The Chapters:

Chapter One- Rights Histories in the State of Oaxaca: Background to the Movement

The Oaxaca social movement of 2006 was born out of a complex history of prior movements and rights discourses in Oaxaca from the 1970s to the present. This chapter includes six background video-testimonials of leaders familiar with the histories of the different rights movements that preceded and became unified in the 2006 movement. Read more.

Chapter Two-The Oaxaca Social Movement of 2006: A video timeline from June-November of 2006

This chapter is a video timeline of the Oaxaca social movement from June to November of 2006. Here the public can see video of key events such as the state’s attempt to remove teachers from Local 22 from the central plaza (zócalo) of Oaxaca City, megamarches of June and July, the takeover of state-run television and radio stations, the teacher’s Guelaguetza in July, and the entrance of the Federal Preventive Police into Oaxaca City in October of 2006. This chapter is a work in progress which we intend to bring up to date by adding documentation of subsequent events up to 2009.  By including the brief 2006 timeline, our short-term intention is to provide important background to the public for viewing the following chapters.  Read more.

Chapter Three-Human Rights Violations in the Oaxaca Social Movement

This chapter uses the illegal detention, torture, and false charging and imprisonment of biologist Ramiro Aragón and two teachers (Juan Gabriel Ríos and Elionai Santiago Sánchez) as a focal point for a discussion of human rights violations associated with the movement. More than 23 people were assassinated and hundreds were imprisoned as well as many wounded, tortured and illegally detained by Oaxaca state police forces and paramilitary groups. The testimonials of Ramiro, Juan, and Elionai as well as narratives from their family members and a human rights activist who took on their cases are used to highlight the contradiction between rights on paper in the Mexican national and Oaxaca state constitution and the systematic violation of these rights in the course of state repression.  Read more.

Chapter Four-Women and the Right to be Heard: Claiming Public Space and Taking over the Media

One of the primary arenas of women’s participation in the Oaxaca social movement consisted of the take-over initially of state television and radio stations and subsequently of commercial radio stations. Women reprogrammed official media and projected a new vision of the state of Oaxaca and who belongs in it. Among their programming were included radio and television testimonials documenting the silencing and marginalization of a wide range of social groups from indigenous women to motorcycle taxi drivers. This chapter includes testimonials of several women actively involved in that experience, video footage of the takeover, and clips of announcements from their radio and TV broadcasts.   Women who characterize themselves as “short, fat, and brown and the face of Oaxaca” spoke and were heard on public media in a way that both transformed them and other people’s vision of who are the legitimate citizens of Oaxaca. Their testimonials reached a previously unreached audience thus creating a new cultural politics of speaking and being heard in OaxacaRead more.

Chapter Five-Indigenous Participation in the Oaxaca Social Movement

This chapter focuses on organized indigenous participation and responses to the Oaxaca social movement. In Juxtlahuaca, Triqui women and Mixtec men and women were integral agents of the APPO’s occupation of the city hall and the four month effort to provide some city services while fending off paramilitary harassment and repression. Built on the testimonials of key participants, using photographs and documentary video, this experience is contrasted with the impact of the unrest of Oaxaca City on indigenous artisans in a neighboring Zapotec town. Finally, the chapter discusses how transnational indigenous communities succeeded in participating in the social movement through an APPO chapter organized in Los Angeles.   Broadcasting testimonials and speeches by cell phone, the transnational counterparts further amplified the audience for the Oaxaca rebellion, increasing the amount of people who exercised their right to speak and listen within it.  Read more.

Chapter Six-On Being Heard: The Impact of the Oaxaca Social Movement on Civil Society

This chapter focuses on the ways in which those who did not involve themselves directly with the social movement—did not attend marches or join the APPO or any other organized efforts—experienced it and were changed as a result.  We include testimonials from a young entrepreneur, a student, and an indigenous craft producer and merchant, which reflect how the assertion of indigenous rights, women´s rights and human rights in the context of the rebellion affected their own understanding of political dynamics, the public space, legitimate and illegitimate sources of information and the concept of citizenship. Read more.