APPO: Oaxaca struggle not over

The president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH), FlorentĂ­n MenĂ©ndez, was in Mexico April 11 to meet with officials from the federal Government Secretariat. MenĂ©ndez urged officials to seek a solution to the ongoing teachers’ strike in the conflicted southern state of Oaxaca. (El Universal, April 11) The meeting came days after the Government Secretariat had declared the Oaxaca crisis over. Florentino LĂłpez MartĂ­nez, spokesman for the Popular People’s Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO) said the Secretariat was “gravely mistaken.” He accused the government of trying to avoid sitting at the dialogue table with APPO, and pledged “the movement and the strugggle have not ended.” (La Jornada, April 7)

In rural Oaxaca, APPO-loyal authorities in the indigenous Triqui “autonomous municipality” of San Juan Copala denounced army incursions into the hamelt of Agua FrĂ­a. San Juan Copala’s elected leader Severo Sánchez said “this is one more of the repressive manipulations by the state and federal government” against the popular movement. He said that days before the army troops arrived, Agua FrĂ­a community members had been fired on by gunmen from the Triqui Unification and Struggle Movement (MULT), which is loyal to Oaxaca’s Gov. Ulises Ruiz Ortiz. (La Jornada, April 8)

On April 4, Lucio Cruz, 60, who was wounded in the same street fracas in which New York journalist Brad Will was killed Oct. 27, died of his wounds in Oaxaca City. This brings the official count of persons killed in the Oaxaca conflict since last June to 12—although this figure is contested as too low by the APPO, and in any case does not include those killed in rural areas. (El Universal, April 4)

See our last posts on Mexico and Oaxaca.