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Oaxacan police kidnap and beat Woman freedom fighter

by jlaw Friday, Dec. 07, 2007 at 4:28 AM

The dirty war against the Oaxacan people and their struggle for justice continues. Ever since the federal government occupied Oaxaca City in November 2006, the state government has carried out kidnappings, beatings, harassment and arrests against members of the popular movement that demands the destitution of Oaxaca's governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz.


video: MPEG at 14.6 mebibytes

The most recent victim of this state repression is Nancy Mota Figueroa, member of the August 1 Coordinator of Oaxacan Women (COMO in its Spanish initials). Nancy was part of the historic taking-over of Canal Nueve, a state-run television station. On August 1, 2006, hundreds of Oaxacan women marched to a state media building to demand that the mass media tell the truth about what was occurring on the streets of Oaxaca. When their demands were denied by directors of the state television and radio stations, the women decided to take over the building and run the T.V. and radio stations themselves. A few weeks later, this station was attacked by paramilitaries who shot up the building, destroying its transmitter. When the Oaxacan people heard of this attack, they took to the streets and seized control of all 12 commercial radio stations in Oaxaca City.

Nancy participated in some of the most critical moments of the Oaxacan resistance. After the federal police invasion of Oaxaca City, she continued working with the COMO and the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca despite threats and police intimidation. Her story joins with many others where people who are struggling for a more just society are brutalized by the government for dreaming of a better world.

What follows is a denunciation from the COMO and a personal testimony from Nancy. Nancy appeared in the documentary "La Toma de los Medios de Oaxaca," which followed the different siezures of the media. In this video clip Nancy discusses an attack on one of the taken-over stations, Radio La Ley.

To the National and International Community

To the people of Mexico

To the organizations of Women

On Dec. 2, 2007, the woman Nancy Mota Figueroa, member of the August 1 Coordinator of Oaxacan Women (COMO in its Spanish initials) of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), was brutally assaulted by subjects whose faces were covered with ski masks. They put her in a pick-up truck where they covered her eyes with wet blindfolds. They had her inside the truck for half an hour, taking her to different places until they left her at near the Hotel Fortin in a vacant lot. During the time that they had her kidnapped, they threatened to shoot her while asking her about different people from the APPO.

From this situation, the Coordinator of Oaxacan Women demands the ending of our friends' harassment because we know that this a product of the valiant struggle of our compañeras, especially our friend Nancy Mota Figueroa. We know that we are living in a state where laws are not respected, where the police and paramilitaries under the command of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz enjoy impunity. For this we make an urgent call to all of the democratic organizations and the women´s organizations that they denounce this repression that is now focused on the women who participated in this social and popular movement. We want to make it clear that our struggle is not over, that we continue moving forward because these people are hungry for social justice. We continue demanding the removal of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, punishment to the ones guilty of our friends; murders and the immediate freedom of the political prisoners. We won´t go one step back.

"When a women advances, no man is held back!"

"The woman´s fist is attentive against power!"

TESTIMONY

On Sunday December 2, 2007, around 11:45 or 12:00, I found myself walking along the streets of Jazmines in Colonia Reforma, where the store "Pitico" is located.

At that point, a braking car was heard and when I turned my face. I felt two people lift me up and fling me into a truck. Immediately after, they blindfolded my eyes with a rag that was covered with a liquid. They began to ask me questions referring to what I knew "of the leaders of the APPO. Tell me what you know of Flavio Sosa, Zenen, Erangelio, Patricia Jimeinez y David Venegas." I did not answer. They continued insisting and I did not answer. Later they grabbed me by the hair and squeezed my hands behind my back and they forced me to put my head between my knees. They pulled back my hair to push two pistols against my head. They asked me if I thought I was a bad-ass or what and I didn't answer. Immediately afterwards they began to say that I talk to my family, that everything was going to go to shit. In this moment I told them that everything they wanted was with me that they not touch my family. They responded that for this there was only one big-mouth. I heard one of them say, "Shoot her already so that we can dump her." I heard them cock the gun.

I told them that if they shoot that they do it now because all of this is going to shit. They told me another time "You think you are a bad-ass or what?" When this was happening one guy began to touch me on the back. I got up and kicked him. They forced my arms back and punched me in the stomach. I don't know how long they had me, the truck was roaming about. When they decided that this was all, they told me that this is the first of many times they will wait for me because I know a lot of information, especially in respect to the APPO. They told me that they would wait for the moment to find me alone. At that point, they braked and said, "Stop your participation if you don't want this to happen to your brother or more than that. How you like to defend women, for the next time you are going to defend her with proof of rape." They grabbed me and shoved me out of the car and threw my cell phone at me. They left me behind the Hotel Fortin Plaza, where there is a vacant lot. When they kicked me out of the truck, I called a friend to tell her, but with the fear that they will harass my family. I though what will happen if I don't make a denunciation at the moment? Now I do it convinced that we cannot keep silent. Similar things have happened to many friends, and they did not want to denounce it to protect their families but enough already with the harassment. The repression must stop against us.

Attentively, Nancy Mota Figueroa

founder and member of the commission of press and propaganda for the August 1 Coordinator of Oaxacan Women. Councilor with the APPO student sector.

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