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Mar 19th
ˇPresente! Home
Oaxaca Libre PDF Print E-mail
Resistance and Repression in Mexico - With millions of dollars in U.S. military aid and SOA training, Mexico has undergone a massive militarization over the past decade.

SOA graduates have played key roles in civilian targeted warfare in the states of Chiapas, Guerrero, and Oaxaca. At least 18 top military officials involved in the conflict are SOA graduates.

General Jose Ruben Rivas Peña, who took the SOA's elite "Command and Staff" course, authored the army's "Campaign Plan Chiapas 94" which calls for "training and support for paramilitary organizations."

The militarized response to a teachers' strike in Oaxaca made it clear that the Mexican authorites are still practicing what the SOA teaches.

Teacher's StrikeIn June, teachers went on strike demanding better pay, improved working conditions and increased spending for school meals, setting up protest camps in Oaxaca City. Governor Ulises Ruiz sent over 1,000 state police to break up the teachers' camps using tear gas and clubs. The teachers were able to regroup and resumed their protests.

Civil society groups then formed the People's Popular Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO).

In July, the APPO initiated a series of direct actions to force Govenor Ulises Ruiz's resignation. In response the police and paramilitaries started shooting at protesters, and arrested APPO leaders. Protestors created barricades as protection from attacks.

Negotiations in Mexico City between the APPO and the Minister of the Interior stalled, and in November, the Federal Preventative Police (PFP) occupied Oaxaca City.

On November 25, APPO organized a massive march. During the march there were a series of violent incidents between the protestors and the PFP. In confrontations, fireworks were set off, and stones and molotov cocktails were thrown. The PFP used tear gas, beat people, entered houses arbitrarily, and arrested hundreds of people. Various human rights organizations have documented excessive force, including the fact that many of the arrests included torture and sexual abuse.

November 30 brought another wave of violence by police, paramilitaries and government officials that included arbitrary arrests, indiscriminate search and ransacking of homes and schools. Dozens are dead, hundreds have disappeared, and armed groups have begun issuing death threats and burning offices of organizations sympathetic to the people's movement.

SOA Watch is monitoring the situation closely. Activists in Mexico, the US and throughout the world took action in solidarity with the people of Oaxaca. We demand an end to the repression and freedom for all political prisoners.


Published in the Spring 2007 issue 

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written by Mik, December 29, 2008
I grew up in Oaxaca, and do not agree with your assertions about the Mexican government. In no way am I saying that the Mexican government is blameless, nor am I saying that it is not corrupt. However, the government had every right to break up the protest. APPO took over the streets of Oaxaca for over half a year. They tore up streets, burned buses, and covered walls in graffiti. If anyone is to blame for the violence in the streets it is APPO and not the government. The government did what it had to do to allow the citizens of Oaxaca the freedom to move about their city once more. Maybe your comment about torture and sexual abuse is correct, I can claim no knowledge on these lines. If it is true, you're right it is wrong, but so is what the APPO did. APPO cost Oaxaca over a million dollars of tourism during their occupation of the city's streets and caused more damage to the city and it's economy than the police who arrested the leaders.
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written by scott, May 29, 2009
The above thought is smart and doesn’t require any further addition. It’s perfect thought from my side.
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Featured Article
Download the Spring 2016 issue of Presente

The Spring issue contains mobilizing information for the SOA Watch Border Convergence, which is taking place from October 7-10, 2016 at the US/Mexico border in Nogales, and also focuses on recent developments in Latin America and within the SOA Watch movement.

Click here to download a PDF version of the Spring 2016 issue.

As this issue of Presente went to print, our hearts were heavy. The assassination of our dear friend and comrade Berta Cáceres, and the increased repression against social movement groups, have left us shocked and saddened. SOA Watch Latin America liaison Brigitte Gynther traveled to Honduras the morning after she learned about the assassination and has been coordinating SOA Watch’s response together with our partner groups on the ground. If you do not already receive Urgent Action emails from us, please click here to sign up now.

The recent decision by the U.S. judge in North Carolina to extradite one of the perpetrators of the 1989 massacre at the University of San Salvador gives us hope that justice will prevail in the end. It will take all of us to create change! Please join us as we mobilize to the U.S./Mexico border from October 7-10, 2016!

Other articles in this issue cover a protest by SOA Watch in Chile against US bases in Latin America, the FBI surveillance of SOA Watch, updates from Colombia and Mexico, news about the first Border Patrol agent to receive training at WHINSEC, background information about Direct Action, the Youth Encuentro in Guatemala, and more.

Download this issue of Presente here.

SOA Violence
Image SOA Grads Responsible For UCA Massacre Face Extradition, Military Officers Arrested in El Salvador The 1989 massacre of 16-year-old Celina Ramos, her mother Elba Ramos, and six Jesuit priests in El Salvador, that galvanized opposition to the U.S. relationship with Central American death squads and that sparked the movement to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas, is making headlines again.
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For 25 Years the SOA Watch Movement has been on a Journey A journey to live into the radical hope that marked the lives of  14-year-old Celina Ramos, her mother Elba, and Jesuit priest dissidents Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J., Ignacio Martín-Baró, S.J., Segundo Montes, S.J., Juan Ramón Moreno, S.J., Joaquín López y López, S.J., Amando López, SJ.
Direct Action
Moving the 2016 November Vigil to the Border? The 2015 Vigil is still going to take place at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia, but there are discussions within the SOA Watch movement to move the 2016 vigil to the militarized U.S./Mexico border. What do you think?
Image Latin American Resistance & U.S. Solidarity Latin America has a 500 year history of resistance to the violence of colonialism, militarization, and elite domination. It is a legacy to treasure and honor.
SOA Watch in Latin America
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Image Looking Back to Move Ahead I was asked to write a piece about people of color organizing to attend the 2009 SOA Watch vigil and about our plans for 2010. I believe everything happens for a reason.
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- Dolores Huerta


Book Tip

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer's book cover



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