Daria & Santamaria: Oaxaca's State of Repression
Daria & Santamaria: Oaxaca Under State of Repression
March 10, 2006
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Since Subcomandante Marcos' "Other Campaign" tour passed through Oaxaca, Mexico's only majority indigenous state, the social movements there have come under increased government repression. Narco News reported extensively on the siege of San Blas Atempa by hundreds of armed state police. James Daria and Dul Santamaria report from Oaxaca City that there have in fact been many other cases of police and state repression:
"The state of repression under which the people of Oaxaca are suffering is largely connected with the continued authoritarianism of the PRI. As the elections are drawing near, local caciques (political bosses) are working hard to ensure PRI dominance in their regions and to do away with any and all opposition. A driving social force of opposition is the Other Campaign. While the government did not repress the public activities of the Other Campaign during the time Marcos was here, it seems the regime is working against the social bases of the alternative that the Other Campaign represents.
"A persistent force for social change in Oaxaca has been the Oaxacan Promoter of National Unity against Neoliberalism, often simply called 'el Promotor,' whose members also help to make up the Other Campaign. On March 8, International Women´s Day, this organization held two marches that were violently repressed by the police. In the state capital, a peaceful march of women demanding the release of political prisoners and the cessation of political repression tried to enter the public square. The march was stopped by over 200 riot police. The women circled the square a few times trying to exercise their right to free speech. They were unsuccessful and chained themselves to the metal barricades blocking their entrance. They offered the police flowers and upon their refusal threw them at their feet. In another march in the city of Puerto Escondido, the Promotor blocked a highway trying to seal off access to the airport to call for a dialog with state authorities to solve the problems in the two Chatina communities described above and for the release of the political prisoners detained in the incident. The protesters were met with tear gas, beatings and arrests as the police attempted to break up the demonstration."
Daria and Santamaria describe in detail three cases of police violence in different towns throughout this rebellious state. Read the full story here:
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