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From One of the Actors in Apocalypto

An Urgent Message on the Disappeared of Oaxaca

by BERNARDO DIAZ

Greetings from Oaxaca, Mexico.

My name is Bernardo Ruiz and in this movie, Apocalypto, I play the part of Drunkards Four.

My Oaxaca friends Emiliana and Hilaria, who now live in Austin, agreed to pass on to you my message. Apocalypto is about some of the amazing ancient history of our country and its indigenous people. But as you probably know, our struggles continue even to this day.

In recent weeks, our beautiful city, Oaxaca, has been occupied by federal troops. It came at a time when many of our people were beginning to stand up for our civil rights with sit-ins and other kinds of non-violent protest. Now the troops have started tracking down and arresting not only our leaders, but also many people from our artistic community here. One of them is my good friend the painter Gerardo Bonilla. Another is the artist Dionisio Martinez.

Some of you know Gerardo, because three years ago, he exhibited his paintings at La Peña in downtown Austin. It means a great deal to me–and I know to Gerardo and Dionisio–just to feel that you in know something about our real lives today, and to know that you are thinking of us and support us.

Call the local Mexican embassy and your state and local representatives and please send a letter on their behalf addressed to President Calderón.

Consulate General of Mexico
800 Brazos St, Suite 330
Austin, TX 78701
512-478-2866 ext 107