Andrés Manuel López Obrador © MILENIO
UPDATE: Mexico, The Start of Campaigns – Ready, Set, Go!


1 January: The population of the town of San Blas expel the official authorities and their leader, Agustina Acevedo Gutiérrez, from the town council and found the “Popular and Independent Town Council of San Blas Atempa”. This then functions as an autonomous parallel town council.

Social and civil organizations denounce the fact that since taking power, Governor Ruiz has attempted to impose municipal mayors in autonomous communities that have expelled the political parties from their institutions. In Santiago Xanica, when the imposed PRI mayor took power, the comuneros refused to collaborate with him in communal work (known as “tequio“) and prefer instead to build their own houses. On 15 January, police officers surround the comuneros while they carry out communal work and open fire. The comuneros defend themselves with rocks, bricks and shovels. Three comuneros, members of the COMPA, are injured and arrested. As a protest against these events, the COMPA stages two permanent protests: one in the Federal District; the other one in the City of Oaxaca. COMPA approaches the President of the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH) José Soberanes, who promises to arrange an interview with Governor Ruiz in the presence of three observers of the CNDH. On 3 February a commission of the COMPA meets the Under Secretary of Government, Joaquín Palacios, in order to set the agenda for the meeting with the governor. As they leave the meeting, the members of the commission are arrested by the preventive police, in the presence of the observers from the CNDH. Two of them are freed within hours but the third, Alejandro Cruz (from the Alianza Magonista Zapatista) remains in custody. Hours after the incident, another two members of COMPA, Samuel Hernández and Jaquelina López, are detained in the offices of the CODEP (Comité de Defensa de los Derechos del Pueblo) in the presence of one of the observers of the CNDH.

From the start of his governorship, Ulises Ruiz is criticised for his policy of censorship towards the local newspaper Noticias de Oaxaca. In June 2005, members of the Confederación Revolucionaria Obrera Campesina (CROC), an organization linked with the government, occupies the newspaper’s offices by force. For thirty days, thirty-one employees are held hostage in the facilities until finally they are violently evicted. Photographs and videos implicate the police in the occupation of the facilities, stealing of newspapers, beating of spokespeople and in providing protection for the CROC.

28 July: In a communiqué issued by the EPR, the armed organization makes the following denunciation: “Our state of Oaxaca continues to be plundered by the caciques. In the context of the presidential succession, PRI groups headed by Roberto Madrazo and Elba Esther Gordillo have been extending their attacks towards our lands for some time, turning them into a boxing ring”.

August: Under the slogan “Tourism and Culture for Development”, contrary to public opinion and violating national and international legislation and regulations, the renovation of the central plaza of Oaxaca City is completed. The project is condemned by various civil society organisations as an attempt to stop social protests in the city centre.