In Defense of Radio Universidad: The Events of November 2nd in Oaxaca

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Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., November 2nd, 2006.

Local, national and international civil organizations, human rights centers, agrarian authorities, citizens who live in the state of Oaxaca are alarmed and express our worry in the face of the actions, translated into severe human rights violations, that are being performed by the national police forces. Considering this we issue the following statement:

Since October 29, 2006, based on a decision of Vicente Foz Quesada, President of Mexico, in agreement with his successor, Felipe Calderon, and State Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, a military-police operative was to take over the City of Oaxaca. With a contingent of some 4,000 agents of the Policia Federal Preventiva (PFP, Federal Police) acting as an occupation
army, entered the city of Oaxaca with helicopters and tanks. They violently evacuated the barricades and sit-ins of the APPO.

Until now the results of this operative are the following: the death of two persons because of tear gas projectiles fired by the PFP. According to data from the Oaxaca Human Rights Network, 32 persons disappeared in different police check points, and up to date 41 persons have been arrested without an arrest warrant. According to this information some of the arrested are taken
to the 28 th military camp as well as security houses and private homes in the downtown area of the city have been searched without search or arrest warrants.

The events that have been occurring since the entrance of the PFP they have been monitored and reported by different human rights organizations, revealing the serious human rights situation, the suspension of constitutional guarantees and the vulnerability of thousands of people in Oaxaca.

The amount of disappeared persons has increased and two more persons have died in these two first days of November, as well as the arbitrary detentions. Until now public transportation by land has been suspended and all entrances to the same are strictly controlled by the PFP. We fear that the deployment of strength will escalate in repressive actions as well as
the arrest of the leaders of the APPO.

It is evident that the arrival of elements of the federal police has increased the level of insecurity, repression, lack of freedom, dead, wounded, arbitrary detentions, unlawful home entries, forced disappearances and systematic human rights violations.

At this very moment the PFP is entering the Autonomous Benito Juarez University. In their wake they have hurt many demonstrators and for more than an hour they have been shooting tear gas, giving rise to physical and psychoemotional lesions in the demonstrators. We have been informed of attacks to the church of Cinco Señores, where they were issuing a distress
call on behalf of the people grouped in the university. Acts that place in imminent risk all the people who live in the State of Oaxaca.

The University Dean (Rector) has issued a declaration where he condemns the actions of the federal police and questions the irresponsible decisions of the federal government. He pointed out that the university is open to communication media and that if this is understood, it is unconceivable that it be arbitrarily invaded, infringing the rights the university stands for.

The paramilitary groups are still participating, perpetrating violent actions, as vanguard operations; alter their actions the PFT immediately shows up to continue their actions.

The participation of the Nacional and State Comision Human Rights comisionas has been nil, there are no observers in spite of the fact that their presence has been requested, particularly asking for the intervention of Human Rights observers during these actions, in the local judicial instantes, they are not working for the interests of the People, but rather in the defense of the interests of those in power. They are enjoying their impunity in their evident and continuous human rights

Because of this:

FIRST: We hold directly responsible ULISES RUIZ and his CABINET of the assassinations and acts of violence and human rights violations that have taken place on November 2 nd, the violent events that have taken place since October 27th, those occurred since June 14th, because of their incapability to govern and their lack of political ability to solve the conflict, as well as the irresponsible manner in which he continues to resign or ask for a leave, as a sign of political civility and good will
to relieve the tensions in the conflict. In the contrary, they have continued with the repression through hit men and paramilitary groups.

SECOND:- We hold the Government of Vicente Fox responsible of omitting their attributions and their incapability to acknowledge what has become a social and political conflict that goes well beyond local and labor demands. To mention that the problem has been solved is a delicate and risky statement on the part of the president, the same applies to the order of action of the Federal Police in Oaxaca territory and the consequences of this act.

Because of all this, we demand:

1- The immediate exit of Ulises Ruis to releive the tension in the conflict and allow a profound and integral process of change in the state. His authoritarianism has been at the root of the conflict and his permanence is an obstacle for a political and peaceful solution to the conflict.

2- We reject the use of the public forces as a solution, for this is no guarantee of the reestablishment of the rule of law; the immediate removal of the Federal Police (PFP) from the City of Oaxaca.

3- We demand the implementation of an emergency security and economic reactivation plan that would allow the citizens to return to their activities. The cease of repression, the presentation of the disappeared alive, an end to illegal detentions and searches. Unlimited respect of the human rights and integrity of all persons and particularly the members of
the APPO. We demand punishment for the intellectual and material authors of the assassinations perpetrated by paramilitary and parapolice groups from the State.

4- We issue an URGENT CALL to the National and International Human Rights Organisations to participate in the surveillance, observation, documentation, monitoring and denunciation of the human rights in this moment that is so difficult for Oaxaca, particularly so that their presence can help prevent the loss of more human lives and the repression of the peaceful social movement; to make themselves present with their support and participation, and we ask them to take urgent measures in the
face of what is occurring in Oaxaca.

5- We issue a call to the society to become involved and be attentive to each of the events that take place in Oaxaca, and to express their solidarity somehow. We ask the Media to fulfill their commitment with truth, impartiality and to spread the information in a responsible manner throughout our States.

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey