3 Members of the APPO Captured and Beaten

(original in Spanish in La Jornada)

Oaxaca, Oax., 18 of December. The spokesman of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), Florentino López Martínez, and two other militants of the organization were seized this Monday night by local police. At 9:30 pm they were released (set free) by presumed agents of the Federal Preventive Police (PFP).

The other two detained are the exdirector of Section 22 of the National Union of Education Workers, Macario Otalo Padilla, and the student of the Faculty of Law and Social Science of the Benito Juárez Autonomous University of Oaxaca, Pedro García García.

Otalo Padilla identified the director of the Bank, Industrial and Commercial Auxiliary Police (PABIC), Alejandro Barrita Ortiz, as the head of the group of agents that apprehended and beat them.

The members of the APPO related that the detention occurred about 7:30 pm, when they were travelling in a cherry-brown Ford pick up van, on the periferal road Eduardo Mata, after leaving a plenary meeting of the State Council of the APPO (CEAPPO), that took place in the offices of the Oaxaca Teachers Organization.

The spokesman and his companions were persued by a grey Ford pick up without license plates, with some five local police on board, who were carying firearms, during the pursuit that took place in the streets of the historic center.

On coming to the Cinco Señores intersection, near the University City, they were violently taken down from the vehicle by the local agents, who took advantage of the stoplight.

The three were put up in the body of the local police vehicle and put face-down, to be taken to an unknown place, where their faces were covered with cloths.

During the journey “(the local police) beat us, threatened us that we were going to be killed, that we were going to be sent up in a helicopter and from there thrown into the ocean. One of them asked me, “Do you know how to swim?”, Padilla related.

There, the ex-director of the SNTE gave assurance, I could see the face of the director of the PABIC, Barrita Ortiz, when a police agent opened the door of an office, where I cncountered him. “I know him well; the father of Alejandro is my compadre godfather”, he indicated.

After being interrogated, the local police transferred them presumably to the military air base number 15, where they encountered the federal forces billeted there. There also they were interrogated and written records were made.

The spokesman of the APPO said that after about 10 minutes the presumed federal agents turned them over to the local police, who at that time covered (with cloth) the eyes (of the prisoners) and tied up their wrists with a rope to then put them face down in a van.

After  travelling for about 10 minutes, the police again beat them, then later set them free without any explanation in the back of the Oaxaca Plaza [I think that means the Plaza del Valle, but am not sure.]

In a press conference held in front of the Rectory of the UABJO, Padilla placed responsibility for their detention [I would say kidnapping] and beating on the governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, the Secretary of Government Manuel García Corpus, and the Secretary for Citizens Protection Lino Celaya Luría.

At the same time, he blamed President Felipe Calderón and the Secretary for Internal Affairs Francisco Ramírez Acuña, as well as Enrique Rueda Pacheco.


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