Human Rights Violations in Oaxaca

November 9th, 2006 – ojos en oaxaca writes: Many activists from Boston and other U.S. cities have traveled to Oaxaca in the past weeks/months to help record, report on, and work in solidarity with the people’s movement there. Below is one of many reports to come from one such Boston indy reporter who is currently in Oaxaca, but has preferred to remain anonymous.

November 9th, 2006

Oaxaca is living a brutal government represión of the social movement, where there are disappearances, torture, detentions, killings, and many injured. Given the situation, it is difficult to know exactly how many people have been affected, but there is no doubt that there are severe violations of human rights. According to one list, compiled by local activists, from June 14th through November 5th, there were 145 detained, 34 of who have been freed, 17 dead, and 33 seriously injured, including 5 journalists injured and one killed. Some sources speak of 65 disappeared. There are numerous people who have also received death threats.

Below is an interview with one of the members of a collective working to defend human rights and documenting cases of violations.

From the “planton” of Santo Domingo, Oaxaca:

What is the human rights situation here in Oaxaca?

Human rights basically do not exist here anymore. All human rights are out of order. You can be at any moment kidnapped by people who call themselves police. They can be mercenaries. They can put you in jail. They can make you disappear. And you don´t have any human rights.

This is ironic because Mexico, this year, is in the human rights leadership in the UN. They should watch and guard human rights, but they are the first to do away with them.

What violations of human rights have there been?

The violations can be killing them, torturing them, beating them. We have now reports of people who were in jail. They were kept for two, three days without any food, nothing to drink. They wanted to go to the toilet but they didn´t give them a toilet, just made them urinate in their pants, this kind of abuse. They are threatening their families.

And we also have numbers. We are talking about at least 45 disappeared people. We have the first report of people who saw with their own eyes how a teacher was thrown out of a flying helicopter. Also we have a report, not verified yet, of a doctor who works in a hospital, who saw twenty dead people the 2nd of November (the day of a major confrontation between government and popular forces). This was in a hospital of Oaxaca.

We are still in the process of verifying all this. There is a danger that days go by and that a lot of these crimes cannot be proved anymore. Therefore, it is very very important that everybody join us, gives us a hand to document this.

Is it known how these people were disappeared?

Some were kidnapped from their houses. The police entered in the middle of the night, at one, two in the morning, without arrest warrants, and they took our compañeros away. Others disappeared from the barricades. Others we know were walking on the street and they took them away also. Others disappeared last Sunday, when there was a march here in Oaxaca and there was great national support. People came from Mexico City, Chiapas, and there were military checkpoints. There they also disappeared various compañeros.

Do you have documented cases of people who have been killed or detained?

We know that from the 14 of June (when the government repression began) until today, November 9th, there have been 17 dead people. We have the names of all of them, their age. Two were children, one a 14-year-old child and one a 12-year-old child. Detained, from the 29th of October (when the federal police force came in) until the 5th of November, we have 87 people who were detained. But one should say they were kidnapped because there were no arrest warrants. 34 of them have been freed.

What information is there in terms of who is responsible for these killings?

We know that the responsible is the government of the state of Oaxaca, Ulises Ruiz (the “governor”), and some of his police force, dressed in civilian clothes killed some of the 17 people. Some of the 6 people who have been killed in the last few days were killed by the PFP, the federal police force, which was sent in on the 29th of October.

Besides this, we are getting everyday reports of shootings at the university campus, where Radio Universidad is. It´s almost a daily affair. People come and take out their guns and shoot at the students.

What are the efforts that are being done to protect human rights?

Here, we are working hard with volunteers and lawyers. We have a collective. First we try to locate the prisoners in the jails, and to liberate them. But the work has to go much further. We have to find the disappeared! The liberated come back and can report on the abuses, the violence, the beatings. But we are very very worried about the disappeared.

What would you ask of people listening to you from other parts of the world?

We ask for solidarity. You can create committees in solidarity and put pressure on your local politicians where you live and also demand from the Mexican embassies and consulates wherever you are that human rights be respected here and to call an end to this violence.

Aside from the detained, the disappeared, I already have seen with my own eyes, people who are obviously traumatized, and who have psychosis due to the violence they have witnessed. Yesterday, a woman came here who was crying, and the next minute she was laughing. This was the effect of the trauma that these people are suffering. Two days ago, a woman came by who was participating in a peaceful woman´s march, which passed the zocalo, where the police threw rocks and she ended up with her nose and mouth torn up and bloody.

There are many abuses. And here we cannot expect anything from the government, from the judicial branch, because they are the same people who are committing these crimes.

Anything else you would like to share?

I would like to call on all the compañeros and compañeras of the world, who hear this: international solidarity live on! The struggle of the people of Oaxaca is for a better world, and this is the same struggle that people in the United States, in Europe, wherever they are carry on.



  1. The coast of Oaxaca is in panic. Many, many corpses are turning up along coastal communities with eyes and organs removed. In Puerto Escondido police refuse to process kidnapping charges in cases where the criminals were identified after kidnapping four victims and shooting them in the feet to stop them from future escape. After one escaped no charges could be filed and the two-leg circus split up to different destinations. The criminals were identified as a circus Solarey that distributes methamphetamine and as the story goes other horrible crimes. It was a circus that had all new equipment hummers, suburbans, trailers. tents, but the show was a group of incapable performers. The trapeze act could not even get from one swing to the other. It would be impossible for people of this caliber to make a profit in this business. The owner was seen frantically searching storefronts , I saw with my very own eyes, in his new black hummer and parking in the middle of busy intersections, acting very erratically. Possibly seeking the escaped kidnap victim. Days later the atrocities were known.

    Churches are scared and schools have changed policies in letting students walk home. Assassinations are at record high almost daily in Hualtuco, Puerto Escondido area but nothing is ever processed and the papers are scared to print.

    The spike in crime is a result of the allowance to control the area to the Zetas drug cartel. Zetas now are allowed to operate the entire coast of Oaxaca. The group is presently exterminating all drug sales competition, even the small marijuana dealer on up. If you do not join you die or the police put you in jail. All drug vendors must turn in a list of buyers so the police can extort them in the future. The police now supply all drugs here. Just like before but more intense. Anti narco troops come but refuse to act on any groups or organized crime. Recently a Calderon anti drug cheif was assassinated by his own troops and dumped in the streets of Hualtuco near his office. Calderon never followed up and nothing ever changes here except for the worse. I do not know why anyone would ever want to visit here. If any serious crime happens you CANNOT go to the police fro help, odds are they already know what happened to you.

  2. Discovery of largest meth lab in Mexico, Coltepec river above Puerto Escondido. Discovery of illegal involuntary human experiments in ultra high tech stem cell research nonotechnology facility hidden in the mountains of the Colotepec River above Puerto Escondido. Discovery of source of reason for missing people and mutilated/harvested corpses discovered in various beaches and areas along pacific coast of Oaxaca. No action taken. All agencies aware.

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