Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Oaxaca, Mexico: Governor Ruiz reduces charges, pays bail for 43 prisoners

This seems just a bit strange to me. I'm sure, however, that there are good reasons for it, just as there are good and logical reasons for everything else that goes on down here.

Attorney Gilberto Hernández, judicial coordinator for APPO, said that the 43 Oaxacan prisoners released from federal custody in Nayarit had their bail paid by the state of Oaxaca under orders by Governor Ruiz Ortiz. First, however, Governor Ruiz Ortiz had to order that charges of sedition and rebellion be dropped, making the prisoners all eligible for bail.


Since the remaining charges are all of a minor nature, like rioting, kidnapping, vandalism, arson, robbery and assault, the good governor ordered the state's overflowing coffers opened so that the prisoners might return home in time for this Christmas season's rioting, kidnapping, vandalism, arson, robbery and assault. I guess. The good governor, like Scrooge reborn, also sent a luxury tour bus to pick them all up.

Lawyer Hernández decried the police patrols currently circulating through the city which, he says, are arresting APPO members on outstanding warrants, "trumping up" charges and "torturing prisoners until they sign confessions".

Of the 43, 23 were teachers and members of Sección 22 of the SNTE and the remaining 20 were "other persons". Teachers union president Enrique Rueda Pacheco was at the prison in Nayarit to greet his released comrades and take as much credit as possible for their freedom won. This would seem to indicate that he had a day or two of notice from the state government that the prisoners were going to be bailed out by Governor Ulises "St. Nick" Ruiz.

And this in spite of the fact that there are also outstanding arrest warrants for Rueda Pacheco's incarceration on charges of kidnapping. I guess he knew that there would not be any law enforcement officials present at the prison who might wish to do their duty. Flavio Sosa's lawyer, Eduardo Miranda Esquivel, claims that by arresting Sosa and not Rueda Pacheco, the government is "being political".

You think?

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