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Indigenous CIPO-RFM and trade union members beaten and arrested in Oaxaca

The governments’s only form of dialogue is repression

Sta. Lucía del Camino, Oaxaca, 14 September 2004 – Brothers and sisters, At 4.13 am this morning, 14th September 2004, over 200 police officers from various forces, uniformed and not, moved in on our camp which around a hundred of our comrades have been occupying opposite the Governorate Building and the Church of St. Domingo in the centre of Oaxaca city since 20th April 2004. Our comrades were attacked with tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon without any warning by these forces, directed by José Manuel Vera Salinas, the Secretary for Civil Protection.

Here is a list of those arrested:

Although we have officially been told that they are being held in the State Justice (injustice) Department, we have so far not been allowed to see them, and they have not been allowed to see a doctor in order for their medical condition to be established. We have information that our brothers and sisters are being tortured and our greatest fear is that they will “disappear,” since most of them are well-known representatives of ours and the governor José Murat has publicly threatened to get rid of them.

At the moment the police have occupied the government buildings which are practically closed off, without doubt in order to permit only supporters of the government to demonstrate and deny acts of protest by indigenous people, who have always been excluded and are now being repressed.

Those directly responsible for this attack are José Murat Casab, Celestino Alonso (Government General Secretary), Rogelio Chagoya (State procurator/solicitor) and José Manuel Vera Salinas (Secretary for Civil Protection). Also responsible, though indirectly, is Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, who stands to gain most from a general climate of violence and repression so that he can stand as “governor.”

Also at the moment, patrol cars and motorcycles of the various police forces are circling our organization’s offices, possibly with the intention of arresting more comrades, either grassroots members or the few representatives that remain at liberty.

We state clearly that there has been no dialogue between the government and the CIPO-RFM. On the contrary, they have dedicated themselves to protecting the paramilitaries, in particular Celestino Alonso, who was instrumental (through the Administrator of Tanetze de Zaragoza) in the attacks on the communities of the Sierra Norte.

We will be protesting on 15th September, we will make our voices heard, but we will not be boycotting anything, we will not be preventing any festivals. But we are going to denounce that today, just as in the distant days of 1810, the indigenous people are being repressed and assassinated for the simple crime of wanting justice and freedom.

For the re-organization and free association of our peoples For the Organizing Committee of the CIPO-RFM (those not arrested)

Posted by F.K. Witt.