On 29 October 2006, by decision of Mexican President Vicente Fox, in concurrence with his successor, Felipe Calder?n and the Governor of the State of Oaxaca, Ulises Ruiz, implemented a police-military operation to seize the City of Oaxaca. Approximately 4,000 police troops from the Federal Preventative Police (PFP), acting as occupation army, entered Oaxaca city with helicopters and tanks, violently removing and evicting the barricades and sit-ins of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO).
The balance reported so far from this State operation includes: The deaths of two persons from teargas projectiles fired by the PFP; ccording to information from a report of the Oaxaca Human Rights Network, 32 persons reported disappeared at various police checkpoints, and a total of 41 persons detained without arrest warrants during the police operation and over the following days. Some of those detained have reportedly been transferred to the 28th military zone while others are being held in unofficial "safe houses." Private homes in Oaxaca are also being unlawfully searched without search or arrest warrants.
Persons identified by the communications media as public functionaries, with the support of paramilitary troops at the service of the governor, have murdered several persons, including an independent reporter from the U.S., Bradley Will.
Public transportation into the city is currently suspended, and all entry into the city is strictly controlled by PFP checkpoints.
The root of the conflict is the struggle carried out for more than five months by the population of Oaxaca, organized within APPO, to demand the departure of the repressive and murderous governor, Ulises Ruiz. An alliance of the parties of the right (PRI and PAN) in the national Senate has impeded that the governor be obligated to resign through institutional procedures permitted by the Mexican Constitution.
It is currently feared that the police-military operation may escalade into repressive actions such as apprehension of APPO leaders, and that the police-military presence may be extended to other areas of the state of Oaxaca.
In light of the above, we request your support for the actions of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), through the following:
1. Protests and pressure against Mexican Embassies and Consulates in your respective countries.
2. Letters (faxes, e-mails, etc.) directed to the Mexican President and to mass-circulation communications media in both Mexico and your respective countries, requesting the following:
a. The immediate departure of Mr. ULISES RUIZ from the governorship of the state of Oaxaca, whose authoritarian regime originated the conflict, and whose permanence as governor is an obstacle to peaceful resolution of the conflict.
b. Immediate withdrawal of PFP police forces from Oaxaca
c. An end to the repression, the safe return of all persons disappeared in the conflict, and an end to the illegal detentions and searches. Also, full respect for the human rights and integrity of all persons, in particular the members of APPO.
d. We demand punishment of the intellectual and material authors of the murders carried out by State paramilitary and parapolice groups.
We hold the Federal and state governments responsible for the repressive policy against the population and organizations of Oaxaca. We join the voices of those who demand a peaceful and political resolution to the conflict.
Please send your communications to the following:
President Vicente Fox Quesada, Fax: +52 (55) 5516 9537 / 5573 2126,
E-mail : email@example.com. firstname.lastname@example.org
Carlos Abascal Carranza, Interior Minister,
Fax: +52 (55) 5093 3414. email@example.com
http. www. La jornada.unam.mx