Oaxacans protesting the beatings and illegal detentions are beaten and detained

On Saturday, January 13 a peaceful march organized by COFADAPPO (Committee of Families of the Assassinated, Disappeared and Political Prisoners of Oaxaca) was attacked by municipal and state police.  Some of the protesters were severely beaten by police, and 12 were arrested. Also on Saturday, more than 100 State Preventative Police ( PPE) violently broke up a peaceful encampment of family and friends of political prisoners, who had been protesting the ongoing, illegal detentions.  Some 40 people were violently evicted, many of whom had been camped out in front of the Miahuatlán de Porfirio Díaz prison since December 20.  

During both police actions, police beat protestors, threatened them by cocking their weapons and holding them to protestors' heads and verbally threatened and insulted them.   Some protestors fleeing the police attacks took refuge in local homes, hiding from police.  Local human rights activists, including Yésica Sánchez, president of the Mexican Human Rights League in Oaxaca ( LIMEDDH), Romualdo Wifridio Franciscon Mayrén Peláez, director of Commission for Justice and Peace, and members of the visiting International Civil Commission for Human Rights ( CCIODH, based in Barcelona, Spain, went to Miahuatlán to help bring those protestors safely back to Oaxaca City.

In response to the violence against the peaceful protesters carried out by state and municipal police, on Monday, January 15, the Archbishop of the Catholic Church issued a public statement demanding that the government of Ulises Ruiz respect the people's (constitutional) right to peaceful protest.  

Last night the Metropolitan Cathedral was packed during a special mass calling for the release of all 59 political prisoners, for social justice, and for peace with dignity.  Roughly 100 State Preventative Police in full riot gear, along with various contingents of municipal police, maintained a constant presence just outside all entrances to the Cathedral throughout the mass.

Earlier, on January 6, roughly 100 people marched in the town of Mihuatlán, in support of the encampment in front of the prison, calling for the immediate release of all political prisoners.   And roughly 10,000 people marched in Oaxaca calling for the release of all political prisoners, the ouster of Governor Ulises Ruíz Ortiz, and in support of the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO).
Please send out appeals (by fax is the most effective) as soon as possible, in Spanish or English.

Lic. Felipe Calderon Hinojosa
Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Residencia Oficial de ''Los Pinos'', Casa Miguel Aleman
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec
Mexico D.F., C.P. 11850, MEXICO
Fax:         011 52 55 52772376
Salutation:  Senor Presidente/Dear President Calderon
Minister of Public Security:
Lic. Genaro Garcia Luna
Secretario de Seguridad Publica, Secretaria de Seguridad
Paseo de la Reforma No.364, piso 16
Colonia Juarez, Delegacion Cuauhtemoc,
Mexico DF. C.P. 06600, Mexico
Fax:         011 52 55 5241 8393
Salutation:         Dear Minister/Estimado Secretario
Minister of the Interior:
Lic. Francisco Ramirez Acu ña
Secretario de Gobernacion, Secretaria de Gobernacion
Bucareli 99, 1er. piso, Col. Juarez, Delegacion Cuauhtemoc,
Mexico D.F., C.P.06600, MEXICO
Fax:         011 52 55 5093 3414
Salutation: Dear Minister/Estimado Secretario
Governor of Oaxaca:
Ulises Ruiz Ortiz
Gobernador del Estado de Oaxaca
Carretera Oaxaca – Puerto Angel, Km. 9.5
Santa Maria Coyotopec, C. P. 71254
Oaxaca, MEXICO   
E -mail:   gobernador@oaxaca.gob.mx
Fax:011 52 951 511 6879 (if someone answers, say ''me da
tono de fax, por favor'')
Salutation: Senor Gobernador/Dear Governor
President of the National Human Rights Commission:
Dr. Jose Luis Soberanes Fernandez        
Presidente de la Comision Nacional de Derechos Humanos
Periferico Sur 3469, 5º piso
Col. San Jeronimo Lidice
Mexico D.F. 10200, MEXICO
Fax: 011 52 55 5681 7199,   
E -mail:  correo@cndh.gob.mx
Salutation: Dear President / Estimado Presidente  ,
President of the Oaxaca State Human Rights Commission:
Dr. Jaime Perez Jimenez
Presidente de la Comision Estatal   
Calle de los Derechos Humanos no. 210
Colonia America, C.P. 68050
Oaxaca, Mexico
Fax: 011 52 951 503 0220
Ambassador Carlos Alberto De Icaza Gonzalez
Embassy of Mexico
1911 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington DC 20006
Fax: 1 202 728 1698
Please send appeals immediately.

Oaxaca Solidarity Network
"You must make injustice visible."  Mahatma Gandhi
ACTION ALERT:   Prepared by the Oaxaca Solidarity Network, Oaxaca, Mexico.
www.oaxacasolidarity.org, for more info.
DATE:   January 16, 2007