Oaxaca state government
not to be trusted
(en español)
9 October 2006

this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/1996-10-09.htm

      A plan prepared by the Oaxaca state government came to light some days ago. On Friday 6 October at a press conference the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO, its initials in Spanish) disclosed a so-called Iron plan to attack and arrest the protestors. Here is a translation of the report from La Jornada on 7 October 2006, by G.S., with some help from Nancy Davies.[1]

Saturday 7 October 2006

The existence of the Iron plan is denounced, in which Los Zetas would also take part.

APPO reveals that Ulises Ruiz Ortiz has already plotted a new repressive operation.

More than 2 thousand agents would participate to “recover” buildings, radio transmitters and the zócalo

Oaxaqueño authorities deny that they are preparing the cited operation; “to dialogue, compromise”


Oaxaca, Oax., 6 October. Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz prepared a new police operation against Section 22 of the Teachers Union and the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO), in which 2,044 agents would take part. They would participate in a “confrontation” in order to “recover” governmental buildings, commercial radio transmitters and the zócalo, destroy the barricades and carry out massive arrests “of the individuals who transgress the law”.

The design of the project is included in the Iron plan of operations, a document which does not include the date when it was drawn up or the date of application, but that it is current is made clear because it specifies intervention at particular points recently taken by APPO, such as Channel 9 television, blockaded the first of August just passed, the radio stations where they installed plantons [security encampments] on 21 August, and the barricades at the Brenamiel antennas, raised the 22nd.

Its application would depend in any case on the non-intervention of federal forces or the army, and would be discarded if an accord is attained in the discussions with the Secretary of the Government [the federal Secretary of the Interior].

But the state government rejected, in a communique released about eight o’clock at night, the existence of the Iron plan and that they had contracted hired assassins, as APPO claimed in its denunciation.

The communique said, “The government’s desire, commitment, and its belief that the odds in favor of resolving the conflict by instutional means and dialogue in a short time [should enable] the citizens of the capital and of the surrounding suburbs to return to their activities completely normally.

The official proposal, Stop “subversive activities”.

Nevertheless, APPO obtained a copy of the document in which there is information on the operation, which was planned by the top Command of the State Department of Public Security. This document stated that the police intervention would seek to put an end to “the subversive actions that members of APPO carry out and that have unleashed violent acts which perturb social peace, generating psychosis among the citizens due to constant assalts and robbery in the principal square of the city”.

In the document it stipulates that 1,950 agents of various [police] bodies, such as 44 commanders and 50 officials, will participate. The objective, it says, is “to re-establish the state of law that oaxqueño society demands”.

The plan was formulated in spite of the state government’s promise not to use public force again and that at the negotiation table of the [federal] Secretary of the Interior they are carrying on conversations in order to achieve a solution to the conflict.

In operation Iron, members of the group of paid assassins known as Los Zetas would also take part. The spokesperson of APPO, Florentino López Martínez, stated that Los Zetas, made up of ex élite military personnel, “were contracted by Ulises Ruiz to commit acts of vandalism and assassination” in order to justify the entrance of federal forces.

The APPO spokesperson added that Los Zetas would have arrived in this city [Oaxaca] in a “foreign flight” the beginning of last August, and are operating “ for some weeks to strike at the teacher and popular movement”. The spokesperson identified a man named Manuel Díaz as the head of this group.

From the agreement with the copy of the manuel of operations given to APPO by one of the official participants, operation Iron will be used to “recover” the radio transmitters La Ley 710 and Grupo Oro – although they were handed over Wednesday to their owners-, the house of the government, the State Attorney General, the Secretary of Finances, the criminal judges and Constitution Plaza, “where the majority of the demonstrators are found concentrated”.

In the action plan 750 agents of the state preventive police would be included, among them members of the Police Unit for Special Operations (UPOE in its Spanish initials), under the orders of its director, Francisco Santiago José, the subdirector, four chiefs, 14 commanders and 30 officials.

Besides, 300 members of the state ministerial police would be activated, headed by its director, Manuel Moreno Rivas, the subdirector Margarito López Aragón – who was held for some hours during the frustrated attempt to dislodge the encampment on 14 June – and 10 commanders.

Also, 400 members of the municipal police of Oaxaca de Juárez would be included, headed by their director, Delfino Cruz, the subdirector, a chief, 10 commanders and an equal number of officials.

500 agents of Auxiliary, Bank, Industrial and Commercial police would participate, under the orders of their director, subdirector, a chief, 10 commanders and an equal number of officials.

In order to carry out the operation, the police would be combined into four groups. The first would be concentrated in Tlacolula de Matamoros and would have responsibility to dislodge the [barricaded] crossing of Tlalixtac, the criminal justices, the radio station La Ley 710 and the Secretary of Finances.

Group two would assemble at Trinidad de Viguera, and its task would be clearing out Channel 9, taken on the first of last August.

At the same time, group three would congregate in the training field of UPOE in colonia Vicente Guerrero, belonging to the district of the town of Zaachila, to dislodge the protestors from the official house, the State Attorney General and the antenna of radio station La Ley 710, located in the vicinity of the El Rosario division.

And finally, the fourth group, which also would leave from the UPOE installations, would have the task of clearing Constitution Plaza.

Each one of the groups, “in order to be successful in the confrontation and in anticipation of any risk or contingency that occurs”, would be aided by three ambulances of the Red Cross, four agents of the District Attorney’s Office, a notary, two persons with video cameras and 300 plastic handcuffs.

According to the manuel of operations, the arrestees “must be taken to the prisons in Etla, Tlacolula, Zimatlán and the Central Penitentiary, for the purpose of immediately informing the agents of the District Attorney’s Office in order that the offenders be indicted for the crimes committed and those that resulted”

In the order of operations sketches are included of precise locations to be cleared out and their adjacent streets, as well as intelligence information that reveals the “vulnerability” of some barricades, above all at night, such as the kinds of arms that might be at the disposition of APPO for repelling a police intervention.

On the other hand, the spokesperson of Section 22, Daniel Rosas, clarified that the leaders Enrique Rueda Pacheco and Alma Delia Santiago, and the leader of the Union of Education Workers, Rogelio Vargas Garfias, were not the intellectual authors of the assassination of teacher René Calvo Aragón, member of the Central Council of Struggle. Yesterday his wake was held privately in his home in this city.

Preventing activities of the governor

Also, this midday, the popular town council of Zaachila prevented, by the detention of three police officers and a commander that were preparing a security operation, a dinner of Ulises Ruiz with representatives of mountain communities.

The mayor Miguel Angel Vásquez Fernández declared that the operation consisted of 80 more police, and made clear that Ulises Ruiz is not welcome in the community. “He shouldn’t even try [to come here]. For whoever happens to be here we say: we are welcoming, but patience has a limit”.

The special prosecutor for teaching matters began an investigation and returned an auto and uniforms that were used by the police Araceli Luján, Lucía Fidelia Morales, Maximino antonio Santiago and the commander Armando Cruz Sánchez.

Also, in San Pedro Mixtepec in the [Pacific] coast region, teachers formed a human barrier to prevent Ulises Ruiz – who was in Puerto Escondido – a from arriving to inagurate a clinic.

The PRI councillor Nahúm Gopar, together with a group of sympathizers, confronted the teachers. By nighttime the state administration denied that the governor had planned a dinner in Zaachila.


[1] The La Jornada report is at http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2006/10/07/003n1pol.php . The Oaxaca State document, a copy of which APPO received, was included with the article. Here it is.
Translation. Top Command of the State Department of Public Security


    Due to the political problems in Oaxaca City caused by Section XXII of SNTE and allied radical groups of different social and political organizations that make up the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO), an organization that doesn't agree with [the legally constituted] representative Oaxacan society, and has taken the historic center of the city hostage, affecting businesses and the society, as well as having occupied public buildings of the state government and different radio stations as ways of pressing their demands without procedures in the legal framework, occasioning economic losses and bad ---------- society by the subversive actions that they carry on day after day.

    The Director of the State Department of Public Security has identified the locations of these groups, where they maintain barricades affecting the free movement of society.

    By these subversive actions that the members of APPO carry out, they have unleashed violent acts that disturb the social peace of the population, generating pyschosis among the citizens by the constant assaults ---------- in the main square of the city [the zócalo].

    The Director of the State Department of Public Security, in order to stop the incidence of crime and to maintain the state of law in the City of Oaxaca, has designed the Operation Order “Iron” which consists in recovering the buildings of the different agencies of the state government, in coordination with the ministerial state police and municipal police of Oaxaca de Juárez.

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