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What is Happening in Oaxaca, Mexico

A local teachers’ union and other groups have held protests throughout the city of Oaxaca as a result of labor and other disputes with the local government. Demonstrators have occupied or closed government facilities, and have closed several roads throughout the city. Demonstrations have been marked by mounting violence, including at least two reported fatalities. The possibility for violence continues and the situation remains tense. Vandalism, arrests, and injuries continue as a result of the ongoing confrontations. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City has received reports of robberies and assaults in areas of the city not normally known to pose a high crime risk.

Civil society organizations, human rights centers, community authorities, and citizen participants in the national meeting for follow-up of the recommendations of the United Nations Special Rapportuer for Indigenous Peoples held in Mexico City the 27th and 28th of October, 2006 declare the following with respect to the current situation in Oaxaca, Mexico:

• Acts that took place yesterday in Oaxaca revealed the grave situation for human rights, the suspension of constitutional guarantees and the vulnerability of citizens. At this time there are 4 confirmed deaths as well as a numerous injuries (approximately 30).
• The non-governance in the state of Oaxaca is more evident today than ever. The government response in this case thus far has been repression and systematic violation of human rights under the pretext of enforcement of rule of law, with the use of public force on all three levels, local, state and federal.
• The situation in Oaxaca is a historic problem of accumulated human rights violations against the population. The demands of social organizations, unions, municipalities and non-government organizations have been repressed throughout the last two administrations of state and federal government. The violent and repressive action against the teachers union and the attempted expulsion on June 14th of this year, mobilized the society behind one clear demand: the dismissal from office of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, the governor of Oaxaca. This situation unleashed unprecedented repression expressed in illegal detentions of leaders, armed attacks against peaceful protests, criminalization of social movements, and ultimately, the presence of the armed forces in Oaxacan territory.

Here is a post giving the day by day watch on the happenings of Oaxaca.

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