Sixty-eight organizations demand justice for assassinated Oaxacan social activist

June 23, 2009

To Fernando Gómez Mont
Secretary of the Interior
Mexico City

It is publicly known that Oaxaca finds itself in an ungovernable situation since the imposition of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz as governor of the state; as no other governor has had to call off proceedings in municipalities and communities in the face of repudiation by their inhabitants, add to this his political inability to resolve the large number of conflicts that arise in a state of extreme poverty and marginalization, where the neoliberal politics of the last 25 years have destroyed the traditional possibilities of survival of the people in the state.

It is also known that Ulises Ruiz has been able to stay in government thanks to the unrestrained support that the Mexican federal government has shown him, and to the politics of state terrorism that he has been implementing, in detriment to democracy, constitutional guarantees and fundamental human rights.

To ensure the politics of terror, he has fostered, like never before, paramilitary groups and “know nothings” from whom he is taking resources in order to sustain the group, but it is known that the operator of these politics of terror is the sadly “celebrated” Jorge Franco Vargas, directly responsible for the 2006 conflict and current Secretary of the State Committee of the PRI, a position which allows him to enjoy complete impunity alongside the state government.

In this context, the persecution and selective assassination of social activists and human rights defenders has intensified on part of the government of Ulises Ruiz, manipulating the laws freely to invent any crime imaginable and in this way issue arrest warrants right and left against his opposition, and thereby keep them under fierce prosecution, covered by a supposedly “legal” mantle, which, without a doubt, has resulted in destroying the possibility of reaching justice and legality in the state of Oaxaca.

One of the most recent examples of the above is the assassination of Sergio Martínez Vásquez, a member of the State Council of the Committee in Defense of the Rights of the People, which occurred this past June 7, in the district of Juxtlahuaca, Oaxaca, where the evidence collected as of now points to the paramilitary groups that Ulises Ruiz maintains in this region as the executors of this crime.

It is worrying that as of now the investigations into this cunning murder have not moved forward, but it is more serious that given the prevailing impunity in Oaxaca, other members of CODEP continue to be threatened with death, without the existence of any authority that can stop this orgy of violence against human rights defenders.

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Given the above, the below signers demand:

1. Immediate clarification regarding the assassination of Sergio Martínez Vásquez

2. A stop to the aggression and harassment unleashed against the Committee in Defense of the Rights of the People (CODEP) and human rights defenders.

3. An investigation and punishment of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz and Jorge Franco Vargas for the crimes committed against the people of Oaxaca.

• We hold Ulises Ruiz Ortiz and Jorge Franco Vargas responsible for the physical and psychological integrity of the members of CODEP.

• We repudiate the defamation and harassment against CODEP, as with such a campaign they are trying to justify the aggressions and attacks against this organization.

Copy to Dr. José Luis Soberanes, President of the National Human Rights Commission.
Copy to Patricia Mejía Guerrero, President of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission.
Copy to Antoine Bernard, Executive Director of the International Federation for Human Rights.
Copy to Dr. Adrian Ramírez, President of the Mexican Human Rights Defense League


1. Enrique González Ruiz
2. Coordinación Nacional del Poder Popular
3. Sindicato Independiente de Trabajadores de la UAM (SITUAM)
4. Foro Social Mundial (FSM)
5. Unión Popular Revolucionaria Emiliano Zapata (UPREZ)
6. Movimiento Urbano Popular – Convención Nacional Democrática (MUP-CND)
7. Organización Nacional del Poder Popular (ONPP)
8. Comité de Defensa de los Derechos del Pueblo (CODEP)
9. Izquierda Social (IS)
10. Frente Amplio Popular – Michoacán (FAP)
11. BARZON
12. Alianza Internacional de Habitantes (VERACRUZ)
13. Central Unitaria de Trabajadores CUT – MUP – CND
14. Asamblea de Barrios (AB)
15. Comité de Defensa de los Derechos del Pueblo (CODEP M33 morelos)
16. Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de México (APPM)
17. FOCYC
18. FCUI-MUP-CND
19. Móv. Socialismo Nuevo (MSN)
20. Bloque de Organizaciones Sociales (BOS)
21. Mujeres Solidarias (MS)
22. Fuerza Popular Javier Acuña (FPJA)
23. Civiles en Marcha (CM)
24. Convención Nacional Democrática (CND)
25. BARZON – DF
26. Politécnico/Economía
27. CUTAC (Tlaxcala)
28. Círculos de Estudio (CE)
29. Instituto Politécnico Nacional-Escuela Superior de Economía (IPN-ESE)
30. Brigada en Defensa del Petróleo Poder Popular (BDPPP)
31. Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México (UACM)
32. UPREZ – DF
33. Comitán – Chiapas
34. FDF
35. UCISN – VER
36. Grupo Cultural Alternativa – UAEMEX
37. Taller de Salud y Naturaleza
38. ONPP – ZONA NORTE
39. UAEM
40. CEND
41. Sección XVIII de Michoacán
42. Comité Lucha Popular (CLP)
43. MLP – MUP
44. BARZON-Mujeres Solidarias
45. Espacio de Todos
46. Frente Amplio Juvenil (FAJ)
47. Mujeres Solidarias – Acapulco
48. Pueblo Digno – MOSE
49. FEJ – MORELIA
50. BFP
51. CDA YAXKIN
52. MSN
53. FPJA
54. Fraternidad
55. Colectivo Emiliano Zapata (CEZ)
56. Coordinadora de Organizaciones Sociales (COS)
57. Frente Democrático Nacional de Organizaciones Sociales y Productivas (FDNOSP)
58. Coordinadora Promotora del Poder Popular de Michoacán
59. OIZT-MPI
60. Central de Abastos
61. Vendedores de Jamaiquita
62. Cooperativa ALFA
63. Frente Democrático Sección X
64. Asamblea Estatal de Trabajadores de La Educación de Querétaro
65. Democracia Directa- Movimiento de Transformación Social.
66. Alianza Única del Valle
67. CERES
68. Frente Popular Francisco Villa

Translated by Scott Campbell

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