Oaxaca: More than 500 cases of torture and 26 executions: Truth Commission

June 29, 2015

(@ADN Sureste)

(@ADN Sureste)

On the ninth anniversary of the attempt to displace the teachers’ sit-in at the zócalo in Oaxaca de Juárez in 2006, on 14 June there was held a public session at the Oaxaca Truth Commission (CVO). 14 witnesses presented testimony, while members of the CVO, including its president Alejandro Solalinde, as well as the journalist Carmen Aristegui and the Mexican representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Javier Hernández Valencia, were also present.

The CVO is an autonomous organization that seeks to clarify the repressive historical events that took place in Oaxaca between 14 June 2006 and 30 May 2007, the time period covering the displacement of the teachers from Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) from the sit-in they had undertaken to demand better working and educational conditions. This police operation was ordered by the then governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, and gave rise to the creation of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), a social movement that opposed the PRI-led government.

According to an advance copy of the CVO’s report, there were at least 500 cases of torture and 26 executions of social activists and those connected to the struggle. The public session gave voice to the testimony of women who lost their husbands, families that continue to seek out their disappeared, and political prisoners. According to Solalinde, the gravity of the acts is reflected well in the various testimonies that were presented, even if many other victims did not share their experiences out of fear. The public audience, which Javier Hernández Valencia understood as “a first step toward justice,” affirmed words such as those of Carmen Aristegui: “What should happen in the near future must incorporate the truth and memory, but above all justice, as Oaxacan society has sought out now for nearly a decade.” The CVO will put together a final report, to be presented before the judiciary in March 2016. The aim is to pressure authorities to put an end to the impunity of the acts, which represent crimes against humanity, in the view of Solalinde and his lawyer and assessor, Cuauhtémoc Ruiz.

On the same day of the public audience, a march organized by the CNTE took place, with the participation of 10,000 people. Protestors sought to commemorate the attempted displacement of 2006 and repeated their call for justice, the cancellation of articles 3 and 73 of the Constitution, and the cancellation of the educational reforms. They also protested in favor of boycotting the assessment exams for teachers that have been announced by the Secretary for Public Education (SEP).

For more information (in Spanish):

Hubo 500 casos de tortura y 26 ejecuciones en Oaxaca: Comisión de la Verdad (La Jornada, 12 de junio de 2015)

Ciudadanos de Oaxaca exigen justicia por el desalojo policial de 2006(CNN México, 14 de junio de 2015)

Confirman 26 ejecuciones y 500 torturados durante movimiento magisterial en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 15 de junio de 2015)

Sesión Pública de Comisión de la Verdad de Oaxaca, ejercicio inédito e importante: Aristegui (Educa, 15 de junio de 2015)

CNTE rememoró intento de desalojo del zócalo en el 2006 (e-Consulta, 14 de junio de 2015)

Comisión de la Verdad de Oaxaca (16 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Commemoration of seventh annivesary of APPO (24 June 2013)

Oaxaca: Sixth anniversary of the beginning of the 2006 social conflict (20 June 2012)

Oaxaca: Presumed killer of Brad Will is detained (5 June 2012)

Oaxaca: Demand for the immediate release of Damián Gallardo

December 30, 2014


In August 2014, the UN Work-Group on Arbitrary Detentions called on the Mexican government to release the indigenous human-rights defender Damián Gallardo Martínez, who is being held in a maximum-security prison in Puente Grande, Jalisco, and so “put an end to this situation of multiple rights-violations,” as well as “provide appropriate means of compensation for this person.”  The resolution was also sent to the Unitary Tribunals based in El Salto, Jalisco, which cover legal motions regarding kidnappings and organized crime

The Committee of Relatives and Friends of Damián Gallardo, the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights (LIMEDDH-Oaxaca), Services for an Alternative Education (EDUCA), Consorcio for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity Oaxaca, the New Women’s Collective, and the Oaxacan Citizens’ Initiative make public a communique in which they stress that “both motions [in his favor] are in progress, such that in this strict sense, the resolution is adequate for Damián Gallardo Martínez to be released immediately.  If he continues to be held, the responsibility for his illegal privation of liberty will be in the federal judicial power, for having violated the principles of control of conventionality against the rights-defender.”  Furthermore, they denounced “the permissibility of the actions of the Mexican State, which beyond systematically violating human rights, demonstrate a marked lack of interest in observing its international obligations and repeatedly guard silence in light of the indications and challenges that have been targeting it.  In this sense, we demand the immediate release of Damián Gallardo Martínez.”  They added that the case “effectively shows the systematic practice of criminalizing social protest and imprisoning social activists, practices that each day become more common and evident in the country, as well as the the practices of torture, arbitrary detention, and abuse of the justice system” against human rights-defenders.”

It bears mentioning that Damián Gallardowas arrested on 18 May 2013, accused of having participated in a group of kidnappers supposedly comprised of members of Section 22 and the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO).  However, in accordance with information provided by the UN Work-Group, it has been shown that “the arrest and detention of Damián Gallardo Martínez are arbitrary” on three distinct levels.  The document also stresses that “the arrest of this person seems to be motivated by the activities in which he has been engaged in service of the indigenous peoples to whom he belongs,” and it notes that the defender signed a confession after “having been subjected to threats, acts of intimidation, and torture.”  As regards the denunciations and evidence presented about other abuses, the experts determined that the allegations of torture must be forwarded to the UN Special Rapporteur.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de Prensa (Educa Oaxaca, 16 de diciembre de 2014)

Llama ONU a Peña a poner en libertad a activista oaxaqueño (Proceso, 16 de diciembre de 2014)

ONU pide a Peña Nieto liberar a Damián Gallardo para poner fin a violaciones múltiples (Página 3, 17 de diciembre de 2014)

Confirma la ONU tortura en contra de profesor oaxaqueño (W Radio, 16 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: 16 months after the imprisonment of Damián Gallardo, and following call from UN, there is no response from the Mexican State (12 October 2014)

Oaxaca/National: Assault on teacher Damián Gallardo in a prison of Jalisco (13 June 2014)

Oaxaca: 8 years after the conflict of 2006, impunity prevails. Truth Commission is founded

December 15, 2014

Imgagen @ Código DH

Image @ Código DH

On 25 November, eight years were commemorated since the confrontation between civil society and the police that took place in 2006, including 25 killed, around 500 arrested, 380 tortured, and 5 disappeared.  Though the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) has found that “there were serious generalized and particular violations of individual rights” and the recommendation released by the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), these have proven inadequate for the tasking of punishing those responsible.  The Commission of Relatives of the Disappeared, Murdered, and Political Prisoners of Oaxaca (COFADAPPO) demanded that the recently founded Truth Commission (comprised of Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, Diego Osorno, and Mariana Patricia Jiménez) provide real results to the members of Section 22 of the National Educational Workers’ Union (SNTE) and to the people of Oaxaca, who were brutally repressed  in 2006.  Porfirio Domínguez, who was arrested by the federal police on 25 November 2006 during the final confrontation between the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) and the PFP (federal police), also demanded that the SCJN’s report be heeded.

For its part, the Gobixha Committee for the Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código DH) indicated that “Oaxaca experienced on 25 November 2006 one of the most brutal repressive episodes in the history of the state […].  Today we see the same practice exercised against those arrested on 20 November in Mexico City, as they were taken to federal prisons without respecting habeas corpus, as the law establishes.  Arbitrarily violating the legal rights of these persons demonstrates that the justice institutions have not changed.”  In a press-bulletin, Código DH indicated ex-governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz as the principal responsible party, and that “despite the existing documentation, basically the grave rights-violations we have seen this committed this year continue in impunity.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Oaxaca 2006: 8 años de impunidad (Comité de Defensa Integral de Derechos Humanos Gobixha – Código DH, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

Los días de infierno pretenden ser enterrados con un silencio cómplice; Ulises Ruiz y camarilla gozan de impunidad (Página 3, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

Reprocha Cofadapo trabajo de Cué sobre 2006 y piden resultados ‘reales’ a la Comisión de la Verdad (Noticias Net, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

‘Insuficiente la Comisión de la Verdad para castigar a culpables de 2006’: LIMEDDH (Noticias Net, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: March-meeting of Section 22 of the SNTE in commemoration of 25 November (28 November 2012)

Oaxaca: March of teachers and social organizations in observance of the repression of 25 November 2006 (28 November 2011)

Oaxaca: Presumed killer of Brad Will is detained (5 June 2012)

Oaxaca: Urgent Action for new harassment against Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno (30 September 2010)


Oaxaca: Harassment and robbery of female human-rights defender

October 25, 2014


The Network of Female Activists and Human-Rights Defenders of Oaxaca denounced that on 8 October, the home of defender Silvia Gabriela Hernández Salinas, a member of the Oaxacan Voices Building Autonomy and Freedom (VOCAL) collective, was forcibly entered to remove her personal computer and two external hard drives.  Despite the fact that the house contained other valuable items, only the digital materials in question were stolen, such that the Network believes that the robbery is associated with her work in favor of the defense of human rights.

In Oaxaca, mobilizations were undertaken on 2 and 8 October to demand the presentation of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa alive.  It should be mentioned that Silvia Gabriela participated in both such protest-actions.  Furthermore, she indicated that months previously, she had been confronted by members of the State Preventive Police and was arrested on 6 July 2007, when supporters of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) clashed with police following the procession of the popular Guelaguetza in Oaxaca City.

This case adds to the list of 59 attacks against 22 human-rights defenders, 3 journalists, and 6 collectives and organizations in the state of Oaxaca that have been committed in the first half of 2014.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian allanamiento y robo defensora de los DH (Noticias Net, 10 de octubre de 2014)

Allanan domicilio de defensora de DH; suman 60 ataques en Oaxaca solo en 2014 (Página 3, 9 de octubre de 2014)

Oaxaca: Primer lugar en ataques a mujeres defensoras de DH y periodistas (Consorcio Oaxaca, 23 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Attempted murder against a member of VOCAL (12 January 2009)

Oaxaca: Concern for the alarming increase of murders in the state

April 26, 2014

Ignacio García Maldonado, ex miembro de la APPO asesinado. Foto (@Noticiasnet.mx)

Ignacio García Maldonado, murdered ex-member of the APPO. Photo (@Noticiasnet.mx)

During the past three weeks there has been a significant increase in the number of murders and extrajudicial executions in Oaxaca; some of these have been had a political character within the context of the social struggles being experienced in Oaxaca.

On 28 March, Basilio Guzmán Sánchez and Martín Sánchez Pérez were murdered in the Constanza del Rosario, being members of the Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle (MULT). That same day, the logging capitalist César Ramírez Guendüláin was murdered in the Santa Lucía del Camino municipality

The next day, Ignacio García Maldonado, former member of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) and ex-political prisoner, was murdered in Oaxaca City together with his friend Emanuel López Martínez.  Furthermore, in the community of San Miguel Soyaltepec, six people were shot, and Eliserio Valencia García was executed in Santa Cruz Loxicha, being the brother of the mayor of San Agustín Loxicha.

On 11 April, two teachers from Section 22 of the National Union of Educational Workers (SNTE-CNTE) together with their 7-year old child in Pochutla.  The previous day, there was a report of the murder of the leader of the Freedom Union, Germán Hernández Juárez, in Trinidad de Viguera.

Lastly, on 12 April, six people were murdered, two of them minors, by a commando group in the municipality of Huajuapan de León in the Mixteca region, and the next day, Eduardo Vásquez Ramírez, Secretary of the Committee of Vigilance of the Commissioner’s Group for Communal Goods from Santa María Petapa, was killed in the Matías Romero municipality in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.

With reference to the political crimes, the Oaxacan group Services for an Alternative Education (EDUCA) has expressed that “this context places us close to the risk that violence will take over all institutions and the administration of justice, beyond encouraging society in general to express its differences by means of bullets rather than reason […].  We are sure that only justice and not impunity can be the public action that marks the path toward the restitution of faith and credibility in the institutions […].  Violence without a doubt puts at risk the transition and the political changes demanded by Oaxacan society.  It is necessary to recover our faith in the institutions, as it is necessary to recover our faith in ourselves.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Asesinan en Oaxaca a 2 maestros y su hijo de 7 años; suman 4 crímenes en 24 horas (E-Oaxaca, 13 de abril de 2014)

Asesinan a secretario de Vigilancia del Comisariado de Bienes Comunales de Petapa (Página 3, 13 de abril de 2014)

Investigan asesinato de seis personas por comando armado en Huajuapan (Noticias, 13 de abril de 2014)

Asesinan a líder del sindicato Libertad en Oaxaca (Proceso, 11 de abril de 2014)

La violencia pone en riesgo la transición en Oaxaca: EDUCA (EDUCA, 01 de abril de 2014)

De nuevo, Oaxaca: amenazas y ejecuciones (La Jornada, 31 de marzo de 2014)

Asesinan a dos colaboradores del ex líder de la APPO Flavio Sosa (La Jornada, 30 de marzo de 2014)

Ejecutan a hermano del alcalde de Loxicha, Oaxaca (Proceso, 30 de marzo de 2014)

12 ejecuciones en 48 horas encienden focos rojos en Oaxaca (Página 3, 30 de marzo de 2014)

El mensaje es claro: estamos en la mira y el centro del asunto es 2006“: Comuna Oaxaca (Página 3, 30 de marzo de 2014)

Ejecutan a empresario (Noticias, 29 de marzo de 2014)

Matan a balazos a dos activistas del MULT (Noticias, 29 de marzo de 2014)

National: Thousands of teachers march against the educational reform

October 4, 2013


Sit-in of teachers in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. Photo @SIPAZ

On 11 September, dissident teachers from several Mexican states (Aguascalientes, Baja California, Chiapas, Durango, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Querétaro, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Yucatán, and Veracruz) joined the protests organized by the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE), which marched starting at 10am in Mexico City toward Los Pinos.  The Secretary for Public Education that day distributed the decrees which are to reform the General Law on Education demanding the expeditious institution of the laws recommended by the National Institute for the Evaluation of Education and the General Union of Professional Teaching Services, which entered in law on 12 September.

In Guerrero, some 5000 teachers from the State Coordination of State Educational Workers (CETEG) marched on the Sol Highway to protest the educational reform and its secondary laws.  In the protest participated teachers from the central and mountainous regions of Guerrero, principally, who went on strike in response to the call for mobilization on the part of the CNTE.

In Oaxaca, the Unions of Workers from the “Benito Juárez” Autonomous University of Oaxaca (STEUABJO) and of Educational Workers from the Oaxaca State Conalep (SUTDCEO) held a 12-hour strike to observe the national general strike called for by the CNTE.  Similarly, the Unified Front for Struggle (FUL) and the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), teaching students, and retired teachers participated in marches, occupations of buses, and blockades of the TV Azteca office, preventing the exit of dozens of workers.

In Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, approximately 1,500 teachers from Sections 7 and 40 marched, closing the four access-routes to the capital during the entirety of the day.  15 days after having begun the mobilizations and protest actions against educational reform, the teachers on that day added to their demand a rejection of the fiscal and energy reforms, in parallel terms to social organizations and campesinos.  By means of social networks and text messages, on 10 September there began a calumnious campaign in the media opposed to the teachers’ movement in Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Maestros de Guerrero marchan sobre Autopista del Sol (Informador, 12 de septiembre de 2013)

Maestros preparan megamarcha en Guerrero (La Prensa, 11 de septiembre de 2013)

Marchan maestros en los estados contra la Reforma Educativa (Excelsior, 11 de septiembre de 2013)

Protestan profesores en 17 estados en apoyo a la CNTE (Animal Político, 11 de septiembre de 2013)

Marchan Ceteg y MPG contra las reformas educativa y energética (La Jornada de Guerrero, 12 de septiembre de 2013)

Inician maestros paro nacional (Proceso, 11 de septiembre de 2013)

A través de Facebook, amenazan de muerte a maestros chiapanecos (Proceso, 10 de septiembre de 2013)

La mirada femenina del derecho a la educación en México, por tres maestras de Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, 9 de septiembre de 2013)

En Oaxaca, sindicatos y organizaciones realizaron manifestaciones de apoyo a la CNTE (Página3.mx, 11 septiembre de 2013)

Oaxaca: Commemoration of seventh anniversary of APPO

June 24, 2013

imagen de la marcha @ Proceso

image of the march @ Proceso

On 14 June in Oaxaca City, teachers from Section 22 of the National Union of Educational Workers (SNTE) carried out a march to commemorate the events of 14 June 2006.  On this day, state police tried unsuccessfully to forcibly displace a sit-in of teachers that was being held in the Zócalo of the Oaxacan capital.

The teachers, who concluded the mobilization with a rally in the Zócalo of Oaxaca City, demanded justice for the 27 who were murdered in the social conflict of 2006, as well as judgment and punishment of those responsible for the repression against the movement which took place at that time, particularly former governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (2004-2010).  The statistics of participation for the march differ, with some estimates claiming 20,000 teachers, and others 70,000.  In their march toward the center of the city, the teachers removed electoral propaganda from all parties and defaced the local office of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).  Furthermore, they called for a boycott of local elections for deputies and mayors (7 July) as well as the official Guelaguetza, and additionally announced plans for a popular Guelaguetza, from 22 to 24 July.  During the teachers’ mobilization, two incidents occurred: first, six teachers were injured in a car accident, while later three others were hurt when they were stoned, and later were hospitalized.

The failed displacement of 2006 marked the beginning of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) and the social conflict in Oaxaca that lasted until 25 November of that year, when units of the federal police displaced the protestors and arrested more than 100 persons.

For more information (in Spanish):

Proceso: Maestros de Oaxaca conmemoran desalojo de 2006; exigen cárcel para Ulises Ruiz (14/06/2013)

La Jornada: Conmemoran profesores de Oaxaca el desalojo fallido que dio origen a la APPO (15/06/2013)

Boletín de CODIGO-DH: JUSTICIA! 14 de junio no se olvida (14/06/2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Sixth anniversary of the beginning of the 2006 social conflict (20 June 2012)

Oaxaca: Presumed killer of Brad Will is detained (5 June 2012)

Oaxaca: Urgent Action for new harassment against Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno (30 September 2010)


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