Tuesday, August 21, 2007


About 50 demonstrators gathered outside the Mexican consulate in New York City on Aug. 18 in an attempt to prevent Oaxaca governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz from participating in a press conference and a meeting with local Mexican community leaders reports the blog World War IV Reports. Ruiz has been the target of militant protests by Oaxacan unionists, social activists and indigenous groups for more than a year.

A bunch of those on hand were friends of Brad Will an American journalist who was killed in Oaxaca in October 2006 while covering the protests. Despite ample evidence—including Will’s own videotape—implicating local police and state officials in the shooting—Will’s killers remain free.

A report released by Amnesty International on July 31 states:

Serious human rights violations occurred in Oaxaca between June 2006 and April 2007. At least 18 people died in disputed circumstances and scores of people, including some minors, were arbitrarily detained and held incommunicado. There were numerous reports of torture and ill-treatment and of unfair trial proceedings and those seeking to defend and promote human rights were threatened and harassed. Some of these human rights violations were committed by police in civilian clothes and unidentified armed men operating with the apparent authorization, support, or acquiescence of the state authorities. Teachers and those believed to be supporters of the APPO opposition protest movement were the principle victims of these abuses.

Officials and employees of state and municipal institutions -- including the state executive authorities, State Preventive Police, State Judicial Police, the State Public Prosecutor’s Office, the state judiciary, the Public Defenders Office and municipal authorities allied to the local ruling party -- are believed to be implicated in many of the abuses. The federal authorities have also been implicated in both perpetrating serious human rights violations and failing to take action to prevent or remedy the situation when human rights violations were reported.

The circumstances surrounding the death of at least 18 people have not been clarified and virtually all those responsible have yet to be identified or made accountable. AI’s research indicates that the principle reason for this is that very few human rights violations have been promptly, impartially and thoroughly investigated. The failure to secure crimes scenes, investigate complaints, ensure all appropriate forensic tests are undertaken, gather available witness evidence and ensure the reliability of evidence, has seriously limited and even jeopardised future investigations.

"Ruiz is the Pinochet of Oaxaca," said Victor Toro (quoted in the Village Voice), a Chilean exile who braved the protest even though he's now facing deportation charges after 24 years in the U.S.

The following is from
InfoShop and NYC Indymedia.

NYC Confrontation with Oaxaca Governor Ulises Ruiz

On Saturday August 18, about 50 people gathered outside of the Mexican Consulate to protest Ulises Ruiz, the governor of Oaxaca. Ulises Ruiz is responsible for, among other things, murder, torture, and disappearances in Oaxaca. Ruiz, along with a number of other governors, was in New York to discuss immigration reform. On Sunday they will be in Texas. The event, sponsored by the Ulises Ruiz Welcoming Committee, was set up with less than 24 hours notice. At 3:30 protesters started gathering outside of the Mexican Consulate at 27 E. 39th Street and it soon became known that a number of the governors, possibly including Ruiz, were at a nearby restaurant. While in front of the Consulate at least two things, possibly tomatoes, were thrown. The protesters surrounded the restaurant chanting and waving placards. A few protesters were able to enter the restaurant and quickly got thrown out, but someone managed to flip over all the tables and chairs that belonged to the restaurant that were on the sidewalk. Restaurant employees started pushing protesters when they tried to get the service door closed and at one point someone, possibly the manager, charged at the protesters. The protesters were able to keep the governors in the restaurant until about six and forced them to cancel a five o’clock press conference. Around six the various governors and a few other people left the restaurant under a heavy police guard and got into two SUVs, one of which had diplomat license plates. The police commandeered two additional taxis for the remaining members of their party. It was never confirmed whether or not Ruiz was actually in the restaurant.

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