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2007-06-14

Oaxaca Residents Mobilize for 1-Year Mark of State Repression of Popular Uprising

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Teachers, activists and local residents in Oaxaca, Mexico are preparing to march today to mark the first anniversary of a bloody crackdown on striking school teachers that sparked last year’s popular uprising. We get a report from independent journalist and Global Exchange Human Rights Fellow John Gibler.

In Oaxaca, Mexico, teachers, activists and local residents are preparing to march today to mark the first anniversary of a bloody crackdown on striking school teachers that sparked last year"s popular uprising.

  • John Gibler. Independent journalist and Global Exchange Human Rights Fellow, reporting from Oaxaca.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: And in Oaxaca, Mexico, teachers, activists and local residents are preparing to march today to mark the first anniversary of a bloody crackdown on striking school teachers that sparked last year’s popular uprising. For more from Oaxaca, we’re joined by independent journalist and Global Exchange Human Rights fellow, John Gibler. He’s on the ground in Oaxaca. Tell us what is happening, John.

JOHN GIBLER: Good morning. At 4:00 a.m. this morning, exactly a year after Oaxaca State Governor Ulises Ruiz sent over 1,000 riot police to violently lift the striking teachers in the center of the city, members of the Oaxaca People’s Popular Assembly, or APPO, set off bottle rockets across the city, using the protestor’s famous hand-made alarm systems to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the police raid, that then set off a six-month unarmed uprising. After parapolice death squads killed over sixteen protestors and the New York [inaudible] journalist, Brad Will, in late October last year, then President Fox ordered federal police to take over control of the city. And though massive protests continued, a clash with the police on November 25 of last year led to a massive crackdown and arrests of over 100 people. In the weeks and months that followed, parapolice groups continued to arrest and torture movement participants. Only a month ago, police grabbed David Vonegas–an APPO activist and council member–off the streets first accusing him of selling drugs and only later, of burning buildings during the clash with police on November 15,, er, 25. The APPO has continued to organize, first in clandestine meetings and later in public assemblies and marches. Today the APPO has convoked a megamarch to march from the airport into the Zocalo–the first time that the APPO will arrive into the Zocalo since last October. They also have called to construct barricades in all of the places in the city where protestors fell to the armed attacks of parapolice groups. The APPO continues to push its main demands: the ousting of Ulises Ruiz, and a call for profound social and political transformation of the state. Still the climate of impunity and repression continues. There are over 300 arrest warrants currently active against movement participants and no police officers have been either investigated or punished in the more than twenty deaths that occurred last year. Also just two days ago, the Mexican Supreme Court announced that they would investigate declarations and findings of massive human rights violations in Oaxaca.

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