TO THE NEWS MEDIA
TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC
The misgovernments of Calderon in Mexico and Ulises Ruiz in Oaxaca are bent on maintaining their mechanisms of systematic repression and permanent violations of human rights and constitutional guarantees. They’ve proved this through processes of indiscriminate aggression against the community life of different indigenous peoples in Oaxaca and other parts of the country, and the situation is getting increasingly worse.
Their power strongholds breed policies of robbery and plunder, as well as violence. In them, many public functionaries who are obedient to very particular political or economic interests maintain relationships with corrupt authorities, local power bosses, or sinister individuals; consequently, corruption continues to grow inside the institutions and government structures.
In many cases, the State doesn’t try to find a solution to different problems; on the other hand, it generates them and only uses institutional violence to maintain control. That’s why there are hundreds of political prisoners in the country, unpunished killings, and persecution and harassment against anyone who doesn’t agree with their policies.
In the news media there are deceptive reports that claim advances in institutional development, justice, and a respect for the State of Law and human rights, but the truth is that the very agencies designed to administer justice only protect criminals like Ulises Ruiz, Mario Marín, and Enrique Peña Nieto. The State represses and jails social activists, and the National Human Rights Commission is merely an apparatus at the service of political power and money that tries to hinder demands for justice, fails to oblige the authorities to respect the law, and totally endorses the violence and crimes of State.
These practices can be seen in the series of abuses and injustices suffered for almost thirty years by the inhabitants of the San Pedro Yosotatú community in the municipality of Tlaxiaco, in the Oaxacan Mixteca, at the hands of individuals from the same community led by Andrés Castro García, financed by government institutions such as the Secretariat of Agrarian Reform, and protected by judicial authorities and federal and state misgovernments.
In 2007 alone, 9 people were killed in a series of crimes perpetrated against people who are defending the interests of the community and opposing Andrés Castro. This situation has been utilized by the judicial authorities and local power bosses to rig trials and blame community members, subjecting them to constant aggression, robbery, and murder and threatening them with arrest and trial for these very crimes. Recently, on December 24, 2007, the ejido leader Placido Abraham López Castro was killed, and on January 14 of this year, Joel García Castro was also killed. Both leaders have struggled to defend this community, which is now immersed in a climate of anxiety and repression created by the government itself.
There is a similar situation in another case in the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala, where the threat of repression is latent. The government and certain organizations of the PRI party have tried to sway public opinion against community leaders, giving the idea that they are responsible for the disappearance of two young indigenous Triqui women, Daniela and Virginia Ortiz Ramírez. In this way, they are paving the way for the arrests of the leaders and the militarization of the area, as shown by the arrest warrants out for our comrades José Ramírez Flores, the current President of the Autonomous Municipality, and Timoteo Alejandro Ramírez, the natural leader of our people and main promoter of Triqui autonomy. The aim is to vanquish the organizational efforts of the peoples based on communal principles. It is important to note that the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala has joined in the demand for the presentation of the two young Triqui women, as well as the presentation of Victorino Silva Hernández, and also demands an investigation to find out who is responsible for these offenses; furthermore, it demands the clarification of the events and punishment for those who are guilty of the recent deaths of Mario Marcelino Silva and Modesto de Jesús Flores.
Another example of state repression has directly to do with arbitrary arrests and constant harassment against social activists and organizations, as is the case with our comrades and political prisoners from Santiago Xanica — Abraham Ramírez Vázquez, Noel García Cruz, and Juventino García Cruz. Due to their defense of traditional practices and customs and the natural resources of their community, they were arrested on January 15, 2005, as the first repressive act of Ulises Ruiz. The Santiago Xanica community is now under a state of siege by the state police, and there is selective repression against those who continue to defend the community. Such is the case with the former political prisoner César Luís Díaz, who still has a case against him and is under constant threat of arrest, along with eight other comrades for whom arrest warrants have been issued. Furthermore, our comrade Alejandro Cruz López of the Indian Organizations for Human Rights in Oaxaca (OIDHO), former political prisoner now persecuted by the Ulises Ruiz regime, is also subject to ongoing hostilities.
Then we have the cases of the political prisoners of the Citizens’ Defense Committee (CODECI). Pedro Castillo Aragón has been held prisoner for more than five years on charges prefabricated by the government. His innocence has been demonstrated, as has that of Miguel Ángel García and Víctor Hugo Martínez Toledo, both unjustly arrested in the brutal repression against the social movement on November 25, 2006. There is also the case of the comrade Catarino Torres Pereda, who now suffers political persecution by Ulises’ mafia.
In other parts of the state, attacks are increasing against the Union of Indigenous Communities in the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI), as shown by 42 arrest warrants recently issued, plus 100 more that already existed, as well as the arbitrary arrest of the comrade Miguel Juan Hilaria.
All of this is added to the climate of repression and official violence that has prevailed in Oaxaca, and to the case of the 12 indigenous comrades that are prisoners from the Loxicha region, and the cases of Isabel Almaraz Matías, Gonzalo López Cortés, David Venegas Reyes, Adán Mejía López, Flavio Sosa Villavicencio, Jaciel Cruz Cruz, and all the others unjustly held prisoner not only in Oaxaca, but in the country as a whole.
In view of this situation, we demand an end to the crimes and grievances committed against the community of San Pedro Yosotatu by the local power boss Andrés García Castro, under the protection of Ulises Ruiz; the immediate presentation of Daniela Ortiz Ramírez, Virginia Ortiz Ramírez, and Victorino Silva Hernández; an end to the hostility against the San Juan Copala community, against the UCIZONI comrades, against the comrades Cesar Luís Díaz, Alejandro Cruz López, and Catarino Torres Pereda; the immediate, unconditional freedom of our comrades Pedro Castillo Aragón, Abraham Ramírez Vásquez, Juventino García Cruz, Noel García Cruz, Miguel Ángel García, Víctor Hugo Martínez Toledo, Miguel Juan Hilaria, Miguel Ramírez Paz, Roberto Cárdenas Rosas, and Reinaldo Martínez Álvarez, and the freedom of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in the entire country who struggle for their ideals. We demand an end to the official terrorism of the governments, an end to the impunity of those who have committed political assassinations, the immediate presentation of all disappeared social activists, and an end to the constant aggression against the communities in resistance. We call on all social sectors to stop these injustices.
Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, February 27, 2008
The municipal authorities of San Pedro Yosotatu, Organizaciones Indias por los Derechos Humanos en Oaxaca (OIDHO), Unión de Comunidades Indígenas de la Zona Norte del Istmo (UCIZONI), Colectivo Autónomo Magonista (CAMA), Centro de Apoyo Comunitario Trabajando Unidos (CACTUS), Alianza Magonista Zapatista (AMZ), Comité de Defensa Ciudadana (CODECI), Comité de Defensa de los Derechos Indígenas-Xanica (CODEDI-Xanica), Unión de Organizaciones Indígenas de la Chinantla (UNORINCHI), Consejo de Organizaciones Indígenas y Productivas de Oaxaca AC (COIPAC), Movimiento Agrario Indígena Zapatista (MAIZ), Frente de Pueblos del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra, Red de Radios Comunitarias Indígenas del Sureste, Grupo Solidario La Venta, Municipio Autónomo de San Juan Copala (MULTI).
Colectivo Autónomo Magonista (CAMA)
Página electrónica: espora.org/cama
Cerrada de Londres, no. 14, int. 1, col. Juárez, Del. Cuauhtémoc, México, D.F.
(A unos pasos de la estación del metro Sevilla)
Cultura Libre de Servicios Educativos y Culturales S.C.