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Four Internationals arrested and detained in Oaxaca for watching a video

J-CJD | 07.08.2007 15:14 | Oaxaca Uprising | Repression | Social Struggles | London | World

Four internationals were arrested on the evening of the election, 5 August, by Federal Police for the crime of watching a video of last year's riots on a television screen set up in the in Zocalo.

According to two sources here, the police moved in and demanded to see the passports of the internationals. They refused and were immediately arrested.

At the time in question this journalist witnessed a group of federal police entering the Zocalo as I returned home, one was carrying a CAR-15 assault rifle.

The four people were detained but are now in the hands of immigration authorities until their identities are confirmed. There is a possibility they will be deported once their embassy has identified them.

More on this as soon as we can.



Good news - update

07.08.2007 17:50

Having met friends of the detainees this morning I found out all four are due to be released some time today. It is not known whether they will be deported or not.

But as one has already mentioned, it is very unwise to refuse to show your documents here when asked by the authorities, as this situation shows, especially when facing a 10-round per second assault rifle.

The police have total power here, you do as they say, or you end up in jail, no second option.

For now, at least, the internationals are safe and not in the hands of the PFP.

But one interesting point here is when they were approached by the police they were doing nothing more than what every tourist here was doing in the run up to the election. The Zocalo was full of television sets playing videos of last year's riots and every international here was watching them.

I am not aware of any law, but it is possible that it is illegal to publicly show political material on election day, and in doing so, or just watching, was enough to draw attention to the police.



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strange word

09.08.2007 21:13

Why are both of you using the term "riot" to describe the events of 2006? I was in Oaxaca last month, and vendors showed DVD's of last year's phase of the conflict, particularly the PFP invasion in November. "Riot" seems like a very strange and loaded word to describe this battle.

Ben Feinberg