Wednesday, December 06, 2006

APPO Forced into Hiding, Flavio Sosa Arrested in Mexico City

Flavio Sosa, outspoken leader of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO in its Spanish initials) has been arrested in Mexico City after a news conference. There had long been a warrent for his arrest (though the warrent is the generalized pre-emptive type the Mexican government uses to mass arrest organizers of protest movements). I met Sosa in Mexico City a day before rounds of negotiations were to begin with the Ministry of the Interior (Secretaría de Gobernación), where Sosa let it be known that a temporary leave of absence by the repudiated Oaxacan governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz would probably be enough to bring the barricades in Oaxaca down.

At that time, the high-profile negotiations with the federal government and the de facto control of Oaxaca by APPO affiliated protesters made an arrest of Sosa too risky. Now that Calderón is in office, the iron fist appears to be falling on APPO and the Oaxacan protesters.

According to Juan Trujillo of Narconews (whose article I have translated into English for Narconews), Sosa is being transferred to a high security facility in the state of Mexico (Altiplano, also known as La Palma) where Atenco prisoners are still held.

Meanwhile, Florentino Lopez, APPO spokesperson, announced from hiding that a national and international series of protests will be launched this week from Mexico City to demand the release of APPO members detained this past week.

This past week also saw an statement announcing continued resistance from the protesters by State Council of the Popular Peoples' Assembly of Oaxaca, a broader organization started by the APPO to geographically and inclusively organize the protest movement to form a new state consitutional convention.

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