October 2nd – Dear friends,
An amazing struggle is now being threatened with obliteration. The people of Oaxaca are facing an imminent attack by the federal government which will result in senseless bloodshed. Please take five minutes to send an e-mail or fax to the Mexican government to demand they not harm the Oaxacan people, who have been engaged in civil resistance for the past few months. Also, please forward this widely if you know of people who would want to act.
It seems petty to write an email, but it’s the least we can do.
Dear President Vicente Fox,
Please do not authorize the use of Federal force to resolve the current social and political dispute in Oaxaca.
Your Name Here
Vicente Fox Quesada
(Presidencia, Los Pinos)
011 52 (55) 2789 1100
011 52 (55) 18 7501 Atencion Ciudadana
Fax: (55) 52 77 23 76
email: vicente.fox.quesada (at) presidencia.gob.mx
If you use email, please send copies to:
President Elect Felipe Calderón Hinojosa: felipe (at) felipe.org.mx and
Secretary of Government: Carlos Abascal: segob (at) rtn.net.mx
What follows is a summary of what is occurring in Oaxaca.
ACT NOW FOR OAXACA
A terrifyingly tense situation is occurring in Oaxaca with military aircraft flying over Oaxaca’s city center Sunday, apparently performing reconnaissance for an eventual attack, and groups of armed individuals violently assaulting barricades erected by the popular movement of Oaxaca.
The radios operating under control of People’s Popular Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO) are making constant calls for reinforcement of its barricades, hundreds of which are placed throughout the city to protect encampments of people protesting the government of Ulises Ruiz. The people are in a state of extreme alert with all of the signs pointing to an eventual bloodbath.
Sunday night a confrontation erupted between sympathizers of the APPO and townspeople aligning themselves with Ruiz’s political party, the Party of the Institutionalized Revolution (PRI), when APPO members attempted to erect a barricade in the neighborhood of Brenamiel. It is reported that hundreds of people fought in the streets. Three adolescents were gravely injured by the PRI faction.
After four months of conflict, the teachers of Oaxaca and the APPO maintain their demand that Ruiz must go; he must resign or be impeached. Ruiz is accused of a bloody wave of repression that began with his arrival to office two years ago that has included the murder, disappearings and rape of people denouncing his authority.
In Oaxaca and in the national media a report is circulating that a military assault will occur on Sunday night that will be an end to the civil and pacific mobilization of the Oaxacan people. An expected invasion by the federal army could retake Oaxaca’s city center, which has been occupied by the Oaxacan people since the beginning of May.
Oaxaca’s teacher’s union and the APPO, the groups heading up the resistance, left negotiations last month after its principal demand, Ruiz’s removal, was refused by federal officials.
Since the end of dialogue, a series of events warned of the repression to occur. After months of being out of sight, Ruiz appeared in public last week with a contingent of armed guards. A security patrol of teachers confronted the governor and forced him to leave. Later that day, masked individuals shot at people guarding the barricades. Daily attacks have since taken place to uproot the organization of the people.
The people are preparing for a situation similar to the one experienced by the people of Atenco. In the beginning of May this year, the town outside of Mexico City was attacked for two consecutive days by federal police agents. Hundreds of people were brutalized by the police, more than thirty women reported being violated while in police custody, and dozens of people continue to be incarcerated for their resistance.
Please act now to help defend the popular struggle of the Oaxacan people, who are resisting the Mexican elite’s plan to dispossess millions of people of their land and livelihoods through neo-liberal policies. International solidarity works for Mexico.