In June 2006, widespread protests demanding the resignation of the State Governor erupted in Oaxaca State. Oaxaca City was brought to a standstill for several months. The political turmoil lasted into 2007 and provoked a prolonged public security crisis.
While most protests were peaceful, there were many violent clashes between sections of the opposition movement, the security forces and supporters of the local state government. At least 18 people died in disputed circumstances and scores of people were arbitrarily detained and held incommunicado.
There were numerous reports of torture and ill-treatment and of unfair trial proceedings and those seeking to defend and promote human rights were threatened and harassed. Some of these human rights violations were committed by police in civilian clothes and unidentified armed men operating with the apparent authorization, support or acquiescence of the state authorities.