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Prisoners

Working towards the freedom of student Pedro Castillo Aragon

TO THE NEWS MEDIA
TO INDEPENDENT HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS
TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC

Oaxaca is experiencing one of the most serious social, political, and economic crises of all times. As opposition grows in different regions of our state to the authoritarian plans of the current set of misrulers; as people suffer more intense marginalization and a lack of attention to the most urgent demands of our poorest communities, neighborhoods and barrios; as the stark problems of public health, education, and lack of security get worse––we find that Oaxaca is totally out of control, a situation that the misgovernment tries to deny by generating increasingly deplorable conditions of repression and violence.

The public functionaries entrenched in power can’t pretend that governability exists when there are dozens of unresolved political murders and when dozens of our social activists are imprisoned for political reasons like Pedro Castillo Aragón, still held in the Santa María Ixcotel Central Penitentiary simply for being a student committed to the just, historical struggles of our people. This has made him a victim of institutional injustice in spite of the fact that we have legally proved his innocence of all charges against him.
 
Ulises Ruiz Ortiz doggedly maintains an open door to foreign economic interests that are determined to impose projects like the Temascal Hydroelectric Plant in Tuxtepec or the infamous toll highway known as the Libramiento Sur in the Central Valleys, no matter what the cost. Along with his good-for-nothing puppets like Gustavo Pacheco, he keeps up a permanent policy of aggression against our comrades who defend themselves against these and other injustices. Pachecho, the municipal president of Tuxtepec, has behaved like an authentic criminal for the last two months in an ongoing attack against our organization as we’ve tried to exercise our constitutional rights to struggle and speak out in the Papaloapan Basin.
 
Just last April 15, twenty comrades including members of our Regional Political Commission were brutally beaten, robbed of their belongings, and jailed for showing their solidarity with people abused by Pacheco’s strongmen. We’ve also been targeted for supporting campesinos in defending their lands against these criminals protected by Ulises Ruiz. Arrest warrants have been issued for our comrades Otilia Rodríguez Calderón, Gerónimo García Roldan (members of our State Political Commission) and Irma Cardano (member of our Regional Board) just because they are perceived as a threat to the economic interests of the rich PRI party members in the Basin. On June 6, three of our regional leaders were brutally beaten by PRI members with the bald-faced support of the municipal police who wanted to teach them a lesson for defending the lands of our campesino comrades. To top it off, when a caravan of the Regional Independent Campesino Movement passed through the city of Tuxtepec and blocked the highway at the Caracol toll booth to demand justice and the release of their jailed comrades, they were cruelly fired upon by Gustavo Pacheco’s criminal escorts, who wounded three people.
 
These are only a few examples of how the misgovernment responds to the serious problems in our state, and so they leave us no other alternative than to keep on mobilizing and organizing and exposing what they’re trying to hide. We call on all the organizations true to their principles and spirit of community struggle taught to us by our peoples day in and day out, to denounce these acts. We also call on the Section 22 democratic teachers union, especially the people on the ground, to keep up the struggle and to refuse to rest until they, along with all of us, achieve justice and freedom for our prisoners and an end to the indiscriminate repression by Felipe Calderón, Ulises Ruiz, and their henchmen.
 
In view of this situation of ungovernability and institutional violence generated at the highest levels of power, we are announcing our organization’s first statewide mobilization of more than ten thousand comrades on June 29, to put an end to this retrograde policy that is driving our state down into ever increasing dictatorial disorder. We will not let up on our demands for respect or on our protests and struggle for the radical transformation, well-being, and liberation of our peoples with peace, justice, and dignity for all.

NO MORE REPRESSION!!
FREE PEDRO CASTILLO ARAGÓN AND ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS AND PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE!!
JAIL GUSTAVO PACHECO!!
STOP THE TEMASCAL HYDROELECTRIC PLANT
STOP THE LIBRAMIENTO SUR!!

  
OAXACA, OAXACA. June 17, 2009
CITIZENS’ DEFENSE COMMITTEE, CODECI.

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By El Enemigo Común

A bilingual website in solidarity with social movements in Mexico. // Un sitio web bilingüe en solidaridad con los movimientos sociales en México.