Monday, January 8, 2007

December 10, 2006: unmen Slay Indian Activist in Oaxaca

Assailants shot dead an Indian activist in Mexico's conflict-ridden state of Oaxaca, police said Saturday. It was not clear if the killing was related to months of political violence in which at least nine other people have died.

The bullet-ridden corpse of Raul Marcial Perez was found Friday on a road near the Mixtec Indian community of Agua Fria about 120 miles north of Oaxaca City, state police said in a news release. He had been shot earlier in the day, it said.

Marcial Perez had been involved in disputes involving two rival Triqui Indian rights groups, but it was not clear if that was related to his slaying.

Some Indian groups in Oaxaca have participated in demonstrations against state Gov. Ulises Ruiz, who is accused of thuggery and corruption. The protesters took over the center of Oaxaca for five months until thousands of federal police drove them off in clashes in October and November.

Most of the nine victims of the Oaxaca violence have been protesters who were shot by armed gangs, and activists blame local police for many of those killings.

Among those killed in the protests was freelance video journalist Bradley Roland Will, 36, of New York, who was filming a clash between protesters and a group of armed men on Oct. 27 when he was shot.

On Friday, federal police raided the offices of the Oaxaca state police force and seized their guns to determine whether any were used in shootings of demonstrators.

Oaxaca police director Manuel Moreno said Saturday that the seizure was illegal and accused the federal police of failing to follow correct procedures.

Protesters planned to march into the center of Oaxaca on Sunday to demand the resignation of Ruiz and the freedom of more than 200 people who have been arrested in demonstrations and sent to prisons across Mexico.

No comments: