Well, that didn’t take long. Felipe Calderon was just sworn in as President of Mexico on December 1st with lots of talk about reaching out to his opponents to create dialogue, but also a “firm hand” against criminals.
If there was any question about how the new president of Mexico would deal with the social movement in the southern state of Oaxaca, the answer is now crystal clear. Acting on warrants from state courts in Oaxaca, last night the federal government arrested Flavio Sosa, a main leader of the APPO (Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca) and one of his brothers while they were in Mexico City. The arrests came just two hours after APPO announced it had made first contacts for dialogue with the Calderon government, according to La Jornada. They are charged with, among other things, kidnapping, arson, and sedition. After their arrest, the Sosa brothers were shipped off to separate federal prisons. Flavio is in a maximum security prison.
Meanwhile the rest of APPO’s leadership has gone underground. In a message delivered from “somewhere in the state of Oaxaca,” the APPO calls for a mass meeting in Oaxaca City on December 10th. This document is translated on the NarcoNews site:
The APPO is more alive than ever in the hearts of the workers, indigenous people, campesinos, housewives, students, youth, children, and all the exploited and oppressed in Oaxaca and Mexico. The State Terror that has been unleashed on the people of Oaxaca and the international community with increased brutality since November 25 has not weakened our desire to be free men and women.Nor has it made us change our minds about whether our struggle should continue to be a political, peaceful and mass movement, despite the fact that 17 people have been killed during this stage of the struggle, dozens of people have disappeared and hundreds are political prisoners; we consider this toll to consist of crimes against humanity.
And speaking of NarcoNews: they have put out an urgent appeal for donations. The laptop of their lead reporter crashed and he has been unable to coordinate reporting. You can donate any amount of money to their “Fund for Authentic Journalism” online via PayPal. Go for it!