the face of all this, the Mexican newspaper La Jornada is reporting that tens of thousands marched in Oaxaca City on Saturday. More than 160 were arrested. APPO is saying that the PFP attacked the protest with gunfire and so much tear gas that covered the entire zócalo. La Jornada is reporting that APPO says that five people were killed, and 25 people have been “disappeared.”

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