Wednesday, 14 November 2007

APPO in the Congress

Here is another article from Noticias, written by a political prisoner which sheds some light on the division within APPO between those seeking political representation and autonomous groups. David is a member of VOCAL (Voces Oaxaquenas Construyendo Autonomia y Libertad)

With the judgement in favour of the 'coalition for the good of all' by the TEPJF (electoral commission) to grant them political representation in the person of Zenon Bravo Castellanos, the ex-APPO advisor, a clear strategy on the part of the criminal state can be discerned to undermine the struggle of the people of Oaxaca, who even today, despite the terrible times we are living in , oppose the murderous governor with peaceful and brave resistance and seek their own paths to liberate themselves.
Although in February APPO debated and declared to the media their intention to conduct a social struggle from below, in a peaceful manner and separately to the institutions of corrupt power like political parties and the government, and decided by consensus that anyone or any organisation taking part in the August and October elections as candidates of any political party should remain outside of the APPO council, there was a clear majority in favour of not participating in the electoral process. On finding the names of ex-APPO advisors among those of electoral candidates, the government of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz didn't hesitate in 'welcoming APPO' to the democratic struggle in its corrupt institutions of power, and the media referred to these people as 'APPO' candidates. This wasn't a result of misinformation or an ignorance of APPO agreements and much less an off-the-cuff comment, but simply wrong. On the contrary, the government of Ulises Ruiz with the collaboration of the ex-APPO advisors turned electoral candidates Maria del Carmen Lopez Vasquez and Zenen Bravo Castellanos (FPR candidates -note: Frente Popular Revolucionario - a Marxist-Leninist party) and Jesus Lopez (FALP candidate) has tried to undermine the whole social movement, which confronts not only those who hold power but power itself as the source of authoritarianism, corruption and injustice which does so much harm to our peoples. By coopting certain key figures and creating a real or imagined leadership in the media, the government has been able to tame the social movements until they are unrecognizable from how they looked at the start, devoid of content and honest aspirations.
In Oaxaca we have the dramatic experience of the honourable and combative COCEI (La CoaliciĆ³n Obrera Campesina Estudiantil del Istmo), once feared by the rulers, now turned into 5 COCEIs, which are just as corrupt and debased as the political parties with which they have established alliances. For this to happen there have to be ambitious people inside the social movements capable of twisting their ideological debates and doctrines with a cynical pragmatism that allows them to negotiate and betray without qualms. The APPO council is full of such people, most of them, although not all, are involved with the FPR, and one of these is Zenen Bravo, the very same whose dark political career includes having participated together with Enrique Rueda Pacheco in October 2006 in secret talks with the then govt secretary Carlos Abascal to arrange the teachers' return to classes, which paved the way for the entry of the PFP and subsequent repression of the social movement. Furthermore the accusations made by the now deputy (Zenen Bravo) against me of being a policeman and thief, prepared the ground for my arrest and imprisonment last April. This certainly isn't the first time that the deputy and his organisation the FPR, have served the criminal state govt in having abandoned their principles and demoralized the APPO struggle, although most effective in this respect has been the eternal spokesperson and persecuted politician Florentino Lopez Martinez, also of the FPR, who on numerous occasions has expressed in the name of APPO political positions and opinions at odds with those of the Assembly, but which match the petty interests of his own org. With a deputy in Congress the FPR now wants to demolize the social movement even though this has to be passed by a majority, which at the last APPO assembly on November 3rd, decided to form a Third Assembly with a view to reorganising the social movement. The FPR, headed by Florentino Lopez, unable to prevent this decision being taken by the majority, left the Assembly in a failed attempt to disrupt it again revealing their sectarian and hegemonic interests.
Despite the enormous harm which this Stalinist org does, the FPR and its deputy Zenen Bravo, whose obscure role exceeds the vileness of its deeds, it is his former membership of APPO which is most damaging, as there is no doubt that the new deputy will be used by Ulises and the political class as a symbol of the corruption and decadence political power has been able to instil in the social movement. The new Deputy sitting comfortably in the Chamber of Deputies will be the daily evidence for the other Deputies and social movements of what the movement has become: the taming of the movement symbolised by its most cowardly and opportunistic members. Fortunately long gone are the days when the aforementioned enjoyed the respect and credibility of the majority and today they debate in front of a discredited audience, enjoy physical liberty, power, money and the protection of the media, which their servile and submissive attitude towards the criminal govt allows, while many other orgs and people suffer persecution, aggression and imprisonment.
The violent action of the govt of the recent November 2nd, the unjustified detention of around 20 movement members and the invasion of homes for more than 2 hours by Ulises' police, are the signs of continuing repression by the Oaxaca govt despite public declarations of reconciliation, peace and tranquility. But also these events are the unquestionable signs of a govt in complete collapse, hardly able to keep itself in power with rifles and bayonets. Even when the govt repression, the threats and the betrayal by leaders leads to an abandonment of principles and fear, and the electoral process with candidates of the supposed left leads to the betrayal of the efforts and hopes of the people at the ballot box and in the immorality of political parties, the people of Oaxaca who continue to mobilize and struggle in rebellion outside the political process are a convincing sign that APPO lives and is in a slow but steady process of revitalization. As a political prisoner of conscience I cannot but respond to this courage and spirit from inside, although the criminal Ulises in a fascist and vindictive misuse of the law, has accused me of new crimes, some as serious as rebellion and assault on communication routes and assault among others. I endorse once again and for always my committment to my people on this long and difficult road, full of obstacles and thorns, which we are embarking on, uniting the new resistance with that of 500 years of resistance of the native peoples of our parents and grandparents in search of a new world of justice, peace and dignity for all.
I take this opportunity to urge you once more not to ever relinquish your principles in this liberating and peaceful struggle. We have already resisted for over a year in collective confrontation with the govt, and the blood of the 26 fallen in battle still awaits justice, which only we are able to secure.

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