An open letter from Independent media organizations working in Oaxaca to the Mexican Government, Mexican and International Human Rights agencies, and international civil society.
Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca. 7 de noviembre, 2006.
A Vicente Fox Quezada, Presidente de la República
A Carlos Abascal Carranza, Secretario de Gobernación
A José Luis Soberanes, de la Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos
A la Comisión Internacional de los Derechos Humanos
A los Defensores de los Derechos Humanos Independientes
A la Sociedad Civil Nacional e Internacional
Since the beginning of the conflict, in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, the majority of the national and international media have systematically failed to tell the whole story of what is happening in Oaxaca, and especially with regard to the acts of violence carried out by the state government, and more recently by the federal police.
In recent weeks, many journalists covering the conflict for independent media have been subjected to all kinds of threats and harassment by paramilitary groups operating on behalf of the state government; by the pirate radio operating under the permission of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz; and now by the federal police as well. It’s clear that the work of the independent media presents an obstacle to the repressive actions carried out by the State.
The death of the North American journalist, Brad Will, at the hands of municipal functionaries who sympathize with Ulises Ruiz Ortiz is a clear example of the above mentioned situation. Despite the scandal generated by his death, the situation has become even more precarious for those of us working as organizations, collectives, and independent journalists.
Examples are: Calls for aggression against “foreign” reporters, on the so-called “Citizen Radio,” generating a xenophobic campaign against anyone who isn’t Oaxacan; direct death threats against journalists; the theft of their footage; physical attacks and threats with firearms.
As independent journalists we also condemn the interference of University Radio’s broadcast as a violation of university autonomy and the freedom of speech protected by the Mexican Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We oppose the differentiation between officially accredited media outlets and the independent media, because we are all working to provide information.
For the above mentioned reasons, we hold Ulises Ruiz Ortiz and President Vicente Fox Quesada responsible for anything that might happen to any member of the below signed organizations and collectives, or to any other journalist.
Agencia Popular de Fotografía Lok’tavanej
Canal 6 de Julio
Centro de Información y Documentación Comunitaria Yagavila
Centro de Medio Libres DF
Colectivo Chanti Ollín
Colectivo Radio Zapote
Convergencia de Colectivos de la ENAH
Editorial Lucía Zenteno
Frente Oaxaqueño de Comunicación Alternativa
Mal de Ojo TV
Ojo de Agua Comunicación
Radio Tupa Oaxaca
Red de Radios Comunitarias del Istmo (Radio Ayuuk, Radio Ikoots, Radio Umalalang, Radio Totopo, Radio Huave)
Kaos en la Red
Organización Inglesa de Periodistas
43 firmas de comunicadores independientes