James Daria and Dul Santamaría, journalists with the Other Journalism and Narco News, were arrested today in Oaxaca City together with a group of colleagues and adherents to the Other Campaign. According to the following communiqué we have just received from the Red Oaxaqueña Zapatista (Oaxaca Zapatista Network), they were detained by a group of police in civilian clothing in an act of violent repression against independent journalism and the Zapatista Other Campaign…
Oaxaca: May 1, 2006
REPRESSION AND ARBITRARY ARRESTS AGAINST THE OTHER CAMPAIGN
In Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, today, International Workers’ Day, several Other Campaign demonstrators were subject to repression and arbitrary arrests.
For the “Other May 1st,” and in support of the immigrants’ struggle in the United States and the boycott on U.S. products, the Red Oaxaqueña Zapatista held a march/demonstration that was attended by adherents to the Other Campaign and people in solidarity with the immigrants’ struggle. In response, the state government of Oaxaca unleashed a police operation of permanent harassment against the demonstration on the part of agents in civilian clothing.
The Other Campaign contingent was followed by three Special Operations Police Unit (UPOE) trucks and ten police officers in civilian clothing, including the sub-director of the Tourist Police. The result of this operation was the arbitrary detention of seven compañeros and compañeras; three of them Mexican and four foreigners.
The Mexicans are:
- Dulce Estrella Santamaría Robles: Narco News journalist, adherent to the Other Campaign, student of the Universidad de la Tierra (University of the Land) and member of the Red Oaxaqueña Zapatista.
- Moisés Altamirano Bustos: Oaxaca resident and member of the “Somos Resistencia” anarchist collective, who was beaten and intimidated during and after the moment of his arrest.
- Hasavias López Cortés: Oaxaca resident and member of the “Somos Resistencia” anarchist collective, who was beaten and intimidated during and after the moment of his arrest.
The foreigners, all U.S. citizens, are:
- James Daria: Narco News journalist covering the event, Other Campaign supporter, partner of Dulce Santamaría.
- Jessica Joseph Daria: student at the Universidad de la Tierra who was taking photos and recording audio and video of the demonstration, and who does not speak Spanish.
- Hillary Chase Lowenbere: Student at the Universidad de la Tierra who was taking photos and recording audio of the demonstration, and who does not speak Spanish.
- Andrew William Saltzman: Student at the Universidad de la Tierra, who was taking photos and recording audio of the demonstration.
It should be pointed out that all of them were arrested after, and not during, the demonstration, and that the North Americans are all journalists.The lawyers who went to UPOE headquarters were only allowed to see the detained for three minutes. They are being held incommunicado and in isolation. Secretary of Public Security José Manuel Vera Salinas himself arrived as well to meet with the police commissioner and discuss the case of the detained.
We denounce these events as part of a process of criminalization of the Other Campaign on the part of government and police authorities.
We call upon all adherents to the Other Campaign and the Sixth Declaration for solidarity, upon all social fighters of conscience to support us in our demand for the immediate release of our seven arbitrarily detained comrades. We call upon you to keep watch for what might happen, as our foreign compañeros could be expelled from the country, and the rest forced to pay large fines.
We hold Oaxaca Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, Government Secretary Franco Vargas and Secretary of Public Security José Manuel Vera Salinas directly responsible for the physical and moral wellbeing of the detained.
DOWN WITH POLICE BRUTALITY
AGAINST THE CRIMINALIZATION OF THE OTHER CAMPAIGN
FREEDOM FOR ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS
FOR FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND ASSEMBLY
La Red Oaxaqueña Zapatista
Adherents of the Other Campaign
Supporters of the Other Campaign