Massacre in Oaxaca

Stop the Mexican Government’s Savage Attacks

[What follows is a joint declaration, issued on Nov. 26 by two Mexican socialist organizations, condemning the savage attacks begun by the Mexican government on Nov. 25 against the people of Oaxaca.

[The signatory organizations are Workers’ League for Socialism – Against the Current (LTS-CC) and Socialist Unity League (LUS).]

Stop the massacre and savage repression by the federal government, the PAN, and the PRI in Oaxaca!

For a nationwide strike and mobilization in solidarity!

Yesterday, after a massive megamarch condemning Ulises Ruiz [Ortiz, or URO, the governor of Oaxaca state in Mexico], thousands of federal police (PFP) agents, supported by interior department agents and PRI death squads, cruelly attacked the brave comrades of the APPO, in what was the most violent day in the last six months of this struggle.

Our comrades in Oaxaca, besieged by the PFP, were attacked with shots fired from rifles, tear gas, rocks, and tanks, and the encampment of Santo Domingo was burned down. A paramilitary group attacked from two pickup trucks, firing more than one hundred shots and assassinating three comrades (taking away the bodies of two of them).

Furthermore, as we write this there are more than one hundred arrested and dozens of disappeared. Throughout the night the police tanks fired at anything that moved in the streets, arresting people left and right while URO’s assassins ran through the streets with their sub-machine guns. The PFP gangs broke into the hospitals to take away the wounded comrades, but were prevented from doing so by the valiant defense actions of the health care workers.

According to the government and the PFP, their objective is to “restore order” by carrying out all the arrest warrants against members of the APPO. This has become a veritable witch hunt, characterized by the methods used by the old PRI governments of the 1960s and ’70s. Nevertheless, our comrades are trying to regroup and resist the brutal attack.

This is how the government of [outgoing Mexican President Vicente] Fox and the PRI are showing that they intend, by means of the most merciless repression, to silence the heroic people of Oaxaca, which is still on the march. There is a reactionary pact between the PAN and the PRI to liquidate this movement, preventing it from becoming an example for the workers, peasants, and youth of the whole country (and for the sectors that are struggling to defend their rights, like the sugar-cane workers and the high school students).

With this repression they want to create conditions allowing the new sell-out pro-imperialist government of [Felipe] Calderón to take power without any trouble on December 1, leaving the way open for the PRI and PAN politicians to go ahead with their designs in the national legislature against the interests of the masses. And also preventing the hated oppressor Ulises Ruiz from being brought down by the resistance of the people, so that later on they can make a deal for an institutional hand-over that preserves the PRI and the anti-democratic institutions in Oaxaca state.

Against this malicious aggression, the Oaxacan people must resort to its own legitimate self-defense measures and reorganize itself to respond to wave of murder and repression orchestrated by the [Office of the] Secretary of the Interior, the federal government, Calderón, and the PRI.

Active solidarity in the streets is urgently needed throughout the country. Only the mobilization of workers and poor people will put a stop to the repression against the workers, peasants, indigenous people, and students of Oaxaca. Massive and forceful actions can not be put off another minute. The big unions that represent thousands of workers across the country must make effective their class solidarity with our Oaxacan sisters and brothers. The leadership of the SME (electrical workers), the UNT (a union federation associated with the PRD), the miners’ union, and the CNTE (a teachers’ union movement) at the national level must call for a nationwide general strike now to prevent a bloodbath, with a program of demands linking the primary and urgent struggle against the repression and in support of the APPO with the demands of the various sectors of the workers against the government (such as the struggle against rising prices of milk and gasoline, against the privatizations [of the electric power and oil industries, etc.]). These union leaders must show that they are on the side of the workers and stop the brutal offensive against the people of Oaxaca.

Likewise, the unions, the Other Campaign [led by the Zapatistas of the EZLN], and the working class and left organizations, as well as all organizations that consider themselves democratic and all those who recently demonstrated against the repression (like the National Democratic Convention, the CND), must organize the mobilization against the repression, with a huge march in solidarity and actions all across the country, putting all our forces at the service of the fundamental task of defending the people of Oaxaca.

Let us put forward a united nationwide plan for mobilization, led by the unions and poor people’s organizations, to stop this attack, starting by forming a national coordinating committee against the repression and in defense of the people of Oaxaca.

Down with the repression and the death squads being used against the people of Oaxaca!

Repressive forces out of Oaxaca! Ulises Ruiz get out!

Drop all the charges against the members of the APPO!

Return all our disappeared comrades alive!

Immediate and unconditional freedom for all political prisoners!