October 23, 2009
On October 14th the Supreme Court of Mexico (SCJN) made a decision regarding human rights violations by authorities during the Oaxaca conflict of 2006 and 2007. The decision finds the governor at the time, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, responsible for human rights violations.
With a vote of seven to four, the Supreme Court holds the Oaxacan governor responsible for human rights violations committed by state police during the conflict that lasted from May 2006 until June 2007. However, a proposal submitted by Ministers Juan N. Silva Meza, Jose de Jesus Gudino Pelayo and Jose Ramon Cossio was rejected. Their proposal sought to include Vicente Fox, then president of Mexico, as well as Minister of the Interior, Carlos Abascal and Public Security Minister, Eduardo Medina Mora in the list of those responsible for allowing an unmanageable situation that exposed the population to situations that put their human rights at risk. The Supreme Court Minister Jose Ramon Cossio said now it will be up to Felipe Calderon and the Mexican Congress to decide whether or not they will proceed with a political trial against the Oaxacan Governor.
Ruiz Ortiz said he disagrees with the Supreme Court decision, calling into question whether or not Fox should have been included. Members of the Popular Assembly for the People of Oaxaca (APPO), who had asked for Ruiz Ortiz’s resignation during the conflict, insisted on the Oaxacan governor’s responsibility for human rights violations. The Secretary of section 22 of the National Education Workers Union (SNTE) Gabriel Lopez Chinas, said the ex-secretary general Jorge Franco Vargas and the ex-public attorney Rosa Lizbeth Cana Cadeza should also be put to trial for being the operators “of unlimited repression against the Oaxacan people.” Section 22 of the SNTE – which brings together teachers from all over Oaxaca – suffered repression from the state government on June 14th, 2006. That repression resulted in the creation of the APPO, which integrated different social, political and indigenous organizations that confronted state authorities during the second half of 2006 to demand the resignation of the governor, whom they accused of suppressing social, political and indigenous organizations.