Police Attack Oaxaca’s Alternative Guelaguetza

One Person Confirmed Dead, 62 Detained, Disappearances

July 16th, 2007 – Barucha Calamity Peller writes: Today in Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, a confrontation between the APPO (Popular Assembly of The Peoples of Oaxaca) and security forces of the State of Oaxaca as well as Federal Preventive Police has left at least one movement participant dead as a result of police violence, at least 62 detained, and an unknown number of people disappeared.

According to an APPO press statement released today, the police launched “a broad offense” against the people of Oaxaca who were celebrating their alternative and popular Guelaguetza (an annual Oaxacan cultural festival) in the Guelaguetza auditorium. The APPO announced two days previous that it would hold an alternative cultural festival in the main Guelaguetza auditorium, located in the Fortin Mountain outside of the city.

Federal Preventive Police and State police surrounded the perimeter of the Guelaguetza auditorium in order to prevent people from entering the festival. A caravan heading to the festival, tailed by 10,000 people, arrived to the auditorium, and in that moment the police attacked the crowd with tear gas, rocks, sticks, whatever they had in their hands, as well as with unidentified explosive projectiles. People retreated, and the police advanced, beating and arresting people. Three photographers were reported to have been beaten. Countless others were tossed into the back of police pick up trucks with serious injuries.

Video, Lunes del Cerro, by Mal de Ojo TV: part I | part II

APPO’s Press Room | Indymedia Oaxaca | Mal de Ojo TV | Nodo de Derechos Humanos | Indymedia Chiapas | Centro de Medios Libres | Narco News

For the moment the state and the municipal police continue a citywide operation in the streets of Oaxaca City, detaining people in the open. The military are reported to have surrounded the city on the highways.

Several people are reported to be in grave conditions, and police apparently apprehended injured festival participants and APPO supporters while they were transported by the red cross to receive medical attention.

There are reports that the detained are suffering torture and constant beatings at the hands of the state and federal police.

Emeterio Merino Cruz Vazquez, the one confirmed fatality from police violence, was killed from impact from a unidentified explosive projectile fired by police, which split his intestines open.

The alternative Guelaguetza was planned by the APPO in response to the government co-optation of the cultural festival that reflects indigenous tradition through dance. The movement charges that the festival has been made into a spectacle for tourists for years, and that the “official” Guelaguetza is an economic excursion on the part of multinational corporations and Ulises Ruiz, the state Governor targeted by the Oaxaca popular uprising. Last year, in actions against the official Guelaguetza, members of the APPO uprising burned the Guelaguetza stage.














more photos at Indymedia Chiapas: Enfrentamiento 1 and Enfrentamiento 2


By calamity

Barucha Calamity Peller is a writer and photographer, high school dropout, and rabel rouser. For years she has worked within and reported on Mexican social movements. Her photographs and analysis have been widely distributed through alternative media outlets such as Counter Punch and the Independent Media Center. Peller reported from Lebanon during the 2006 Israeli-Lebanon war just before entering Oaxaca. She is known for getting herself into very dangerous situations and then escaping with photographs that depict both old women and young anarcho-punks fighting for peace and justice in the streets. Peller asserts that Oaxaca could not have been reported from the safety of a hotel room, but only from the barricades themselves.

5 replies on “Police Attack Oaxaca’s Alternative Guelaguetza”

Entre gases, persecucion y detenciones culmina la Guelagetza Popular

Guelaguetza Popular: Luego de intentar negociar una entrada pacífica al auditorio Guelaguetza militarizado, la multitud se enfrentó durante varias horas al cerco policiaco; hasta el momento se reportan decenas de detenidos, de los cuales 17 personas ya fueron trasladados a la Procuraduría General del Estado, y otros 45 personas se presume que están siendo interrogados en el cuartel móvil instalado a un costado del Auditorio Guelaguetza; cerca de 50 heridos. Caravanas policiacas recorren la ciudad.


Gasifica Ulises Ruiz el Primer Lunes del Cerro

Julio 17 2007 : Es el tercer día de las fiestas de la Guelaguetza Popular convocadas por la Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca (APPO) y el sector democrático del sindicato de maestros. Mientras que en la Plaza de la Danza, delegaciones culturales realizaban bailables, en el Cerro del Fortín -sitiado por policías y militares- violentos enfrentamientos dejan varios heridos y decenas de detenidos.

Presentamos dos videos preliminares sobre estos acontecimientos.

Oaxaca: politie valt festivalgangers aan

Van verschillende kanten komen verslagen binnen van wat er gisteren in Oaxaca gebeurd is binnen.
Gisteren was de afsluitende dag van het alternatieve culturele feest, Guelaguetza, uitgeroepen door APPO en de schoolmeestersvakbond.
Meer achtergrondinformatie

Polizia Attacca il Guelaguetza alterantivo di Oaxaca

Forte repressão policial durante a Guelaguetza popular em Oaxaca, México.

Oaxaca – Affrontements entre APPO et Police

Support Popular Power in Oaxaca

by Radio Callejera via nyc-imc

Once again the history of Oaxaca is stained with blood at the hands of Governor Ulises Ruiz and President Felipe Calderon due to the repression of the cultural, artistic and political expression of Oaxacans as they work to take back the traditional Oaxacan celebration Guelaguetza. The Guelaguetza, originally a celebration between communities of the central valleys of Oaxaca, has been co-opted by political and capitalist interests, converting the once indigenous celebration of exchange between communities into tourist-driven show-business where the tourist dollars go directly into the pockets of the wealthy and corrupt who support Governor Ulises Ruiz.

Yet once again the people of Oaxaca resisted the crimes of the state with dignity, and took to the streets to celebrate their traditions and customs with dance, music and popular expression: The Guelaguetza Popular.

***** The government responded with death and detention, as thousands of police encircled The Guelaguetza Popular and violently attacked thousands of Oaxacans with tear gas, rocks and billy clubs. The result: 65 arrested, 6 seriously injured including Emeterio Marino Cruz* who has severe head trauma, and 1 death: Raimundo Torres*, who was killed by the impact of a gas bomb in the back. ***** SEE COMMENT BELOW *****

The repression began when the police used tear gas and rocks to attack the thousands of protestors from the APPO (Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca), the Seccion XXII Teachers Union (National Syndicate of Workers in Education), and the various journalists who also injured covering the brutal repression.

Due to the acts that have occurred today the civil organizations of Oaxaca ask for solidarity with the following demands:

– To cease the police repression and hostility against the popular movement of Oaxaca.
– To denounce the actions of the government in regards to their indiscriminate use of federal and state police force.
– To hold the Federal and State Government responsible for their actions against protestors, requiring them to register all of the dissappeared and arbitrary arrests.

Send letters to:

Residencia Oficial de los Pinos Casa Miguel Alemán
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, C.P. 11850, México DF
Tel: +52 (55) 27891100
Fax: +52 (55) 52772376

Licenciado Francisco Javier Ramírez Acuña,
Secretario de Gobernación,
Bucareli 99, 1er. piso, Col. Juárez,
Delegación Cuauhtémoc, México D.F., C.P. 06600, México,
Fax: +52 (55) 5093 3414

Dr. José Luis Soberanes Fernández
Presidente de la CND
Periférico Sur 3469, Col.
San Jerónimo Lídice,
10200, México, D.F.
Tel: 631 00 40, 6 81 81 25
Fax: 56 81 84 90
Lada sin costo: 01 800 00 869

para mas información consulta:

source in spanish and english:

The article above states, “The result: 65 arrested, 6 seriously injured including Emeterio Marino Cruz who has severe head trauma, and 1 death: Raimundo Torres, who was killed by the impact of a gas bomb in the back.”

Updates are being published @

Detained / Disappeared:




ni olvido, ni perdón

Unas Fotos del 16.07.07 de la Guelaguetza Popular en Oaxaca.
El Enfrentamiento en el Cerro del Fortin.

Oaxaca: Fotos del Enfrentamiento 1

Oaxaca: Fotos del Enfrentamiento 2

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