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San Blas Atempa, Oaxaca, Refuses to Surrender

Giordano and Rodríguez: Surrounded by 800 Heavily Armed Police Agents, San Blas Atempa, Oaxaca, Refuses to Surrender

March 2, 2005
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The Other Journalism with the Other Campaign has reported several times over these last weeks about the struggle of the indigenous Zapotec town of San Blas Atempa, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. On January 1, 2005 the townspeople there rose up to kick out a hated political boss and her cronies, and until yesterday occupied the City Hall with their popular, autonomous municipal government. Just over 36 hours ago, at 3am on March 1, 2006, hundreds of state police officers stormed into town to retake City Hall. For the last two days there have been clashes between the growing police forceand townspeople.

The Other Journalism's Al Giordano and Bertha Rodríguez Santos are on the ground in San Blas, and report the following:

"The town of San Blas is under siege, surrounded by 800 state troopers and other heavily-armed police who invaded the Popular Autonomous City Hall here at three o'clock on Wednesday morning. They came in the pre-dawn hours following the indigenous Zapotec town's traditional Carnaval fiesta. By Wednesday night there were violent confrontations between townspeople and riot cops, gunshots, teargas canisters shot from cannons, attack dogs, and at least four arrests - people who once again, as occurred here 14 months ago, were imprisoned as a consequence of being wounded in the streets."


"The violent occupation by state troopers came nine days after the arrest, on Sunday February 19, of Nicanor Salud - a local moto- tricycle driver (the primary form of transportation between San Blas and nearby Tehuantepec) involved with the town's Civil Resistance Committee, and one of 72 local citizens with arrest warrants over their heads stemming from the January 2005 uprising. Police planted a pistol and a bag of cocaine on Salud and brought him to the federal prosecutor's office in Salina Cruz. There, 500 indignant San Blas townspeople surrounded the building and threatened to occupy it if their compañero remained prisoner. Salud still faces federal charges for the pistol and drugs used justify that arrest. As he was being released on bail, state prosecutors arrived to detain him on the 2005 arrest warrant, but indigenous Zapotec women of the town, in their colorful huipil blouses and skirts, created a human wall around him and whisked Salud off to safety. Salud then addressed a multitude from the steps of the Autonomous City Hall, declaring himself a 'Zapatista and adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle.' And the townspeople, by public assembly, voted to do the same, en masse."

Read the full story on the Other Journalism page of The Narco News Bulletin:

From somewhere in a country called América,

Dan Feder
Managing Editor
The Narco News Bulletin


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