By Ben Robinson
Repression of democratic organizations that had been ongoing for weeks culminated on November 14, when street vendors in the Union of Oaxacan Artists and Merchants in the Struggle (UACOL, Union de Artesanos y Comerciantes en la Lucha) were evicted from the Oaxaca city center. These acts of repression come as the governor of Oaxaca, Alejandro Murat Hinojosa, is preparing to close out his term in office and improve his party’s reputation before election season. Other groups that have a presence in the center have faced repression and are on alert for more, including displaced indigenous Triqui people and revolutionary organization Current of the People – Red Sun (CP-Sol Rojo, Corriente del Pueblo Sol Rojo).
In the city square, hundreds of police officers gathered with riot gear, metal fences, and anti-riot vehicles to place the area under siege. UACOL members and others have staged several actions to resist, including a march in the square which removed barricades on November 17, a blockade on November 18, and a sit-in in front of the government palace that began on November 19.
CP-Sol Rojo released a statement condemning the eviction and maintaining that they will remain in the city square. They and other democratic groups have faced repression ranging from threats to shootings, arbitrary arrests, and political imprisonment. In their statement, CP-Sol Rojo demands justice for the repression they have faced, including the murder of CP-Sol Rojo militant Luis Armando Fuentes Aquino.
In CP-Sol Rojo’s statement, they also include five demands which they have upheld for the past several years, including the presentation of Dr. Sernas Garcia alive. On May 10, 2018, Dr. Sernas was forcibly disappeared by the Mexican State, after carrying out legal defense for 23 CP-Sol Rojo members. Since that day, CP-Sol Rojo has demanded the State present him alive and carried out numerous demonstrations for him. The statement also includes the demand for the release of Salvador Pinal Melendez, who has been imprisoned since September 20 for opposing the Interoceanic Corridor Development project in the south of Mexico. Melendez has health conditions which makes his imprisonment especially harmful.
Read CP-Sol Rojo’s statement, which includes their full demands, below:
Oaxaca in Rebellion, November 14, 2021
On the eve of the 5th Government Report of Aljenadro Murat, repression is breathed upon Oaxaca. This morning, the municipal government of Oaxava, Juarez, headed by the Morenista Oswaldo Garcia Jarquin, launched a police operation commanded by the repressor Marcos Fredy (orchestrator of the suppression of 2015 in Oaxaca and 2016 in Noxchixtlan) to evict merchants and protesters from The UACOL organization, all to leave a “nice and clean” base for the 5th report of the governor.
So far the operation has not advanced against the displaced Trihis of San Juan and San Miguel Copala or against other democratic organizations in the occupation, but the atmosphere is tense.
Democratic organizations on general alert.
Other organizations installed in the city square should remain on general alert, because it is evident that the Municipal Government looks to generate the political scenario facing the end of its term and the state electoral process of 2022.
The Current of the People – Red Sun (Corriente del Pueblo Sol Rojo) maintains a resistance camp at the city center since August 2017, which has precautionary measures on behalf of the Office for the Defense of Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca (la Defensoria de Derechos Humanos del Pueblo de Oaxaca). This camp sustains the requirement of respect and compliance with our five central points.
Presentation of our comrade Dr Ernesto Sernas Garcia alive. Justice for our comrade Luis Armando Sources Aquino. Immediate and unconditional freedom of comrade Salvador Pinal Melendez.
Full reparations to the displaced Triquis of San Miguel Copala.
Cancellation of megaprojects of dispossession and death.
Respect for labor rights and union rights of Section 9 of the National Independent Union of Health Workers (SINTS, Sindicato Independiente Nacional de Trabajadores de Salud) and other unions belonging to the inter-union organization.
Respect and fulfillment of the rights of the people.
As we organize ourselves, stay alert and in solidarity with the other democratic organizations in the occupation.
We repudiate the eviction committed against UACOL and hold responsible the municipal and state government for any aggression against any of the democratic organizations in the occupation leading the various justice initiatives that we raise.
Stop the repression against the popular movement in Oaxaca!
With the Red Sun, the people overcome!
Current of the People – Red Sun (Corriente del Pueblo – Sol Rojo)
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