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OAXACA: Portrait of a Barricade

Cinco Seņores barricade, positioned in front of the university to protect the radio within it and the autonomy of the university, is the last major barricade in Oaxaca City. Some of the most rebellious elements within the APPO have been the students and the barricade defenders at the University Benito Juarez. The barricade is known as the "Barricade of Victory" for the defeat of thousands of federal preventive police by merely a few hundred people who defended the university radio during an attempted eviction on Nov. 2nd.
Cinco Seņores barricade, positioned in front of the university to protect the radio within it and the autonomy of the university, is the last major barricade in Oaxaca City. Some of the most rebellious elements within the APPO have been the students and the barricade defenders at the University Benito Juarez. The barricade is known as the "Barricade of Victory" for the defeat of thousands of federal preventive police by merely a few hundred people who defended the university radio during an attempted eviction on Nov. 2nd.

But the barricadistas have been the target of repression ever since. Shots fired into and towards the university landed one barricadista in the hospital in grave condition on November 5th. Throughout the month, people have been arrested and disappeared when leaving the area of the barricades, and one man was even run over by a car. On Tuesday, November 21st, around 25 state police with ski masks and dressed as civilians arrived to the barricade, armed with R 15 assault rifles, at two in the afternoon. They fired rubber bullets and live ammunition at the barricade. One person was said to be shot in the arm. They beat and arrested three people, two who were barricadistas, Pedro Cesar Cornejo Ramos and Ricardo Osorio. La Liga Mexicana Por La Defensa de Los Derechos Humanos (Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights) reports that since their arrest the barricadistas have been tortured inside jail, and have had to endure bruises and burns throughout their body.

Despite repression, the "Barricade of Victory" remains, and today the barricade defenders and the university radio defenders were in a festive spirit preparing for the mega-march to retake the Zocalo from police possession tomorrow, practicing launching rocks with slings and slingshots. There was an information table at the barricade, where people distributed information about political prisoners and APPO events to the neighbors.

The barricade has also lacked direct backing from the APPO directive body, who say that the barricades no longer have a purpose.

"We are the APPO, we are the people here in this barricade. But the APPO leaders prefer to negotiate with the government. But we say that the barricade can't be negotiated, it can't be sold, it is of the people." Said a barricadista today before a meeting at the barricade.

Only several kilometers outside of Oaxaca city, in a town called Xoco, local police blocked highways for five hours and took over the police station in protest of their higher-ups on the force, saying that they are treated badly and forced to live in inhuman conditions, such as forced to use unsanitary bathrooms and living quarters.

Their forms of protest seem to mirror those used by the APPO throughout the state for the past six months.

Previous Reports and Photo Essays:

Confrontations with the Federal Police on November 20th | Federal Police Confronted for Sexual Assaults in Oaxaca | Women, Political Parties, Barricades and Autonomy (article and photos) | November 14th: Graffiti in Oaxaca | November 11th: Oaxaca At Any Cost (article and photos) | November 7th: Women of Oaxaca | November 6th: Photos from the Barricades | November 5th: Photos and Audio Report
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