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.

 

 

Weekend Edition
April 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Vijay Prashad
Political Violence in Honduras
Paul Krane
Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police
David Anderson
Al Jazeera America: Goodbye to All That Jazz
Rob Hager
Platform Perversity: More From the Campaign That Can’t Strategize
Pat Williams
FDR in Montana
Dave Marsh
Every Day I Read the Book (the Best Music Books of the Last Year)
David Rosen
Job Satisfaction Under Perpetual Stagnation
John Feffer
Big Oil isn’t Going Down Without a Fight
Murray Dobbin
The Canadian / Saudi Arms Deal: More Than Meets the Eye?
Gary Engler
The Devil Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Is Washington Preparing for War Against Russia?
Manuel E. Yepe
The Big Lies and the Small Lies
Robert Fantina
Vice Presidents, Candidates and History
Mel Gurtov
Sanctions and Defiance in North Korea
Howard Lisnoff
Still the Litmus Test of Worth
Dean Baker
Big Business and the Overtime Rule: Irrational Complaints
Ulrich Heyden
Crimea as a Paradise for High-Class Tourism?
Ramzy Baroud
Did the Arabs Betray Palestine? – A Schism between the Ruling Classes and the Wider Society
Halyna Mokrushyna
The War on Ukrainian Scientists
Joseph Natoli
Who’s the Better Neoliberal?
Ron Jacobs
The Battle at Big Brown: Joe Allen’s The Package King
Wahid Azal
Class Struggle and Westoxication in Pahlavi Iran: a Review of the Iranian Series ‘Shahrzad’
David Crisp
After All These Years, Newspapers Still Needed
Graham Peebles
Hungry and Frightened: Famine in Ethiopia 2016
Robert Koehler
Opening the Closed Political Culture
Missy Comley Beattie
Waves of Nostalgia
Thomas Knapp
The Problem with Donald Trump’s Version of “America First”
Georgina Downs
Hillsborough and Beyond: Establishment Cover Ups, Lies & Corruption
Jeffrey St. Clair
Groove on the Tracks: the Magic Left Hand of Red Garland
Ben Debney
Kush Zombies: QELD’s Hat Tip to Old School Hip Hop
Charles R. Larson
Moby Dick on Steroids?
David Yearsley
Miles Davis: Ace of Baseness
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail