authorities are surveying Oaxaca City by aircraft, lending increased urgency to continuing rumors of a government attack on the city.

Wide publicity now is the best solidarity immediately available.


Aerial surveillance described below is also confirmed (without specifics as to the markings of the helicopters) in an e-mail sent to the Grassroots Radio Coalition list by a former student and professor of Narco News’ schools of authentic journalism. We must do all we can to make an attack unthinkable for the Mexican government to do in the eyes of the world. George Salzman sent this message from Oaxaca, Saturday 30 September 2006:

I do not know whether this is only another of the many threats or whether the government has become so desperate that it is about to begin a bloody assault in an attempt to terrorize the people of Mexico into submission. The message that follows, from Alvaro Ric√°rdez Scherenberg, is not the first urgent note from him. A few nights ago he reported receiving word from important people in Mexico City that the police were set to clear the Oaxaca City center (meaning to drive out all the protestors camping there) in the early hours of the following morning. That did not happen. However, what he reports below I also witnessed. Two military helicopters repeatedly circled the city. I took pictures but have not yet downloaded them to my computer.

Two days ago I talked with a woman teacher at an encampment set up to protect one of the radio stations that the movement controls. At that planton (guard camp), she told me, all the campers were teachers, all were indigenous of two groups, Zapotecs from the Sierra Juarez (in the northern Sierra), where she was from, and Mixtecas from the Mixteca Alta region to the northwest of Oaxaca City. I told her I was worried that the government might launch an attack, to which she replied that if it came to that, she and her companeros would all die. I assure you they want a peaceful resolution, and that it is the government that is trying to provoke violence. I hope we can spread the word outside of Mexico sufficiently to help deter the government from following such a bloody course. The psychological attacks are bad enough, but if they start heavy-duty shooting it’ll be a terrible bloodbath.


Message forwarded by George Salzman:

It is very important to send mails to all your contacts saying that at exactly at 4:50 minutes Saturday afternoon , September the 30th, helicopters from the Mexican Marine Corps and the PFP (Federal Preventive Police), started overflying downtown Oaxaca, Mexico, trying to intimidate its citizens revolting against its corrupt Government. On the Oaxacan Peoples Popular Assembly (APPO) radio, it was asked to all citizens to remain calm, not to start violence and to send phone, mail and voice messages to all authorities and people who could act as witnesses to this attack. So please, do it!