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Related Categories: Americas | International
Arrest Warrants Issued for Over 50 Grassroots Leaders in Oaxaca, Mexico
by Democracy Now (reposted)
Friday Aug 18th, 2006 8:10 AM
We go to Oaxaca in southern Mexico where over 50 arrest warrants have been issued for grassroots leaders staging a peaceful encampment in the city center. In June, Oaxaca's governor, Ulises Ruiz, ordered a police crackdown on the more than 70,000 teachers on strike.
We turn to Mexico where massive street demonstrations continue in the capital in support of populist presidential candidate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Monday marked the first day that police used tear gas and truncheons to break up the demonstrators. But while the world's attention is on Mexico city, another battle is gaining intensity in the south of the country, in the state of Oaxaca.

In June, Oaxaca's governor, Ulises Ruiz, ordered a police crackdown on a peaceful encampment of 70,000 teachers on strike in the city center.

Since then, others have joined the teachers to create a broad movement opposed to Ruiz's government. Over the past month the Oaxacan People's Assembly, known as APPO, has launched a campaign of civil disobedience aimed at forcing Ruiz to step down. Protesters have blockaded streets and government buildings. This past week a group of women took over the state run Television station Canal 9.

Since the uprising began, the state has intensified its use of force. As many as four members of APPO were fatally shot this past week. Nearly ten people have been injured and many more detained. Allegedly state-backed gunmen have also raided media outlets critical of the government.

We are joined on the line from Oaxaca by three guests:

* Jill Freidberg, filmmaker who has spent several years in Oaxaca. She is producer of the film "Granito De Arena", which documents the Oaxaca teacher's union movement.
* John Gibler, journalist whose articles have been published on ZNet, and will appear in Z magazine as well as in These Times Magazines next month. John is also a Human Rights Fellow with Global Exchange.
* Sergio Beltran, general coordinator for Universidad de la Tierra in Oaxaca, or Unitierra, an NGO for alternative education. Through Unitierra he has been a participant in the Oaxaca People's Assembly. He also is part of the broadcasting team of Oaxaca's community radio station: Radio Planton, where he produces a show on the mass media.

LISTEN ONLINE:
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/18/1353205
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