APPO Leader Flavio Sosa Arrested and Jailed
Arrested Along with Ignacio García and Marcelino Coache in Mexico City; Protests Announced in Oaxaca
By Juan Trujillo
The Other Journalism in Mexico City
December 5, 2006
Mexico City, December 4: According to various commerical media, Flavio Sosa, one of the most well-known leaders of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO, in its Spanish initials), was arrested Monday along with his brother Horacio, Ignacio García and Mareclino Coache for their supposed participation in “crimes” against the common good including robbery, attacks against transportation routes, sedition and inciting violence.
Flavio Sosa’s detention came in service of an arrest warrent for the following: robbery, damages, violent robbery, malicious destruction of property, destruction of property by arson, causing injury, kidnapping, and causing injury in the course of a kidnapping.
Horacio is accused of kidnapping, injuries caused in the course of kidnapping and robbery involving violence against individuals.
The other two APPO leaders who were detained, Ignacio García Maldonado and Marcelino Coache Verano, stayed in the local office of the Federal Attorney General (PGR), where they were beginning an investigation against the two for resisting arrest. The two did not have warrents for their arrest but, according to the PGR, they tried to assault the agents who were arresting their compañeros.
The agents made the arrests after the popular movement’s leaders finished a press conference and after a federal judge signed their respective arrest warrants.
After their detention, Flavio Sosa, his brother and the other compañeros appeared before the television cameras in the booking center for the headquarters of the Federal Attorney General (PGR) located in Azcapotzalco.
At this moment, 11:20 PM, a police operation is underway with the Federal Preventative Police (PFP) and the Federal Agency of Investigation (AFI) with help from the television media to transport the prisoners by land to the maximum security prison at Altiplano (formerly known as La Palma), located in Almoloya de Juárez in the state of Mexico.
The APPO leader has been a participant for several months in negotiations with the federal governmnet of Vicente Fox and was a protagonist of the clashes with federal forces that occured around the Autonomous University of Benito Juarez (UABJO) this past November 2 in which the APPO forced the withdrawel of the PFP in a military victory against the government agency.
Protests in Oaxaca
The spokesperson for the APPO, Florentino López, announced from hiding the start of a series of protests nationally and internationally to demand the liberation of these APPO leaders that were arrested Monday in Mexico City.
Interviewed by phone by Jorge Octavio of the daily El Universal, he announced that he was “sheltered” somewhere in Oaxaca for obvious security reasons.
Nevertheless, he said that the APPO would organize protests starting this Sunday, December 10. Florentino López accused Felipe Calderón’s government of acting with a “double face.” On one hand they announce the renewel of a dialogue, and on the other hand they are arresting movement leaders.
He pointed out that this could be seen as an act of betrayel and announced that the APPO wil maintain in contact with communications media through their web page www.asambleapopulardelospueblosdeoaxaca.com, as well as in telephone communication with reporters, just as they have been in contact up until now.
Brief History of Sosa’s Political Activism
During the 2000 elections, Flavio Sosa supported the then-candidate (and now ex-president) Vicente Fox through his organization Nueva Izquierda de Oaxaca (the New Left of Oaxaca). Sosa was an activist with the center-left Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) and the Popular Unity Party in Oaxaca. From that organization he worked on behalf of Hector Sanchez in the local 2004 elections, in which this candidate won more than 40,000 votes. In the same way, Sosa has been a leader of the Democratic Peasants Union (UCD), now integrated into the PRD, and obtained a federal delegation. Some time later he pursued the state leadership of this organization, which lead to a rupture between him and the UCD.
Flavio Sosa, as a member of the APPO, and from the beginning of the Oaxacan conflict in June of this year, has stood out as one of the most outstanding leaders of this popular movement. This past November 26, his office in the Oaxacan capital City was burned by paramilitaries and his brother Eric was detained and sent to a prison in Tamaulipas.
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