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Oaxaca’s popular movement suffers yet another brutal day
by radio zapote
Saturday Nov 25th, 2006 11:18 PM
A peaceful protest in Oaxaca was repressed by the federal police stationed in the center of the city. By nightfall, a few people were reported killed, hundreds arrested and hurt and many disappeared.


Today, after the seventh megamarch in Oaxaca, members of the APPO attempted to form a human fence around the federal preventative police (PFP), but were attacked with gas. This unleashed a series of clashes with violence again igniting in the city. Many have been arrested and there are reports of many wounded, some by gunfire. It is confirmed that three people were killed.

The march unfolded in a festive atmosphere until it reached Oaxaca’s downtown. There began the attempt to form a human fence around the PFP forces in Oaxaca's zocalo. Groups of PRI members started provoking the demonstraters with insults and shooting slingshots with marbles. Later, the PFP began using tear gas to disperse the people. People started to withdraw, but police kept moving forward and then began the riot. While shooting off tear gas, police kept charging on. People tried to resist in a peaceful way, but couldn`t stand up against the tear gas. The people began to defend themselves with rockets, home made bombs and stones.

The situation became very tense toward the area north of downtown where the police attempted to surround the protesters. At some point, the PFP entered Santo Domingo, which is occupied by an APPO encampment, and then set fire to the camp. Many fires started throughout the city, which were set by saboteurs. A bus near the University City, a door of the Hotel Camino Real and then the legislative palace and external relationships buildings were all set aflame.

The police started using gunfire and also shot gas cans at the protestors. This practice has killed people before in Oaxaca on Nov. 2 and in other places like Atenco. Radio Universidad made a general call to withdraw and to get off the streets. Three people were shot by police from two pickup trucks using heavy gunfire near the College of Medicine. Reports indicate more than one hundred shots heard. The killers took two of the bodies and left the third one lying at the spot.

Near a place known as El Pochote, a big group of people were surrounded by the police. Also in the streets of Fiallo y Colón, a big number of teachers and workers of the health department were detained and removed in two buses. To the north of downtown, several reports indicate that there were massive arrests of up to thirty people who were sprayed with gas after being detained. In a place called El Fortin, witnesses report how police were beating up and torturing detained ones before moving them from the spot aboard pickup trucks. Radio Universidad keeps transmitting and making announcements and denunciations.

The pacific mobilization received an attack from the federal police with gases and gunfire. Then protesters faced a wave of represion by armed police officers and paramilitary which resulted in the deaths of three people, many injured individuals, more than 60 detained protesters and innocent bystanders and an unknown number of disappeared people. The numbers are increasing because violence has not ceased in the streets of Oaxaca.

People caught on the streets are looking for safe places to hide as the night promises more terror. Radio Universidad is asking its listeners to open their doors and allow people to hide. Now the PFP is entering people’s homes to ransack them and search for protesters. The APPO has made a plea for all national and international organizations in solidarity with the Oaxaca struggle to protest where they can against the brutality of the Mexican federal government in its support of Ulises Ruiz.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Brett
Thursday Nov 30th, 2006 7:13 PM
Thanks for the update.
What kind of a report is this? It doesn't even make sense. IF there are violent clashes, by definition, two parties are engaging in this action. Your article here makes it sound in every way possible like these are just 100% peaceful people standing here and getting massacred indiscriminately. Thats just bullshit and you know it. Yes these are mostly peacful protesters and there are a few violent ones as well. Look, I was actually in Oaxaca the night of the election and I can tell you from first hand witness and conversation with those involved that there are some people there that are really angry and want to attack the police. Thats just a fact. Pretending this is all one sided action and externalizing everything onto the police and the government is self-delusion.

I am in every way for these folks protesting, standing-up for their rights, etc. Sadly, its your coverage of the reality on the street that is wrong here. Dare I say, this is even less fair, balanced, unbiased than mainstraim media? Jeesus, I'd prefer CNN which at least pretends to present both views. I mean this is just a joke. If this is the future of independent journalism, I'm frightened...
by Johnny Dago
Saturday Dec 2nd, 2006 1:15 PM
I would like you to know that there has been very poor BBC reporting of the popular uprising in Oaxaca in the UK. This speaks volumes in itself, but irrespective of the rights or wrongs involved with the popular dissent against a corrupt local politician, it is essential that your reporting of events is accurate and unbiased. Your breaking news currently seems to be the only source from the area that is available in the UK. probably because of the danger to journalists in Mexico.

We know that an American journalist was killed last month and that street violence has occured, however if there actually is evidence of people being ´disappeared´ you must present it. If not, you should not make the allegation.

Where is Sub-Commandante Marcos?

by mahtin
Saturday Dec 2nd, 2006 1:50 PM
i think that if you are resourceful to find this website, you are resourceful enough to find the info that you claim to seek (as in, how many/who detainees)

if you look at indymedia in mexico, such as and, or if you listen to any of the online radical radio stations like and whatever else (que viva radio universidad!) you will see that they are constantly listing names of people who have been detained, where they are from, and where they are held, under what conditions, etc. Yes, on some days there's not a lot of translation to English. Guess what? We're all volunteers. I thiknk the Indymedia network is doing pretty well, when you consider that.

Communiques from the Zapatistas are regularly posted to this site, on the Americas page, usually via Narco News, in the newswire, ie at those communiques often mention where Marcos or other high-level Zapatistas are. If you really want to k now where he is, why don't you go to southern Mexico and look for him yourself? Or try to email him thru one of the Zapatista websites? Jeez.

So please don't talk shit until you have actually made an effort to look up the information that you claim to seek. Please remember that indybay doesn't claim to be the be-all and end-all of coverage of Oaxaca, and that we always link to resources where you can find out more info. where YOU can find out more info.
by Johnny Dago
Saturday Dec 2nd, 2006 2:03 PM
Buenos Notches Senor Mahtin
Es importante que la informacio que fluya en la red sea la mas apegada a la realidad. seria irresponsable de mi parte hacer un comentario sin conocer la lucha del pueblo de oaxaca. es un movimiesto social de tracendencia no solo regional, en estos momentos me encuentro en la norteña ciudad de guadalajara a mas de 1000 kms. de la ciudad de oaxaca. informando al pueblo de guadalajara sobre la realidad del pueblo de oaxaca. con gusto veo que en la plaza central existe un planton y que ya se autodenomina barricada, la informacion que les he proporcionado lo he hecho apegada a la realidad de lo que he vivido en oaxaca asi mismo les informo de la ya inminente creacion de la ASAMBLEA POPULAR DE LOS PUEBLOS DE JALISCO unete pueblo
by viva oaxaca libre!
Tuesday Dec 5th, 2006 1:56 PM
as a mexican who has visited oaxaca and travelled all over the state several times i do know first hand the needs and plights of the people who live there, however as someone stated previously this article does not portray a ballanced view of what is going on there, for instance the appo are portrayed as a peaceful protesters wich is completely untrue this organization installed roadblocks all over the city, marched trough the streets of mexico city blocking important streets to the use of thousands and thousands of car owners, spray painted messages against the government all over defacing historical buildings, kidnapped tourists for a few hours by not letting them exit their hotels, conducted summary trials of supposed criminals, destroyed or atempted to destroy fast food restaurants (mc donalds, burguer king), overtook several radio stations for several months, prevented oaxacas guelaguetza from taking place, burned buildings, cars, buses down and so on.....

the appo do not represent the majority of the oaxacans, they are a violent group (not all of them) that intend to subvert the government overthrowing it trough the use of violence its leaders use the ignorance and despair of the poor oaxacan people to reach their dark ends.
i do believe in civil disobedience, peaceful expression of complaints, and the use of non violence and two-way dialogue to reach just and neccesary changes, the appo leaders do not, they want to impose and they wont negotiate at all (until now that the government cracked them down).

some factual inaccuracies in this article are: some of the protesters tried to retake the city zocalo not just form a human fence, not only "pri members" provoked the protesters many oaxacans not affiliated with the pri are fed up with the situation they are not allowed to work it is the people of oaxaca whom are starting to fight back for their city to be in order again, "The people began to defend themselves with rockets, home made bombs and stones" can someone explain why would peaceful protesters be armed with rockets and molotov bombs? may be it was the pri-infiltrates uh? (sarcasm of course), "the PFP entered Santo Domingo, which is occupied by an APPO encampment, and then set fire to the camp" it was the appo who set fire to the camp once they recognized they could not contain the pfp front lines wich are UNARMED as to not provoke a bloodbath this is understandable if you take into account that mexico just changed presidents and neither the old nor the new one would have liked to see armed people storming out "peaceful protesters" in this delicate and very fragile transition of power, it was appo members no "saboteurs" who set on fire historical and government offices such as the superior justice tribunal, the repression is not repression but long overdue legal use of violence to clear the streets of this groups of violent and closed of to dialogue people.

if this protesters where committing these crimes in europe or in the usa the government response wouldnt have taken as long as it did here, these protesters in effect paralyzed a capital city for over 5 months and the violence threatens to extend to other citys. the appo closed the doors for dialogue several times demanding all of their demands to be followed or "else" in my opinion to concede to this demands would only inspire other radical groups to rise and use violence to advance their respective political, social, or economical agendas and this is just not right.

by Daisy
Thursday Dec 7th, 2006 9:40 PM
The situation in Oaxaca is of great concern. and there are some questions that could be asked. such as why is this year different when the teachers strike is an annual event that has been going on each May for about 27 years? This year busines people and others were also protesting about work projects conducted by Uyses Ruiz that were not seen to be in keeping with the cultural and historical beauty of the city. These are very real and tangible concerns.
Why have negotiations on these issues failed?
I was in Oaxaca for two weeks until the end of August, I noticed that peoples livelihoods were at risk, I do not know how people will feed their families, there was an air of depression and uncertainty. I can imagine this could only be more dire with each day passing.
Now it seems there are multi layered concerns with each attempt to rectify the situation leading to further deaths, disappearances and outrage. Where are the true leaders? These are people who know when to fight and when to withdraw, when to take care of all the people and how to negotiate and come to agreements, to face up to their responsibilities. I have seen trouble and learnt that every side is suffering, my heart goes to all the people, regardless, and my wishes are for peace and security for all Oaxaquenos. My experience of this place has been one of welcoming and warmth and people with kindheartedness and my hope is that they are to hold onto their hopes for their city to return to peace.

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