The political prisoners of Santiago Xanica: What do they want? Freedom!

by carolina

Abraham Ramírez Vásquez, Juventino García Cruz and Noel García Cruz, the first political prisoners of the Ulises Ruiz regime in Oaxaca, are from the Zapotec town of Santiago Xanica. The three members of the Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Rights (CODEDI) and the Popular Anti-neoliberal Oaxacan Magonista Coordinating Body (COMPA) were arrested on January 15, 2005, after hundreds of preventive and judicial police opened a crossfire on a group of 80 men, women, children and old people who were unloading bricks from a truck as part of a community work project. Abraham, Noel and Juventino were seriously wounded by gunshots. The people responded to the attack with sticks and stones, but more police came in, dragged the three wounded people out of the clinic, and took them to a house to be tortured by the police. After a few days, they were taken to the Ixcotel prison and then to the prison at Pochutla. Despite their serious wounds, they received no medical treatment until 36 hours after being admitted to the Pochutla hospital.

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Possible State Kidnapping of Abraham Ramírez Vásquez

To the people of Mexico
To the peoples of the world
To the alternative news media

On Saturday, January 31, at 6:00 p.m. a heavily armed commando unit of the Oaxaca state police went into the San Pedro Pochutla prison and took our indigenous comrade and political prisoner Abraham Ramírez Vásquez away in a white van with no license plates to an unknown address. Abraham and two other indigenous men, Juventino and Noel García Cruz, have been held prisoner since January 15, 2005, under the direct orders of the murderer Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (URO). Our comrades’ crime was defending their forests and their traditional practices and customs. For more than 4 years, the URO government has been unable to prove that they committed the crimes they are accused of, and accordingly, they have not been sentenced. Our comrades are members of the Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Rights (CODEDI) of Santiago Xanica, a member organization of the Magonista-Zapatista Alliance (AMZ), the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), and adherent to the Other Campaign.

It’s important to note that Abraham Ramírez is a man of deep libertarian and human convictions, which have motivated him more than once, even from inside the prison, to struggle against the prison authorities for prisoners’ rights.

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Xanica Denunciation: October 5, 2008


Please accept warm greetings from the San Pedro Pochutla Regional Prison on behalf of Noel García Cruz, Juventino García Cruz, and Abraham Ramírez Vásquez of the Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Rights (CODEDI) and the Magonista-Zapatista Alliance (AMZ).

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Convocation to the State Forum for the Defense of the Peoples of Oaxaca


The brutal, systematic repression of the Mexican State against the movements for social transformation keeps on happening throughout the country, and in our state the situation is extremely serious.

The dominant classes and the big transnational interests maintain a mediocre political class and institutions that aim to do away with citizens’ rights, criminalizing all social protest. The exercise of constitutional rights in Mexico and in Oaxaca is now a crime. In order to grant even more privileges to a handful of economic interests, there are no holds barred on state terrorism.

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Takeover of CNDH Office in Mexico City for Repressive Climate in Oaxaca



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.

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Stop the Fascism of the Oaxacan Government!

Last February 6, at approximately 3:30 p.m., the ministerial police of the State of Oaxaca detained Pedro Sánchez Antonio, the indigenous representative of the Chinanteca community El Pípila of the municipality of San Juan Mazatlán, Oaxaca. Compañero Pedro is a member and a delegate of the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI) of Oaxaca. He was charged with the offenses of plunder and abuse of authority, supposedly committed against the political boss Carmelo Pérez, who was expelled from the region by campesinos in 2005.

On February 7, at 8:00 a.m. Dora Ávila Betancourt was arrested in Matías Romero, Oaxaca, by several heavily armed men. Dora was taking her daughter to school when they detained her, saying that they had an arrest order for damage to a highway that occurred in 2006, a charge that was previously dropped for lack of proof. Dora is 48 years old and has spent 20 years working in indigenous rural communities in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca. She has been a member of UCIZONI, and is now a Human Rights Adviser for Rural Women.

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The lights of Xanica

People in the Zapotec community of Santiago Xanica in the Sierra Sur of Oaxaca continue to struggle for their right to choose their municipal president in an assembly by means of traditional practices and customs and to gain the freedom of the first political prisoners of the Ulises Ruiz regime in the face of threats, harassment, and arrest warrants on the eve of the municipal elections of August 26.

August 22nd, 2007 – Carolina writes: The road to Xanica climbs up from Huatulco through a beautiful forest. It’s rough and unpaved, but the driver of our wooden-railed pick-up knows all the ruts and curves, even in the rain. He’s lived there all his life. His name is Isaías.

He talks to the two of us, who were lucky enough to be riding up front, about the woods and the deer and possums and armadillos that live there. Then he says, “See those lights? They’re the lights of Xanica.” On our two-hour ride they look really distant, then closer, then even further away, but there they are, shining clearly through the mist, always visible in this part of the Sierra Sur of Oaxaca. Isaías answers our questions and tells about the state of siege in his town.

Only later did I learn that he’s one of eight people from Xanica with warrants out for his arrest.

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