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News :: Human Rights
Sunday, October 29th: The Federal Invasion of Oaxaca City
30 Oct 2006
On October 29th thousands of riot police from the Federal Preventative Police (PFP), armed with shields, batons, and automatic weapons, began the invasion of Oaxaca City, the capital of Oaxaca state, Mexico. The federal forces, under the cover of snipers in helicopters, are using light tanks, water cannons, and bulldozers to slowly remove the hundreds of barricades that have blocked the streets of Oaxaca City since the police were run out of town in June by protesters demanding the resignation of the state governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz.

[See at the end of the article for actions planned in Boston, Worcester, and Providence. Listen to What's Left WMBR Radio interview of Juan Gonzalez, Council of Mayan Elders:]
According to APPO’s website, more than 30,000 Oaxaca residents and APPO members have been in the streets all day, peacefully resisting the invasion, keeping the federal forces surrounded as they march through the city to prevent violent police attacks. The protesters who have vowed to be non-violent, have been carrying white flags and roses, and bringing food to members of the PFP who have been under-nourished with some officers even fainting.

There are, however, countless reports of police brutality coming from the streets. The PFP are entering homes and arresting random citizens, as well as the leaders of the APPO. They are using teargas released from helicopters, water cannons, and water mixed with an unidentified chemical that burns the skin to try and break the people’s will. For most of the day, the people of Oaxaca resisted completely peacefully, lying down in the path of the PFP, and continually getting driven back by violence and brutality.

Then at 2:30, (Oaxaca time) at least 1000 people stood up to the advance of 300 PFP officers in 20 buses crawling towards the center zocalo, which protesters have occupied and used as a public meeting space since May. Protesters punctured tires of 2 of the vehicles and smashed the windows with rocks, forcing the outnumbered police to retreat.

Thousands of valiant members of the Popular Assemblies of the People of Oaxaca, an open, public and directly democratic decision-making body that has been in control of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico since June, have succeeded in preventing hundreds of PFP from seizing the center zocalo of Oaxaca’s capital, Oaxaca city. As of 4:55, Oaxaca time, according to El Universal, the police, who had invaded and occupied the zocalo with 4 stolen buses, have been driven 4 blocks out of the center. Protesters have popped the buses’ tires and are using them to blockade the zocalo.

According to an APPO update, at 5:00, the PFP using helicopters kidnapped a 36-year-old man, and many others including women and children, beating them widely in Love Park, which is 7 blocks from the center of the city. At 5:09 pm, Oaxaca time, the PFP shot a man at point blank. According to the APPO’s website, he was one of tens of thousands guarding the bridge to the Technological Institute, which is under police siege.

The people of Oaxaca are focusing their defenses on two strategic locations, the center zocalo and, more importantly, the only remaining APPO occupied radio station, Radio Universidad, both of which are under attack from the PFP.

Federal forces have had Oaxaca City, a strong-hold for the new movement of the Popular Assemblies, completely surrounded since Friday when right-wing paramilitaries in plainclothes attacked unarmed people at a couple of the barricades. The attacks killed 4— NYC Indymedia journalist Brad Will, and Oaxaca residents Emilio Alonso Fabián, Eudocia Olivera Díaz, and Esteban Zurita López—and injured 11. The paramilitaries have been identified as members of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz’s PRI party: two members of Santa Lucia's city council, two of that town's police officers and a former justice of the peace from another town.

Vicente Fox, outgoing Mexican President who has long vowed to “restore order” to Oaxaca before he steps down on December 1st, used the PRI’s cowardly violence as an excuse to invade Oaxaca and repress the directly-democratic APPO. Even if he succeeds in this repression, however, he will only bolster the resolve of the movement for Popular Assemblies, which is looking to take decision-making power from the hands of politicians and bring it back to the people in the form of public, open, direct democracy (popular assemblies). Right now, a third of the Mexican states have built their own popular assemblies, many of which have mobilized today in support of the people’s struggle in Oaxaca.

APPO’s Spanish-language page:
Radio APPO
New York Indymedia
Global Indymedia


Monday, October 30th, 9:30-11:30 am and 4:00-5:30 Gather at the Mexican Consulate to deliver letters of protest.

Thursday, November 2nd, 4-5:30 pm:
There will be carpools from Worcester, SE Mass, and Providence to Boston's Mexican Consulate, 20 Park Plaza.

MONDAY, October 30th, 12 Noon at City Hall

Tuesday, October 31, 4:00 PM
US federal building, Kennedy Plaza
Providence, RI

Please e-mail or fax the following people to let them know you oppose the use of violence against this popular movement attempting to free itself
from a repressive and corrupt state government....

FAX. + 55 52 77 23 76, (at)

FAX + 55 50 93 34 14,
cabascal (at)

FAX + 55 56 81 71 99,
correo (at)

FAX: +55 53460908,
ofproc (at)

Fax: + 951 5020530,
gobernador (at)

For background information...
All my articles can be found at and the
photo story of the struggle since we arrived in July is available at The best independent media source for up to date info in english is

Thanks for watching...


Mexican Federal Police Invade...But the APPO Still Controls The Heart Of Oaxaca

NY Indymedia Press Release and Response

Federal Police Authorized to Enter Oaxaca, A Day Of Killings While Teachers Negotiate in Mexico City

Brad Will, US Journalist and cameraman, killed in Oaxaca - killer ID'd - actions planned in US

Indymedia: Brad Will, Bravery, Our Common Struggle (Portland Indymedia)

NYC Indymedia Reporter Murdered by Government Forces in Oaxaca

Decisive times in Oaxaca: To fall back now is to give up the struggle
(Declaration of the LTS-CC)

This work is in the public domain.
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29 Oct 2006
Raddio APPO has been knocked off-air by the PFP. This is a big strategic loss of the APPO, as that station was the people main source of communication. The APPO will be transmitting over the internet until they can get a radio signal back. Please help their cause by researching and spreading the people's news to raise international awareness and to pressure the mexican government to back down.

In Boston:

Friends and compas,

Oaxaca City is currently under attack by the Federal Police and paramilitary forces. They have been pushed back from the zocalo, but they have the city surrounded. This is the decisive moment for the people's

Beginning tomorrow at 9:30am, please join in a phone blitz (617-426-4181) and letter blitz on the Mexican Consulate, delivering letters of protest by hand 9:30-11:30am or 4-5pm to 20 Park Plaza. Sample letter attached.

Or let the Mexican government know your outrage in a more direct fashion.

Also participate in the electronic blockade:

Call our comrades in Oaxaca and offer them solidarity and encouragement: 011 52 (951) 51-78183

And join the mass demonstration now being organized in Boston for 4pm Thursday, the Day of the Dead.

Please organize your friends, comrades, neighbors, coworkers, everyone, in defense of the people of Oaxaca and in memory of Brad Will, Emilio Alfonso Fabián, and all who have been taken from us by the forces of repression.

¡Brad Will presente! ¡Todos los muertes de Oaxaca presente!

This is a letter from Alfonso of CIPO-RFM in exile:

We must get outraged because that's what these things call for.
What we must do:
1) Have all your contacts call Oaxaca and call the CIPO house to give them encouragement and to tell them what you're going to do. CIPO house: 011 52 (951) 51-78183
2) Call Oaxaca every day to find out what should be done and to find out what's happening there with the compas because the CIPO house is surrounded by police.
3) I send you the proposed letter for folks in the US to sign and send to Mexico and to the consulates and also to the US embassy, because a fellow countryman was killed.

Consulate of Mexico
20 Park plz
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 426-4181

President Vicente Fox Quesada
Residencia Oficial de los Pinos
Puerta 1, Primer Piso
Colonia San Miguel
11850 Mexico DF

Telephone: 011 52 (55) 2789 1100 or 011 52 (55) 18 7501
Fax: 011 52 (55) 52 77 23 76
Email: (at)

U.S. Embassy in Mexico
Paseo de la Reforma 305
Col. Cuauhtemoc
06500 Mexico, D.F.

Phone: 011-52-55-5080-2000
Fax: 011-52-55-5511-9980
Email: embeuamx (at)

4) We must always mention that the death should oblige the government to
dismiss Ulises Ruiz Ortiz and that they not send the police against the

We must also send the letter which is already in english to the other

Alfonso (CIPO-RFM in Providence)

Hay que ponerse chingon porque las cosas asi lo exigen lo que hay que
1) Pide a todos tus contactos que llamen a Oaxaca y a la casa del CIPO
para que les den animo y les digan lo que van a hacer.
2) Llama todos los dias a Oaxaca para saber lo que se debe hacer y lo
que va pasando en alla con los compas de la casa porque estan
3) Te mando la propuesta de carta para que la firmen los de estados
unidos y la manden a Mexico y a los consulados, asi como a la misma
embajada de USA, porque mataron a uno de sus paisanos.
4) Hay que hacer mencion siempre que la muerte debe obligar al
gobierno a que destituya a Ulises y no que mande la policia contra el
aque enviar la carta tambien a los otros companeros lo que ya esta
escrito en ingles
Mexican Federal Police Invade...But the APPO Still Controls The Heart Of Oaxaca
30 Oct 2006
At first glance, the Federal Government delivered a victory to the State Government of Oaxaca in its attempt to return control of the State Capital to Governor Ulises Ruiz. Armored tanks slammed through the APPO's barricades and brushed aside the women and children on the streets who had lined up to ask them not to enter their city. At least 50 people have been arrested, but the real number is feared to be much higher. Illegal search and seizures are occurring throughout the city, where Federal police and intelligence agents are hunting for the leadership of the Peoples' Popular Assembly of Oaxaca. (APPO) And, in outrageous coincidence evoking memories of Alexis Benhumea's murder in the town of San Salvador Atenco in May, at least one person is confirmed dead, a 15 year old boy slammed by a tear canister launched by the Federal Preventative Police (PFP).

But most observers on the ground told this correspondent last night that the fight is far from over; Radio Universidad, the voice of the APPO, is back on the air. Three marches are planned for today in the city of Oaxaca. The APPO remains present on every city block in every corner of the city. And despite the government's absurd claim that teachers will be back in classrooms today, members of section 22 of the teachers union made it clear that despite previous announcements, teachers will remain on strike. In fact, teachers from the democratic wing of the teachers’ movements in several states, including Guerrero, Michoacán, Tlaxcala, Morelos, Zacatecas, Oaxaca, Mexico City, and beyond, have vowed to walk out of classes as well. A mega march is planned in Mexico City to insist on the immediate withdrawal of the PFP.

"This is not a defeat." Insisted a host of Radio Universidad. "There are still more of us. They can't win unless they are prepared to put thousands upon thousands of us in jail, or turn the schools into jails. Or perhaps even turn the stadiums into jails, like Pinochet did."

Radio Universidad is currently on air giving instructions to citizens on how to engage in continued resistance.

Prior to yesterday's invasion, many people claimed that a Federal incursion into Oaxaca would not only fail to squash the movement, but would in fact strengthen it. Today, there are many signs that their predictions may well come true. Allies of the APPO took control of the government radio station yesterday in Guelatao, the small town in the mountains two hours from Oaxaca where Benito Juarez was born. From the word on the street, one suspects that today we will learn of many such small victories.
See also:
A Call from the Zapatistas: Oaxaca Is Not Alone
30 Oct 2006
Shut-Down of Roads, Highways and the Media on November 1; General Strike Called for November 20

By the Sixth Commission of the EZLN
The Other Mexico

October 30, 2006

Message from the
of the

October 30, 2006.

To the people of Mexico:
To the people of the world:
To the Other Campaign in Mexico and the other side of the Rio Grande:
To the entire Sixth International:

Compañeros and compañeras:
Brothers and sisters:

It is now known publicly that yesterday, 29th of October 2006, Vicente Fox’s federal forces attacked the people of Oaxaca and its most legitimate representative, the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO).

Today, the federal troops have assassinated at least 3 people, among them a minor, leaving dozens of wounded, including many women from Oaxaca. Dozens of detainees were illegally transported to military prisons. All this comes in addition to the existing total of deaths, detainees and missing persons since the beginning of the mobilization demanding that Ulises Ruiz step down as Oaxaca’s governor.

The sole objective of the federal attack is to maintain Ulises Ruiz in power and to destroy the popular grassroots organization of the people of Oaxaca.

Oaxaca’s people are resisting. Not one single honest person can remain quiet and unmoved while the entire society, of which the majority are indigenous, is murdered, beaten and jailed.

We, the Zapatistas, will not be silent; we will mobilize to support our brothers, sisters and comrades in Oaxaca.

The EZLN’s Sixth Commission has already consulted the Zapatista leadership and the following has been decided:

First: During whole day of November 1, 2006, the major and minor roads that cross Zapatistas territories in the southwestern state of Chiapas will be closed.

Consequently, we ask that everyone avoid traveling by these roads in Chiapas on this day and that one make the necessary arrangements in order to do so.

Second: through the Sixth Commission, the EZLN has begun making contact and consulting other political and social organizations, groups, collectives and individuals in the Other Campaign, in order to coordinate joint solidarity actions across Mexico, leading to a nationwide shut-down on the 20th of November, 2006.

Third: the EZLN calls out to the Other Campaign in Mexico and north of the Rio Grande, so that these November 1st mobilizations happen wherever possible, completely, partially, at intervals or symbolically shutting down the major artery roads, streets, toll booths, stations, airports and commercial media.

Fourth: The central message that the Zapatistas send and will continue sending is that the people of Oaxaca are not alone: They are not alone!

Ulises Ruiz out of Oaxaca!

Immediate withdrawal of the occupying federal forces from Oaxaca!

Immediate and unconditional freedom for all detainees!

Cancel all arrest warrants!

Punish the murderers!


From the North of Mexico.
For the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee-General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
For the EZLN Sixth Commission.

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Mexico, October, 2006.

Translation: Radio Pacheco