Mexico City protesters demand freedom for Abraham Ramírez Vásquez

Gabino Cué no different than Ulises Ruiz

The immediate freedom of Abraham Ramírez Vásquez was the demand of around 30 people gathered outside the Oaxaca State Government House in Mexico City on Monday, April 18, 2011.

Abraham, the first political prisoner of the Ulises Ruiz regime was caught redhanded on January 15, 2005. Doing what? Killing? Raping? Looting the town treasury? NO! He was in the middle of a community work project along with a group of 80 people of all ages, from young kids to grandparents, in the town of Santiago Xanica, Oaxaca, when hundreds of judicial and preventive police opened fire on them with high-power weapons. Even though people fought back with rocks and shovels, Abraham was shot in the leg, arrested, tortured and jailed. Six years and three months later, he’s still locked up with no justification whatsoever.

An Anarchist Black Cross comrade said that Abraham is falsely accused of homicide for the death of a police killed almost a mile away from where the community was attacked. But he explained that the true crimes of Abraham and those of other members of the Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Rights (CODEDI-Xanica) are these: “Resisting the imposition of an illegitimate municipal president; insisting on electing their own local officials according to their customs and traditions; and protecting the rivers, forests, and ecosystem on their territory against the plunder and environmental destruction wrought by big business interests and especially the big hotel owners of Huatulco”.

A comrade from the Anarchist Information Center (CEDIA), the group that organized the rally, denounced the fact that Abraham is still being held prisoner by the Gabino Cue government. “During his campaign, he admitted that Abraham was a political prisoner, but in a shameful, hypocritical act common to all the politicians in the world, he used him to gain sympathy and promised a review and hasty resolution to the case, which, sad to say, has not happened…”

“After six years in prison, there’s no news of a sentence being handed down or even of a trial being held. The government hasn’t even pretended to respect its own laws. The comrade is being held prisoner against his will for no good reason at all. He and many others are part of a case in which the struggle for indigenous rights and the joy of preserving natural resources is disguised by a series of fabricated charges that criminalize him and portray him as a danger to society. Naturally, there’s no evidence at all that he committed the supposed offenses, but it’s an example of the flawed legal system existing in Mexico which first assumes that suspects are guilty and then investigates what really happened….”

“Abraham is one political prisoner in a long list around the world. This hasn’t blinded him to the injustices and to the lack of respect and humane treatment suffered by other people in prison. He is still committed to just causes and shouts out against the impunity for the offenses committed against the prisoners. He fights for the most basic rights of his cellmates and fellow prisoners, which has earned him permanent harassment and unjustified transfers from one prison to another…”

Fragments of several letters written in prison by Abraham and read out loud at the rally reveal a comrade who continues to be an example of dignity in the most unjust circumstances. At the beginning of 2009, he wrote: Today, January 15, 2009, marks the fourth year we’ve been held captive by tyrants protected by laws that give them the right to kidnap, kill, and disappear our brothers and sisters who go against their projects. We say to the neoliberal puppets headed by the killer Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (URO) and to his scroungy dogs turned loose on a crime spree to fill the prisons with innocent people, that our people’s only crime is demanding their rights. As these killers well know, our rebellion comes from the heart and we’ll never just sit back and watch this injustice go on. All their chains and cells and walls aren’t strong enough to keep our voice from being heard.… They sell our resources to the highest bidder while our people bear the brunt of the direst poverty, and then they act like they’re so concerned about how terrible the economic crisis is….. We must always remember, people, that if we bow down to this treatment, our children will suffer the consequences. We were born free. We love freedom. So seeing as how all those puppets still don’t wear chains, we’ll never slack off in our struggle. And since so many of us have been killed, disappeared, or locked up, we can’t take one step backward”.

The spokesperson for Notilibertas said: “Our comrade Abraham is an inspiration, not just because of his own struggle for freedom, but also because he’s part of the struggles of the indigenous peoples of Oaxaca. They’re heroic warrior peoples who have nothing to do with this House of Government. Gabino Cué is an example of what’s going on in this country with the supposed alternation of political parties, whether their banner is yellow, green, tri-colored, or whatever. They’re part of the political mafia, people who live off of us, people who trick you, who make certain demands just to get your vote and then don’t follow through… We’re here to demand freedom for Abraham and to support his struggle for the land and territory, for indigenous culture and customs, which are usually more egalitarian and just than the famous laws manipulated by the judges and the police. Their forms of community work are better than this bureaucracy, this legal mishmash that keeps hypocrites, barefaced scoundrels, and killers in the government. Gabino Cué had promised to punish that jackal Ulises Ruíz. He said he was going to jail that killer with hundreds of deaths on his hands. The Ulises Ruiz government was one of the most criminal and corrupt in the history of Oaxaca, yet he still enjoys impunity… We’re here for our comrade Abraham, for all the prisoners of Oaxaca, for all the prisoners of Mexico, for Mumia, for everybody with arrest warrants out for them, for everybody being abused and harassed by this enemy”.

Before livening up the rally with a “Corrido for the Death of Emiliano Zapata” and other songs, Jorge Salinas demanded freedom for the Loxicha prisoners who’ve now spent almost 15 years in jail, as well as the live presentation of the recently disappeared teacher Carlos Román Salazar. He commented that not long ago he was in the town of Xachila, Oaxaca, where people are resisting the construction of a super highway on their territory. Despite the threats to territory and resources all of the country, he stated that it’s possible to beat the government, as was the case when the organized people of Atenco defeated the airport project of the Fox government and when the Atenco comrades got out of maximum security prison despite government intentions to keep them there for life.

A week away from the anniversary of the cold-blooded attack against the First Caravan to the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala, in which Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakola were murdered by UBISORT paramilitaries, it’s important to mention the letter sent from prison by Abraham Ramírez Vásquez as soon as he heard of the attack: “A few weeks ago a caravan made up of international observers, social organizations, and Section 22 of the teachers’ union left the state capital for the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala in the Triqui zone. Just before arriving, they were attacked by paramilitary groups that operate in the region, resulting in the death of a comrade from Finland and of a comrade from our own state capital. During the days immediately after the attack, two members of the VOCAL organization were reported disappeared, David Venegas Reyes and Noé Bautista Jiménez, who was wounded along with Monica Citlalli Santiago Ortiz. We emphatically condemn this attack against the comrades and hold the state government responsible for anything that might happen to them. In the face of the situation in Oaxaca, where repression and murder are arms of the tyrant in power, the social organizations will intensify our struggles to demand an end to the repression and to the killings of social activists, and we demand punishment for the responsible parties and respect for the autonomy of the people of San Juan Copala”.

The CEDIA spokeswoman emphasized that “We’re here to demand the immediate and speedy freedom of Abraham. We don’t think he can ever be repaid for the six years that have been stolen from him, the separation from his loved ones, and the isolation and dehumanizing practices he’s been subjected to –not with the presentation of his case before a Human Rights tribunal, not with a public apology, not with long-held hopes. What we want and what we demand is his freedom now”.


x carolina