Testimony of Nicéforo Urbieta

November 3rd, 2007 Claudio writes: I’m sending out the testimony of our comrade Nicéforo Urbieta, arrested and subsequently released on November 2 in Oaxaca.

Today, Friday November 2, at around 7:00 a.m., people from various neighborhoods were gathering at the 5 Señores Circle to erect a traditional altar in commemoration of the dead among the peoples of Oaxaca. People were arriving with flowers, special bread, candles, and food, as well as sawdust, pigments, and truckloads of sand for creating figures on a funeral carpet.

Just then, a black car without license plates charged a group of comrades who were beginning to organize the event, trying to run over them; the car then made a high-speed exit. At the same time, pairs of policemen armed with AK-47 and F:A.L. high-power assault rifles walked up and down the sidewalks, and others took photos and videos of the participants so as to intimidate them and make a police record of them. Having done this, they left.

About five minutes later, many patrol trucks rushed in at high-speed from all directions on the six streets and avenues that come together at the traffic circle known as Cinco Señores, causing participants to disperse. Then the patrol trucks drove in among demonstrators, and some of them parked where comrades were concentrated. Without saying a word, [the police] began to beat people and load the whole group onto more than ten pick-up trucks placed in a circle around the demonstrators to keep them from fleeing. They then rushed the comrades who had begun to create the Commemorative Altar, while those with guns used them to beat the comrades. Grabbing people by the belt, they threw them into the trucks until each one was full of detainees, piling the bodies on top of each other like sandwiches, men and women alike, including professors, bricklayers, architects, students from the Benito Juarez Autonomous University (UABAJO), APPO council members (Belén, Román). During the ride to the Ministry of Citizen Protection [SEPROCI], they were beaten and insulted with all typical police vulgarity.

Afterwards, in the police holding cells, the comrades were interrogated with physical and verbal violence. Psychological terror techniques were applied; for example, [the interrogators] told people that they were going to shoot them or pour gasoline on them and light them on fire, showing even greater cruelty to people with long hair.

Seventeen of us were released from the SEPROCI at 11:00 a.m. due to the pressure exerted by different comrades, some of which were family members, Human Rights Defense Committees, the November 25 Committee, United Neighbors of 5 Señores and Sta. Lucia del Camino, as well as U.A.B.J.O. students.

Three APPO comrades were taking to a Security Center in the western part of the city before being taken to the SEPROCI.

We are going to confirm the death of a comrade who was shot in the back and run over by two trucks after he was killed. Two elderly people who witnessed the incident say that once the young man fell, he was finished off by two patrol trucks. Upon seeing this they rebuked the police, saying, “If you think this crime will frighten the people, you’re mistaken because the consequences are going to be even worse.”

A march is now underway from the Hotel del Magisterio to the 5 Señores Circle, where one year ago the people stopped the aggression of the Federal Preventive Police (PFP) against the UABJO radio station (XUBJ Radio Universidad 1400 AM).

P.S. Two wounded people are in the hospital. That’s what we’ve been able to recover.