1st Internacional Day for the Immediate Freedom of David Venegas Reyes

And For The Freedom Of All Political Prisoners

April 27th, 2007 – VOCAL writes:

APPO council member: David Venegas Reyes is a young 24-year old Oaxacan student at the University of Chapingo. He is an APPO council member representing some of the largest barricades that carried on the resistance during the long months of the intense struggle of the Oaxacan people.

As a respected representative of the barricades, he was one of the most honest people in the APPO, who never remained silent in the face of attitudes that were contrary to the spirit of the social movement in Oaxaca; instead, he and himself to defend the independence of the APPO from the political parties that tried to lead the APPO into the electoral process. In recent months, as a result of his independent position and his refusal to demand “crumbs” or positions of power from the government of the state of Oaxaca or the political parties, he was accused of trying to divide the movement, when all he really wanted was a space in which all the different points of view of the Oaxacan people would be respected and in which one would not prevail over the other.

Nevertheless, those of us who know him know that he’s a person with nothing to hide—neither his actions nor his words. Because he is one of the people in the APPO who fought and continues to fight to defend the common space, he is now unjustly arrested. David Venegas was an obstacle to both the state and federal governments. Dignified people like David will never sell themselves to power by accepting money or a seat in the legislature, or by keeping silent. Even though he’s now being held prisoner, he will not be silenced, nor will thousands of other people who, like David, have dignity.

Member of VOCAL: Due to the lack of a space that could bring art and culture together with the resistance of peoples, collectives, individuals and groups struggling for autonomy as an alternative to the current political system, at the end of February, David, along with many other people, built an organization called “VOCAL: Voces Oaxaqueñas Construyendo Autonomía Y Libertad (Oaxacan Voices Creating Freedom and Autonomy)”. Part of the work that VOCAL took on was to accompany the families of people who had fallen in the struggle in a walk with crosses through Santa Lucía del Camino, where policemen killed the Indymedia comrade Brad Will. David actively contributed to this activity.

VOCAL works with peoples in resistance in the Mixteca as well as in Oaxaca’s Isthmus (La Venta, Zanatepéc, Santo Domingo Petapa), the central valley region known as Valles Centrales (Zaachila), and in other communities and organizational spaces. This enabled David to carry the art, information, and voice of the barricades to other places in resistance.

David was tortured, beaten, and arrested on Friday, April 13, and presented 8 hours later at the Small Drug Sales Unit (UMAN), where, the next day, he had to give a statement, an ordeal that took 5 hours. At this point he could have been released in absence of proof of the charges against him, yet the federal prosecutor at the unit decided to deny him his right to get out on bail.

On the morning of April 14, he was transferred to the Central Penitentiary at Ixcotel. When he arrived at the prison, an arrest warrant awaited him, “File # 157/2006 arrest warrant for damaging the Oaxaca courthouse on November 25, 2006” (Excelsior newspaper, March 11, 07).

Both state and federal authorities accuse him of crimes against health (sales or possession of small quantities of drugs), sedition, burning buildings, and disobedience to particular people.

The truth is that they arrested him while he was walking along the street with two other people. Without showing an arrest warrant, the Ministerial Police beat him and took him prisoner. When he was brought before the public prosecutor and the news media, they planted drugs on him. According to what David has told us, they tried to plant a very large package on him that he could not see but that he supposed contained drugs; however, when the policemen saw that the package didn’t fit in the bag David was carrying, they planted a smaller bag of white powder on him, apparently cocaine and heroin.

When they were about to take pictures of him in order to present him to the news media as a drug dealer, David received several blows for refusing to hold two issues of the magazine La Barrikada, upon which the bag of white powder, seemingly cocaine or heroin, had been placed. David does not know where he was at the time this happened.

When he gave his statement at the UMAN, they presented David with two smaller bags of white powder, with which he was forced to be photographed.

Despite these irregularities, he is still being held prisoner.

The very same day mobilizations against his unjust arrest began. On April 15, people demanding his freedom marched to the door of the penitentiary where he is being held. The prison authorities offered him privileges as a political prisoner, but David did not accept them. All he wants is his freedom.

This questionable legal process that the state government of Oaxaca has imposed on our comrade David Venegas Reyes, treating him as a common prisoner in order to disparage his political work, is aimed at striking fear in the hearts of people who have an honest commitment to the principles of the social movement.


To the peoples of the world:
To the people of Oaxaca:
To the peoples of México:

We call on all people, collectives, and individuals of Oaxaca, Mexico, and the world to refuse to remain silent in the face of heavy repression against the people of Oaxaca and to mobilize in any way possible to demand the freedom of all our comrades who are imprisoned.

We cannot allow people who are prisoners of the struggle to be forgotten. People who defended the barricades are now prisoners.

Just as there was support for the popular movement of Oaxaca at its strongest point, and admiration for the strength of the barricades and those who defended them, support is now vital for those who are imprisoned as a result of their resistance and who have very little chance of attaining justice and freedom, which will only come if we protest and struggle for it.

We propose:

• Demonstrations at Mexican Embassies and Consulates.
• Sending letters of solidarity to David Venegas Reyes and all political prisoners: vocal@riseup.net
• Press conferences and informative talks about the case of David Venegas Reyes and all political prisoners.
• Writing to Mexican authorities to ask for the immediate freedom of David Venegas Reyes and all political prisoners.
• Marches, hunger strikes, cultural events, street theatre, video showings and talks about Oaxaca…

In Oaxaca the following action will take place:
4:00 PM

Strengthen the struggle in Oaxaca and the whole world: Freedom for all prisoners for the struggle!!
International solidarity with the political prisoners of the world!!
Immediate and unconditional freedom for the prisoners of Oaxaca!!

Economic support in solidarity with David Venegas:
Nº Cta. 319708 Clave 044180001003197086 Zwip mbcomxmm BCO 044 Scotiabank Inverlat in the name of Irina Arellano Salazar

Voces Oaxaqueñas Construyendo Autonomía Y Libertad
(Oaxacan Voices Creating Freedom and Autonomy)




  1. Letter from David Venegas Reyes.

    Political prisoner in the Central Penitentiary of Oaxaca.
    APPO council member, member of VOCAL
    and adherent to The Other Campaign

    Santa María Ixcotel Penitentiary
    April 17, 2007

    I’m a prisoner in the Santa Maria Ixcotel prison
    in my city,
    Oaxaca. I was brought here on trumped up charges
    of narcotics possession.
    I was beaten by the police who arrested me and tried
    to forcibly photograph me
    holding the drugs, something they couldn’t do.
    After two long days
    in the holding cells of the Attorney General’s
    Small Drug Sales Unit,
    I was transferred to this prison where I am now,
    charged with
    a new count of sedition and other offenses
    against the Oaxacan society
    such as burning down the state Courthouse
    on November 25.
    I don’t need to tell the courageous, dignified people of
    Oaxaca that all these
    charges are false. We all know how far
    the government will go
    to get revenge against all of us who are struggling for a just society
    full of dignity and camaraderie.
    During the time I’ve been here, my jailers haven’t had
    the satisfaction
    of seeing me suffer. All of you on the outside have
    sustained me. I know
    about the actions you’ve carried out to win
    my freedom
    and that of the other comrades, political prisoners
    of the APPO
    and other struggles. I am deeply greatful for this,
    and in these moments
    I see that we’re in a new phase of the Oaxacan commune.
    Camaraderie and
    solidarity soar beyond the walls of these
    prisons. I feel it here,
    a closeness with everyone, my family and friends and this great
    people, great
    for its heart, its hopes, its intelligence. I can’t find
    the words
    to express all that your support and your protests
    have meant to me in these
    difficult days, but if I could, I’d give all of you
    a warm hug, and maybe
    the closeness we’d feel in our hearts would speak
    louder than words
    of my gratitude and love. I feel an enormous sense
    of joy upon learning
    that the mobilizations are continuing and will continue. We must
    keep struggling without hating
    those who want to keep us down. If we’re doing the
    right thing we don’t need
    to dig through the ruins of a heart shattered by hatred
    to find motives to keep on
    struggling. In each elderly face, in each chant,
    in each graffiti
    that appears in the still of the night, in each child,
    in each banner, and in
    each one of us prisoners, our brother and sisterhood
    motivates us to keep
    struggling. I urge you never to abandon this struggle.
    Just as nobody else but the mother knows what’s best
    for a child, each
    individual, each collective, each people, each city,
    each neighborhood knows
    what it needs to live better. We hold our destiny
    in our own hands.
    My imprisonment shows the crude reality
    of the lengths
    to which the government is now going to keep systematically
    the Oaxacan movement, but in the face of the repression,
    there’s mobilization. We must
    never let the tiredness of our legs and throats be
    greater than our demand
    for justice and liberty for everyone on the outside
    and the inside. Let me say
    that the chance to communicate with you
    so dignified and rebellious, moves me deeply
    and tells me that the walls
    of this prison have only locked up my body, but my
    spirit is still there
    with yours, creating a robust morale of rebellion,
    emancipation and
    autonomy. I want you to know that the music of the
    I had the opportunity to hear during the days I’ve been
    locked up
    are deeply engraved in my heart.
    May my conviction to struggle reach you, not like a cat creeping
    furtively over the walls,
    but like a giant that brings them down and treads
    over them
    because I know this conviction is just and will win out
    in the end.

    David Venegas Reyes
    “Alebrije ”

  2. Carta de David Venegas Reyes.

    Preso Político en la penitenciaria Central de Oaxaca.
    Concejal de la APPO, integrante de VOCAL y adherente a
    La Otra Campaña.

    Penitenciaria Santa María Ixcotel.
    17 de Abril del 2007.

    Me encuentro preso en el penal de Santa Maria Ixcotel,
    en mi Ciudad de
    Oaxaca, entre aquí por una acusación fabricada de
    posesión de drogas, los
    policías que me detuvieron me golpearon y me querían
    obligar a fotografiarme
    sosteniendo la droga, lo que no lograron, después de
    dos largos días en los
    trasladado a este penal en donde me encontré que soy
    acusado, ahora, de otro
    proceso judicial de sedición, y otros atentados en
    contra de la sociedad
    oaxaqueña, como la quema del tribunal del estado el
    día 25 de noviembre,
    demás es decirle a este valiente y digno pueblo de
    Oaxaca que todas estas
    acusaciones son falsas, todos sabemos como se las
    gasta el gobierno para
    vengarse de los que luchamos por una sociedad justa,
    digna y fraterna.
    Durante todos estos días, mis presidiarios no han
    recibido de mi la más
    mínima cuota de sufrimiento, ustedes allá afuera me
    han sostenido, he tenido
    conocimiento de las acciones que han llevado acabo
    para exigir mi libertad y
    de l@s demás compañeros pres@s politic@s del
    movimiento de la APPO y de
    otras luchas, lo que agradezco profundamente, es en
    estos momentos cuando
    conozco esta fase nueva de la comuna oaxaqueña. La
    fraternidad y
    solidaridad trepan y rebasan los muros de las
    prisiones, los siento aquí
    cerca a todos, mi familia, mis amigos y a este gran
    pueblo, grande para su
    corazón, esperanzas e inteligencia. Lo son, no tengo
    palabras suficientes
    para expresar lo que su apoyo y protestas han
    significado para mi en estos
    difíciles días, pero si pudiera les daría un fuerte
    abrazo a todos, y tal
    vez la cercanía de nuestros corazones daría a entender
    mejor que con
    palabras mi agradecimiento y amor, siento una gran
    felicidad al saber que
    las movilizaciones siguen y seguirán, hay que seguir
    luchando, sin odiar a
    los que nos quieren sometidos, los que tenemos la
    razón no necesitamos
    buscar en las ruinas que del corazón deja el odio,
    motivos para seguir
    luchando, en cada rostros antiguo, en cada consigna,
    en cada pinta que
    aparece furtivamente por la noche, en cada niño, en
    cada manta y en cada uno
    de nosotros que estamos presos, hay los motivos
    fraternos para seguir
    luchando, los invito a que no abandonemos esta lucha
    Así como nadie más que la madre sabe que es mejor para
    el hijo, cada
    individuo y cada colectividad, pueblo, ciudad,
    colonia, etc. sabe lo que
    necesita para vivir mejor, tenemos nuestros destino en
    nuestras propias
    manos, mi encarcelamiento muestra con toda su crudeza,
    como se las gasta el
    gobierno en estos días para seguir reprimiendo
    sistemáticamente al
    movimiento de Oaxaca, pero ante la represión, la
    movilización, que nunca el
    cansancio de nuestras piernas y gargantas sea más
    grande que la exigencia de
    justicia y libertad para todos y todas allá afuera y
    acá adentro, debo decir
    que la posibilidad de comunicarme con ustedes,
    oaxaqueños y oaxaqueñas
    dignos y rebeldes me provoca una gran emoción, al
    saber que los muros de
    esta prisión solo tienen encerrado mi cuerpo, pero mi
    espíritu sigue con el
    de ustedes, robusteciendo la moral de la rebeldía, la
    emancipación y la
    autonomía. Allá afuera sepan que la música de las
    consignas que tuve
    oportunidad de escuchar en los días que llevo de
    encierro se han quedado
    grabados profundamente en mi corazón.
    Que vaya hacia ustedes, no como un gato furtivo que
    trepa las paredes, si no
    como un gigante que las demuele y cruza a través de
    ellos mi convicción de
    lucha por que se que es justo y que al final habrá de

    David Venegas Reyes
    “Alebrije ”

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