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Message from Oaxaco, Mexico PDF Print E-mail
To the peoples of the world
To the people of Mexico
To the civil society
To the social political, and humans rights organizations,

Oaxaca de Ju?rez, Oaxaca, June 14 of 2006

Today, June 14, 2006, on of the most abhorrent manifestations of the exercise of power on behalf of the government has been perpetrated in Mexico. At 4:40 a.m., an act of repression against the social movement in Oaxaca began. At dawn today, state government police forces brutally and violently evacuated teachers who were occupying streets and the central square of downtown Oaxaca. We are speaking of more than fifty thousand teachers.

They also beat other people and destroyed the radio equipment of Radio Plant?n, 92,1 F.M., a wireless station that is been continuously transmitting the situation of the teachers movement. This community radio, which has been operating for a year, has played an important role in the transmission of clear and transparent information as it occurs in Oaxaca and our country.

This act is yet another piece of evidence of the repression that governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz has orchestrated against those who disagree with policies that violate human rights and those who stand up to denounce social injustice and the state of siege lived in today. There are disappeared teachers, people hurt and intoxicated with tear gases, apprehensions, and domiciliary persecutions. Also mentioned are the death of two children and at least three teachers. After five hours of skirmish, the teachers began to re-occupy the central square while "the forces of the order" regroup in other places of the city to reinitiate the aggression.

The city?s inhabitants are very disturbed and have begun to organize in support of the teachers. Similarly, social organizations are pronouncing themselves against the repression.

On the other hand, governmental and commercial media, both radio and television, try to cause the social irritation against the teachers. Due to the destruction of Radio Plant?n, groups of students and teachers took over Radio Universidad, the station of the Independent University Benito Ju?rez of Oaxaca, and are transmitting minute by minute what is happening in the streets of the city. In addition, the University has announced its total support to the teachers, declaring that this conflict has taken on a widespread social character and invites the society in general to join the movement.

The main demands of the teachers are: adjustment of wages according to the cost of the life in Oaxaca; strengthening of support programs to the schools, mainly regarding infrastructure; allowance of equipment and diverse educational materials to students who live in the municipalities of greater marginalization; finally, an end to repression against education workers; clarification on cases of the disappeared; and the liberation of the political prisoners.

Currently, social discontent and mobilization increase. In the face of this barbaric repression, more protests have sparked:10 Municipal Presidencies have been taken over, among which are Juchit?n, Zimatl?n, Huautla de Jim?nez, Teotitl?n de Flores Mag?n, Mat?as Romero, Huajuapan of Leon, Port Angel and Puerto Escondido. Farmers are marching in from Tuxtepec. Inhabitants of San Salvador Atenco make their way towards the State Capital. The future seems uncertain, but hope grows.

For this reason, the teacher?s movement, social organizations, and a great number of inhabitants of the city hold the governor of Oaxaca, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz responsible of the chaos and the violence currently affecting the most indigenous state of the country.

Finally, while a mega-march is being planned for next Friday, the government has sent orders of apprehension to the leadership. We hope to count on your support, and request the most ample circulation of this information.

Mexico teachers clash with police in historic city

14 Jun 2006 14:55:06 GMT
Source: Reuters

OAXACA, Mexico, June 14 (Reuters) - Mexican police forced out thousands of striking teachers camped in the heart of this historic city on Wednesday in the latest clash between protesters and government forces ahead of July elections.

Local radio said two people were killed and one was injured, although the report was not confirmed. Witnesses and press reports said shots were fired.

Before dawn, police on foot and in helicopters used tear gas to disperse the teachers, who have occupied Oaxaca City's main plaza and surrounding streets for 20 days to press their demand for higher wages. Colonial, highland Oaxaca City is the capital of the southern state of the same name.

Two police officers were being held hostage by teachers, said state officials.

President Vicente Fox's spokesman Ruben Aguilar said the incident, like May's riots in a town near Mexico City and a bitter, prolonged mining strike, was not a sign of instability around the July 2 presidential vote.

"In no way does the government consider them hot spots or insoluble problems, much less do they put at risk the electoral process," he told reporters.

State police guarded the leafy plaza on Wednesday and burned tents and other camping equipment, while teachers hid in hotels around the historic center, a Reuters reporter saw. They vowed to continue the strike, which the federal and state government says is illegal and unjustified.

"We must resist, we are used to ... years of struggle and to the repressive government," Enrique Rueda Pacheco, head of the teachers' union, told local radio.

The teachers are at odds with Gov. Ulises Ruiz, a powerful member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party which ruled Mexico for most of the last century.

Last month outside Mexico City, international and Mexican rights groups say police used repressive tactics to put down riots in San Salvador de Atenco. The demonstrators had opposed efforts to evict illegal flower vendors.

This week, several officers were punished for the brutal crackdown in which more than 200 people were arrested.

Earlier this year, two steel workers were killed in running battles with police sent in to break up a strike, part of a long work stoppage by miners and metal workers nationwide.


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