FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Acclaimed Muralist Among Oaxaca’s Disappeared

by CounterPunch News Service

The impact of Oaxaca, Mexico’s struggle is hitting home. Gerardo Bonilla, painter and friend of many in the Austin artistic, activist, and student communities, was one of 149 arrested this past Saturday in a federal police sweep of Oaxaca city that is increasingly targeting the impoverished southern state’s artists and writers. At the invitation of UT student Emiliana Cruz, Bonilla exhibited his paintings at La Pena, in downtown Austin, in October of 2003. He is an accomplished muralist and regularly facilitates and promotes children art workshops in different communities throughout the state of Oaxaca. Prints of some of Bonilla’s paintings will be on display at the protest. (Click here for for a photo of Bonilla with his work).

“The Mexican army and police forces have arrested and tortured hundreds of innocent protesters. Gerardo’s detention symbolizes the Mexican government’s all-out attack on local democracy,” said Cynthia Perez, >founder of La Pena.

The current situation has long roots. On May 22, seventy thousand teachers started a camp out in the main square of the city to ask for an increase in their tiny salaries. This camp out follows a nearly yearly ritual, and each year it bore some meagre fruit. But on June 14, governor Ulises Ruiz of the Party of the Institutional Revolution (PRI), who was elected two years earlier under disputed circumstances, sent the police in helicopters to put a stop to the teacher’s protest. Many Oaxacans condemned this action and organized to form a broader civil group known as APPO (Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca) Popular Assembly of Oaxacan Communities.

Since then the situation has not been resolved and has turned into an all-out conflict. Last Monday the tension in Oaxaca increased when the Federal police (PFP) announced a “zero tolerance” policy against APPO members and their sympathizers.

Now police are searching and ransacking houses and buildings searching for activists. On Saturday November 25th Bonilla was standing in la Plaza de la Bastida where he often sells his paintings. Like many others on this day he was randomly swept up as the police came through the area arresting >everyone in sight. He has been flown to a maximum security prison outside the state of Oaxaca in Tamaulipas where he is being held with out due process or outside access. This event typifies the strategy that is currently taking place in Oaxaca. Since last Saturday there have been at least three confirmed deaths, more than 100 injured people, and 221 arrests – including 41 women.

This Thursday, November 30, many Austinites, including Bonilla’s many friends here, will demand freedom for Bonilla as well as the hundreds of detained and disappeared. This is the fourth in a series of consulate protests against Mexican state violence; the first protest followed the May attacks on flower vendors in Atenco, near Mexico city. On Friday December 1 the new Mexican president, Felipe Calderon, will be sworn in, despite widespread political instability.

 

 

More articles by:
June 27, 2016
Robin Hahnel
Brexit: Establishment Freak Out
James Bradley
Omar’s Motive
Gregory Wilpert – Michael Hudson
How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote
Leonard Peltier
41 Years Since Jumping Bull (But 500 Years of Trauma)
Rev. William Alberts
Orlando: the Latest Victim of Radicalizing American Imperialism
Patrick Cockburn
Brexiteers Have Much in Common With Arab Spring Protesters
Franklin Lamb
How 100 Syrians, 200 Russians and 11 Dogs Out-Witted ISIS and Saved Palmyra
John Grant
Omar Mateen: The Answers are All Around Us
Dean Baker
In the Wake of Brexit Will the EU Finally Turn Away From Austerity?
Ralph Nader
The IRS and the Self-Minimization of Congressman Jason Chaffetz
Johan Galtung
Goodbye UK, Goodbye Great Britain: What Next?
Martha Pskowski
Detained in Dilley: Deportation and Asylum in Texas
Binoy Kampmark
Headaches of Empire: Brexit’s Effect on the United States
Dave Lindorff
Honest Election System Needed to Defeat Ruling Elite
Louisa Willcox
Delisting Grizzly Bears to Save the Endangered Species Act?
Jason Holland
The Tragedy of Nothing
Jeffrey St. Clair
Revolution Reconsidered: a Fragment (Guest Starring Bernard Sanders in the Role of Robespierre)
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lines Written on the Occasion of Bernie Sanders’ Announcement of His Intention to Vote for Hillary Clinton
Norman Pollack
Fissures in World Capitalism: the British Vote
Paul Bentley
Mercenary Logic: 12 Dead in Kabul
Binoy Kampmark
Parting Is Such Sweet Joy: Brexit Prevails!
Elliot Sperber
Show Me Your Papers: Supreme Court Legalizes Arbitrary Searches
Jan Oberg
The Brexit Shock: Now It’s All Up in the Air
Nauman Sadiq
Brexit: a Victory for Britain’s Working Class
Brian Cloughley
Murder by Drone: Killing Taxi Drivers in the Name of Freedom
Ramzy Baroud
How Israel Uses Water as a Weapon of War
Brad Evans – Henry Giroux
The Violence of Forgetting
Ben Debney
Homophobia and the Conservative Victim Complex
Margaret Kimberley
The Orlando Massacre and US Foreign Policy
David Rosen
Americans Work Too Long for Too Little
Murray Dobbin
Do We Really Want a War With Russia?
Kathy Kelly
What’s at Stake
Louis Yako
I Have Nothing “Newsworthy” to Report this Week
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail