Mexican feds raid Oaxaca state police; violence continues in countryside

Mexican federal police searched the offices of Oaxaca’s state police forces Dec. 8, seizing hundreds of weapons. The federal Public Security Secretariat said in a statement that the search was carried out to check the permits for weapons used by the state police. Ballistics experts also checked the seized weapons to match them against bullets used in recent shootings, the secretariat said.

“We didn’t come searching for anyone,” Ardelio Vargas, chief of staff of the Federal Preventive Police, told reporters in Oaxaca City after his officers seized the police headquarters. But federal agents detained five people in their two-hour sweep of the installations, which also house the offices of the state’s prosecutor general.

The raid came shortly after opposition state legislators walked out of a session in which Oaxaca Prosecutor General Lisbeth Caña was explaining her strategy in dealing with the protests which have paralyzed the state since June. (Houston Chronicle, Dec. 8)

Even as an uncertain calm returns to the state capital, violence continues unabated in Oaxaca’s impoverished and often remote and rugged countryside. On Dec. 9 in Agua Fria, Juxtlahuaca municipality, Raúl Marcial Pérez, local director of the Movement of Triqui Unification and Struggle (MULT) was assassinated by unknown assailants. A colleague was injured in the attack. (AP, Noticias de Oaxaca, Dec. 9)

Representatives of the Popular People’s Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO) met with negotiators from the new administration of President Felipe Calderon Dec. 9, despite the arrest of their leaders in recent days. APPO has called for a new “mega-march” Dec. 10 to demand the release of arrested protesters. (Prensa Latina, Dec. 9)

According to Noticias de Oaxaca, 284 have been arrested since the federal police were sent in to Oaxaca, with 198 still behind bars. (Noticias de Oaxaca, Dec. 9)

See our last post on Mexico and the Oaxaca struggle.