Campaign “To protest is a right, to suppress is a crime”
ANALYSIS: Mexico – human rights and security, an impossible puzzle?


30 January: Rosalino Díaz Barrera, a campesino from San Blas Atempa is kidnapped by a group of municipal police in a patrol vehicle. The next day his dead body is found with clear signs of torture.

30 January: A group of four armed persons assassinates the Director of the Bank, Industrial, and Commercial Auxiliary Police (Policía Auxiliar, Bancaria, Industrial y Comercial, or PABIC) along with three other people.

February: The International Civil Commission for Human Rights Observation (Comisión Civil Internacional de Observación por los Derechos Humanos, or CCIODH) conducts its sixth visit to Mexico. In its preliminary report the Commission states that “one year after its previous visit, the human rights situation in Oaxaca remains in an extremely critical condition. Social, economic and political marginalization continues in indigenous and campesino communities and a large part of the urban population, creating a situation that propitiates generalized human rights violations.”

6 March: After 11 months in jail, APPO council member David Venegas Reyes, “El Alebrije,” is freed after wining an appeal against a pre-trial detention order.

7 April: Teresa Bautista Merino and Felícitas Martínez Sánchez, both Triqui indigenous women and presenters at the community radio station “The Voice that Breaks the Silence,” are assassinated in the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copalá on their way to Oaxaca City.

20 April: APPO councillor Flavio Sosa Villavicencio is freed, after a year and a half in prison.

5–12 May: A caravan named Path of the Jaguar: for the Regeneration of our Memory and the Defence of Territoryorganized by the Gathering of Young People in the Oaxacan Social Movement, visits communities in the Isthmus region of Oaxaca.

16 May: 70,000 members of Section 22 of the National Education Workers’ Union (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación, or SNTE) hold a strike and march on the capital of Oaxaca calling for their demands to be met. Among these is a call for the National Executive Committee (Comité Ejecutivo Nacional, or CEN) to publish a petition for a change to the state government leadership and the handing over of schools occupied by members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, or PRI) and by members of Section 59 of the union.

20 May: Two years after the conflict, dissidents and members of Section 22 of the SNTE begin a sit-in in the central square of Oaxaca City.

20 June: Various demonstrators are wounded while protesting against the visit of Governor Ulises Ruiz to Zaachila, a visit which goes against the decision of the town’s Communal Assembly.

7 July: Oaxacan Voices Building Autonomy and Liberty (VOCAL), denounces media attacks against it supported by the state government.

22 July: Thousands of Oaxacans, as well as national and international tourists, attend the “Popular Guelaguetza” organized by Section 22 of the SNTE at the stadium of the Technological Institute of Oaxaca. The celebration is an alternative to the Guelaguetza organized by the state government. On the same day Adán Mejía López, member of the APPO and Marxist Militant Tendency is released from prison. He had been detained on July 17, 2007.

27 July: Shots are fired by unknown gunmen at the house of radio presenter Melesio Melchor Ángeles from Zaachila Radio. The same day, Jorge Aragón, a member of the same collective, is assaulted.

5 August: Two campesinos from Santiago Lachivía in the municipality of San Carlos Yautepec in the Southern Sierra are killed, supposedly by soldiers of 44th Military Zone, who were in the region carrying out an operation against drug trafficking. The bodies are searched afterwards and neither weapons nor drugs are found. According to the investigation by the State Attorney General´s Office (PGJE), the men who were killed did not use firearms, discounting the possibility that they were killed in a shoot-out with the military.

29 August: In a meeting in Guerrero state, representatives of the people affected by the La Parota hydro-electric dam and peoples from regions in Oaxaca where there is an attempt to build a dam, Paso de la Reina, agree to unite against mega-projects in a new organization, “Communities and Peoples of Guerrero and Oaxaca in Resistance”.

5 September: The Inter American Commission for Human Rights (CIDH) demands that precautionary measures be taken for 117 community members of Santo Domingo Ixcatlán, in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Among these are family and friends of three people allegedly killed in April 2007 by a paramilitary group linked to the PRI.

9 September: A court in Tlacolula de Matamoros orders 51 imprisoned members of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) to be set free.

19 and 20 September: A national forum takes place in Oaxaca:Constructing Pathways and Developing Projects for Political Transformation“.

19 – 21 September: The 22nd Broad Plenary Meeting of the National Indigenous Congress (Congreso Nacional Indígena, or CNI) is held in the indigenous community of Cacalotepec in the municipality of Santos Reyes Pápalo, Pueblo Cuicateco, located in the upper part Oaxaca’s Cañada region.

16 October: Almost two years after the killing of United States journalist Bradley Roland Will, personnel of the Federal Investigation Agency (AFI) detain Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno, a member of the APPO. The National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) as well as various national and international organizations question the investigation of the Federal Attorney General´s Office which led to Martínez Moreno’s detention.

27 October: Members of the Committee for the Defence of the Rights of the People (CODEP) denounce acts of torture carried out by members of the Federal Investigation Agency (AFI) and the Federal Preventative Police (PFP) during an anti-drug trafficking operation carried out in various neighbourhoods in Oaxaca City.

3 November: The Spanish Corporation Eurus suspends operations in its main wind-energy farm, La Venta IV, after 170 campesinos from the ejido block the road to the wind farm. The campesinos demand payment of an outstanding debt of 2 million pesos that Eurus had agreed it would pay to the local community.

15 – 16 November: A gathering entitled Our Voices of Struggle and Resistance takes place in the Juchitán de Zaragoza Ecological Forum in the Tehuantepec isthmus.

25 November: Two years after the intervention of the Federal Preventative Police (PFP) and state police against the teachers and popular movement in Oaxaca, the International Civil Commission for the Observation of Human Rights (CCIODH) denounces in a press release the fact that impunity “continues in the same way” with respect to the “material and intellectual authors of the serious violations that occurred”.

5 December: Community members of Santo Domingo Ixcatlán are trapped in their own town for more than 48 hours by a paramilitary group allegedly made up of PRI members.