Skip to content or view screen version

Documentary Filmmakers Detained In Oaxaca

yossarian | 04.12.2006 02:19 | Oaxaca Uprising | Analysis | Repression | Workers' Movements | Zapatista | World

3 December 2006 - two documentary filmmakers and a translator were detained, as they ate at a restaurant near their hotel in the Oaxaca City Center at approximately 2:15 PM local Mexican time. Initial reports indicated that Municipal Police detained the three U.S. citizens, who have been in Oaxaca following and documenting the situation for the last couple of weeks. They were held for roughly 4 hours and then released.

This is the latest in a series of attacks against international and national independent media in Oaxaca including the recent release from jail of the gunmen (two police officers and three city councillors) accused of shooting and killing Indymedia videographer Bradley Will.  The Mexican government is rumoured to be circulating a list of foreign nationals who are to be detained for participating in protests (something which is illegal under Mexican law).  However, this seems likely to be a cover for attacks on any journalists who will report the truth of what is happening in Oaxaca.

Other detentions against leaders of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) have continued in the last few days and many members of the 250 person APPO council have been forced into hiding. APPO is a grassroots organization organizing for popular democracy in Oaxaca; they have so far carried out strikes and acts of civil disobedience in opposition to structural reforms of the educational system and other social injustices. They are also demanding the resignation of right-wing state governor Ulises Ruiz.

While the list of foreign nationals to be detained is currently unconfirmed, there is no question that about the existence of a list of APPO people to be apprehended, or that this policy is being put into effect.  At this time, roughly 500 teachers associated with APPO are being held by police, and a number of APPO people, possibly up to 100, have "disappeared" in time-honoured Mexican fashion (possibly to be tortured or killed by death squads and/or the police). About 70,000 teachers in the state of Oaxaca are currently on strike.