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Oaxaca battles vicious repression

Marcos: Oaxaca from above - and below

Radical Mexico rallies to defend imprisoned and missing

Thursday 7 December 2006, by Subcomandante Marcos

Introduction by International Viewpoint

At the end of October Mexico’s PAN [1] government sent thousands of paramilitary police to crush the near insurrectionary movement, which has mobilised hundreds of thousands against the corrupt state government of Ulises Ruiz.

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Marcos at Oaxaca protest meeting

In the last two weeks the repression has become particularly severe. During clashes between police and troops on the one hand and supporters of APPO (Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca) on the other, several people have been killed, more than 220 have been arrested or ‘disappeared’ and hundreds have been injured. On Monday 4 December key APPO leader Flavio Sosa, together with his comrades Ignacio García and Marcelino Coache, were arrested in Mexico City and taken to high-security Almoloya prison in Mexico state.

Dozens of prisoners have been dispersed to jails outside Oaxaca. Many families do not know the fate of relatives who have disappeared - are they arrested, have they been murdered, are they being tortured? In the struggles of this year torture and abuse of prisoners has become normal in Mexico.

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Flavio Sosa

To fight back the APPO has called a new ‘mega march’ for Sunday 10 December in Oaxaca, to demand the release of the imprisoned militants. The leadership of the ‘centre-left’ and centre parties - the PRD, PT [2] and Convergence of Progressive Forces, have all indicated they will participate in the march. APPO is threatening to reimpose the recently called-off teachers strike throughout Oaxaca unless the repression stops.

Many famous intellectuals and personalities - including left-wing Senator Rosario Ibarra de Piedra, the writer Carlos Montemayor the actress Ofelia Medina have also indicated their intention to participate.

Below we publish the December 6 statement of EZLN leader Subcomandante Marcos (aka ‘Delegado Zero’) on Oaxaca and the EZLN call for solidarity. Marcos’ statement was made during the final meeting of the Northern phase of the national tour of the EZLN’s ’Other Campaign’.


December 6, 2006 WORDS FROM DELEGATE ZERO OF THE SIXTH COMMISSION OF THE EZLN. DECEMBER 2, 2006. COPAI-México

The Other Campaign in the North of Mexico: saying “Oaxaca” from above and below

Hundreds of people detained illegally, dozens of people disappeared, tortures, searches, and beatings. Young men and women, indigenous people, children, elders. In other words: the people of Oaxaca who come from below. Above, there are the Federal Preventive Police, Ulises Ruiz’s paramilitaries, the mass media, the political class.

To be quiet in the face of this is to say “Oaxaca” from above, and to make top-down assessments that are cheerful...and idiotic.

Because up above they are prepared to declare that everything has returned to normal and that the “conflict” is controlled because “the leaders” have been detained, as if this movement had “leaders” to be bought, imprisoned or killed. They say that now we must look the other way.

That is to say, we must turn a steady gaze to those above, to the paraphernalia of political power, to its simulations and its fronts, which command and give orders while the true Power doles out the day’s orders to its media, pundits, announcers, artists, intellectuals, police chiefs, military units and paramilitary.

To say “Oaxaca” from below is to say compañero and compañera, to draw near to those who are persecuted, to mobilize our own forces to demand the return of the disappeared and the release of detainees, to inform, to call for international solidarity and support, to not be quiet, to speak of this southern pain and to announce that it extends through the entire country and beyond its borders on all four sides, as though it were down below where pains walks, is named, spoken of and listened to.

Oaxaca is extending in pain, but also in struggle. Pieces of this people, as if parts of a puzzle, are scattered throughout the national territory and beyond its geographic limits, which, at least in the north, are more ridiculous than ever.

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Acclaimed muralist Gerardo Bonilla, who has been ’disappeared’ in Oaxaca

During the two months that we spent walking in the different corners of the Mexican north, Oaxaca appeared over after over. And it cloaked itself in pain and rage, and it spoke to us and watched us.

And the Other Campaign listened and keeps listening; and it extends its arms, as do the thousands of Zapatistas who blocked off the roads of Chiapas on two occasions in solidarity with Oaxaca and the Others in all of the corners of Mexico from Below, as well as the others in all of the corners of the world. As they extend their arms. As they will keep extending them even if no one pays attention; as we who are nobody will not become a fragmented mirror.

In front of Oaxaca, for Oaxaca and by Oaxaca, we say:

COMMUNIQUE FROM THE CLANDESTINE REVOLUTIONARY INDIGENOUS COMMITTEE-GENERAL COMMAND OF THE ZAPATISTA ARMY FOR NATIONAL LIBERATION (EZLN).


Editorial note: The appeal below calls for actions on 22nd December. However APPO now appears to have decided a mobilisation for next Sunday, 10 December. Further details will be given here is the 22 December date is maintained for international mobilisations.

EZLN appeal for national and international solidarity

DECEMBER 2, 2006

TO THE PEOPLE OF MEXICO: TO THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD:

SISTERS AND BROTHERS:

THE ATTACK THAT OUR BRETHREN, THE PEOPLE OF OAXACA, SUFFERED AND ARE SUFFERING, CANNOT BE IGNORED BY THOSE WHO STRUGGLE FOR LIBERTY, JUSTICE AND DEMOCRACY IN EVERY CORNER OF THE PLANET.

FOR THIS REASON, THE EZLN CALLS EVERY HONEST PERSON, IN MEXICO AND AROUND THE WORLD, TO BEGIN, FROM THIS MOMENT, CONTINUOUS ACTIONS IN SOLIDARITY AND SUPPORT OF THE OAXACAN PEOPLE, WITH THE FOLLOWING DEMANDS:

FOR THE LIVE RETURN OF THOSE WHO HAVE DISAPPEARED, FOR THE RELEASE OF PRISONERS, FOR THE WITHDRAWAL OF ULISES RUIZ AND FEDERAL FORCES FROM OAXACA, FOR THE PUNISHMENT OF THOSE GUILTY OF TORTURE, RAPE AND MURDER. IN BRIEF: FOR FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY AND JUSTICE FOR THE PEOPLE OF OAXACA.

WE CALL FOR THIS INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO SAY, IN ALL WAYS AND IN ALL PLACES WHERE IT IS POSSIBLE, WHAT HAS HAPPENED AND IS HAPPENING IN OAXACA, EACH PERSON IN THEIR OWN MANNER, TIME AND SPACE.

WE CALL FOR THESE ACTIONS TO CULMINATE IN A GLOBAL MOBILIZATION FOR OAXACA ON DECEMBER 22, 2006.

THE OAXACAN PEOPLE ARE NOT ALONE. WE MUST PROCLAIM THIS AND SHOW THAT IT IS TRUE, BOTH TO THEM AND TO EVERYONE.

Democracy! Liberty! Justice!

Footnotes

[1] National Action Party which is right-wing, neoliberal and pro-US

[2] Party of the Democratic Revolution and Workers Party repesctively