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Troops threat to protestors in Oaxaca, Mexico

Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group | 05.10.2006 13:15 | Repression | Zapatista | World

The Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group has issued urgent appeals to the Mexican Embassy in London, to President Fox of Mexico, and to other Mexican authorities to urge that the Mexican government desist from sending in the military to attack protestors in Oaxaca, southern Mexico.

In the last few days military aircraft and helicopters have flown over the protestors' encampments in Oaxaca City, thousands of troops are reportedly moving towards Oaxaca City, and the Mexican press such as the daily La Jornada are reporting plans for a military intervention.

Esther MacDonald of Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group said : "We are extremely worried that if the Mexican government sends in the troops, then there is going to be a massacre on the streets of Oaxaca City. The protestors, who are demanding the resignation of the corrupt and violent State Governor URO, have issued an urgent call for international support."

"We appeal to the people of the world to organise protests at all the Mexican embassies and consulates in the different countries of the world to denounce the massacre that the Mexican government is organising against the people of Oaxaca." (statement by APPO, Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca, 2nd October).

Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group told Indymedia : “We appeal to everyone to do anything they can to express solidarity with the struggle in Oaxaca, if you are interested in getting involved in solidarity action please contact us at edinchiapas (at) “

The concern from the Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group is shared by Amnesty International, who have issued an Urgent Action call over the situation in Oaxaca.

The following is the text of the Edinburgh group's letter :

4th October 2006

Dear sir/madam

We write to express our grave concern about the situation in Oaxaca. We know that military aircraft and helicopters have been overflying the protestors in the streets of Oaxaca City (1), and that thousands of troops are advancing on the city.

We urge the Mexican government to desist from any intervention of Federal troops and from any repressive action against the people of Oaxaca. Following the publicity afforded the violent suppression of dissent in Atenco earlier this year, any such attack on the people of Oaxaca would have an extremely negative affect on the reputation of Mexico in the world. We can assure you that it will not be possible for any such repression to be carried out without widespread protest and publicity.

Our group has been following the recent events in the state of Oaxaca and are becoming increasingly alarmed at the continuing rise in police and paramilitary violence, shootings, abductions and federal military intimidation happening there. The violence is being orchestrated by what is left of the ex-government of Oaxaca which has lost its popular mandate, due in large part to the people's disgust at the corrupt ex-governor himself - Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (URO).

We are aware that on a daily basis protestors from the social movements involved in APPO are being subjected to violent attacks from the police and from paramilitaries, including shootings that have resulted in at least six deaths, and that activists are being "disappeared". On 1st October 2006 in Oaxaca City, Pedro Garcia Garcia (2), a student activist and law student at Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca (UABJO), as well as an adherent to the popular teachers' social movement, was snatched at 2:20 in the afternoon, in full view of observers. The group who took him were driving in a black Ford Lobo, and the witnesses noted the license plate number.

Amnesty International has expressed concern for the safety of Ramiro Aragon Perez and Germán Mendoza Nube who were beaten and abducted by security forces travelling in vehicles without number plates.

We are also aware that undercover operatives are carrying out 'terrorist' type activities, to try and discredit the social movements and justify repression. We are not fooled by this.

We call on the authorities and police to stop all attacks against the occupied radio stations and against APPO and its supporters, and we call on the authorities to cease all co-operation with and detain violent paramilitary elements. We also call for the demilitarisation of the Oaxaca state by the removal of Federal Preventative Police, Army and Naval forces.

We would like to know what actions the Mexican authorities propose to undertake that will guarantee the Oaxacan people a peaceful and corruption-free future.

We would be grateful for a reply addressing these concerns.

Yours sincerely,

Edinburgh-Chiapas Solidarity Group

(1) - Source:

(2) - Source:

Edinburgh-Chiapas Solidarity Group
c/o ACE, 17 W. Montgomery Place
Edinburgh EH7 5HA


President of Mexico
Lic. Vicente Fox Quesada
Presidente de los Estados Unidos de México
Residencia Oficial de “Los Pinos”, Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, México, D.F. Mexico
Fax: + 52 5 55 2 77 23 76
Salutation: Dear President/Estimado Presidente

Minister of the Interior
Lic. Carlos Abascal Carranza
Secretario de Gobernación, Secretaría de Gobernación
Bucareli 99, 1er. piso, Col. Juárez, Delegación Cuauhtémoc, México D.F., C.P.06600, MEXICO
Fax: + 52 55 5093 3414
Salutation: Dear Minister/ Estimado Secretario de Gobernación

Federal Attorney General
Lic. Daniel Cabeza de Vaca
Procurador General de la República, Procuraduría General de la República
Reforma Cuauhtémoc esq. Violeta 75, Col. Guerrero, Delegación Cuauhtémoc
México D.F., C.P. 06 500, MEXICO
Fax: + 525 55 346 0983 (if a voice reply say: “me da tono de fax por favor”)
Salutation: Dear Attorney General

Governor of Oaxaca
Ulises Ruiz Ortiz
Gobernador del Estado de Oaxaca, Carretera Oaxaca, Puerto Angel, Km. 9.5
Santa María Coyotopec, C. P. 71254, Oaxaca, Oaxaca, MEXICO
Fax: + 52 951 511 6879 (if someone answers, ask "tono de fax, por favor")
Salutation: Señor Gobernador/Dear Governor


Mexican Government representation in UK:

Mexican Embassy to the United Kingdom
Ambassador: Juan José Bremer de Martino
16 St. George Street
Hanover Sq.
London W1S 1LX
tel. +44 (0)20 7499 8586
fax. +44 (0)20 7495 4035
e-mail: mexuk (at)

Mexico Tourist Board
Wakefield House
41 Trinity Square
London EC3N 4DJ
Tel: (44-020) 7488 93 92
Fax: (44-020) 7265 07 04
uk (at)

Honorary Consulates:

Mr. Robin Andrew Stormonth-Darling
Honorary Consul
PH10 7PA
Tel: 01250 881248

Mr. William James Hannaford
Honorary Consul Tel: 0151 342 3831
wjhannaford (at)


UK Government Representation in Mexico
British Embassy
Ambassador: Giles Paxman
Río Lerma 71
Col Cuauhtémoc
06500 México DF
Tel: (52) (55) 5242 8500
Consular Section
Río Usumacinta 26
Col Cuauhtémoc
06500 México DF
Tel: (+52) (55) 5242-8500
Fax: (+52) (55) 5242-8523
Email: consular.mexico (at)


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