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Report on beginning of Oaxaca Indigenous Peoples Forum

N.Davies | 06.12.2006 02:36 | Oaxaca Uprising | Anti-racism | Social Struggles | Zapatista

Oaxaca Indygenous Peoples Forum Starts: here is a report. luna.

"The government can arrest 500 or more, but this movement is invincible
because when a people decide to transform itself, it does it": Lo'pez y

With the proposal to continue outlining and defining ways to achieve a
transformation of Oaxaca, to establish a new social pact and construct new
forms of living together to achieve a more just Oaxaca, one more worthy and
democratic, the Forum of the Indigenous Peoples of Oaxaca took place the
28th and 29th of November.

The indigenous forum took place despite widespread fears of arrests. The 300
delegates slept in a church sanctuary. Zapotecos, Mixtecos, Chontales, Mixes
and Huaves conquered their fear to participate in the forum which was
surrounded by police and military units to impede their participation. Ex.
bishop Samuel Ruiz, former bishop of Chiapas, observed the forum and made it
possible for some people to leave without being arrested.

Some reports say that many are still sleeping in the safe house - four days

Since June 14 to the present 304 people have been arrested, among them
teachers, university students, leaders of civil society and the APPO. They
have suffered all kinds of arbitrary insults including no communication,
denial of legal defense, denial of medical attention, and torture.

The popular assembly movement, with its legitimate cause has suffered a
brutal repression without regard for law, civil rights, international
treaties and human rights. Under these circumstances, it can be considered
a triumph that the indigenous delegates arrived, met and confirmed their
alliance to the APPO. They have documented 17 dead, and "we do not want even
one more death... an analysis was made of the Oaxaca mobilization from the
national perspective....What we are doing is continuing with a path we
didn't initiate, our ancestors did, and today we are taking a step further
and I hope that future generations will also take this path as we are doing
because the indigenous are not passing, here are our roots and surely, in
spite of the adversities, in spite of the obstacles, of the pain, our hope
has stayed alive....there are black clouds, there are string threats over
the identity of the peoples and test of that is that many of the detained
are teachers and students of indigenous communities of Oaxaca, but in spite
of the pain we go on with hope of a new dawn."

This can only mean that whatever happens during this phase of repression,
the indigenous peoples will be an important future pillar for change, as
was shown by their vow to install as many as possible of community radio
stations to spread information.

According to *La Jornada* Oaxaca is now in a state of repression similar to
what was experienced in Guatemala in its worst days of repression. People
are being scooped up off the streets and from the classrooms, with no crimes
or offenses beyond having participated in the movement. Pressure is needed
on foreign consuls and human rights organizations. One would suppose that
Oaxaque~os themselves, regardless of there allegiances, will sooner or later
sicken of this. When the July 2 elections took place, of eleven delegates
only one PRI-Ulises supporter was elected. The PRI has not won freinds since
then, I don't think. This is brute force, aided by the coincidence of the
PAN need for votes on the federal level with the PRI desire to hold on at
any cost.

In my opinion, the main mistake committed was to trust the government to
guarantee that the teachers could return to classes safely. The ruse worked
to lessent he number of people available in the plantones and streets. (In
the wake of the government betrayal of the teachers some schools are once
again closed --I have no figures on that, but I believe most schools in the
Valles Centrales are empty)

From around the state come accounts of seizures of teachers, as well as
students and APPO leaders. Fear is prevalent, and I salute the indigenous
people and the APPO people -- dignity, it's amazing, and describes so
specifically the people who rightfully claim it.

The APPO asserts the provocations came from the government side. I saw the
roof top cops and thugs, I took some photos, several hours before the march
arrived. I also agree that some of the street fighters may have been either
infiltrators, or just uncontrollable. Many on the barricades were not APPO
members, they were anti-government with no other thoughts- I was told that,
but have no first hand confirmation. It sounds plausible, although we have
to keep in mind that the majority of the marchers were not kids. This is
not, as far as I can see, a children's crusade. Look at the photos. This is
very adult folks, who've lived through enough to know they're being



uptodate with the ex -forum. terror

06.12.2006 04:09

email recieved yesterday

from friends... do something... we have our comunications cut to the exterior and the television has ruled its veredict again against us. here the hunt is well fucked there is talk of another 10 deaths but we have no evidence as they are taking away the bodies... the indygenous forum is being patrolled every 2 minutes by parapolicemen ( you know those vans without stickers nor registration plates and bulls in black with long weapons and no police logos or anything like that )... the international and national outcry has to step up its tone.

even for those in human rights there is no access to hospitals nevermind to prisons, it is not possible to check the lists of arrests and deaths, the detention of delegates from the other is now a sure thing, but also it is a fact that many already turned back homes as they where scared.... we had a session of 30 out of 250 yesterday but noone can leave the catholic house because they are waiting for us outside.

at dawn they went in the five regions round about and we dont know the exact total but we guess that ( because there where conditions for it to happen ) the must have been a shoot out.... we are up to our necks and have no news of what is happening round the corner.

brother favio sosa was arrested with his legal safegard in the bag so that the little paper ended up having an extra purpose. wipping

there are many expression of the state of emergency ... the only guarantee now is to go into negociation quick and that depends on the external preassure growing because here we have no room for manouvering... the siege is almosy total... yesterday night after all day triyng to negociate with the government's subsecretary, it blew up.. howefully we can get back to it today



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