Mexico: Students arrested – urgent solidarity needed!

On Monday August 6th, a force of nearly 1000 police officers attacked a peaceful sit-in demonstration of students who were demanding access to university. The protest had been organised by the Movement of Non-Admitted Students, a campaign launched by the Committee in Defence of State Education - Committee of Student Struggle.

On Monday August 6th, a force of nearly 1000 police officers attacked a peaceful sit-in demonstration of students who were demanding access to university. The protest had been organised by the Movement of Non-Admitted Students, a campaign launched by the Committee in Defence of State Education - Committee of Student Struggle (CEDEP-CLEP http://cedep.militante.org ).

As a result of this brutal action by the authorities of the Federal District, eight students were arrested, four of them members of the Marxist Tendency Militante . Amongst them is Nahum Pérez Monroy, one of the main leaders of the CEDEP-CLEP and already the object of repression by the academic authorities in the past.

As an immediate reply, more than 700 people participated in a demonstration at the presidential palace in Los Pinos on August 8th. Amongst those present, mainly students, were delegations from the Atenco struggle, from the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO) and from a number of left-wing political and trade union organisations. A commission of relatives of the students arrested was received. The parents of the arrested have been particularly supportive. One of them declared: "First they steal the elections, now they want to take our sons away, we have had enough!"

As a result of this pressure a meeting was set up the day after between representatives of the students and representatives of the Education Secretary and the authorities of the National Autonomous University and the Polytechnic Institute. At this meeting CEDEP-CLEP and two other student organisations present made a common front and declared that no agreement would be reached on the struggle of non-admitted students unless all those arrested were released.

Four days after being arrested, most of the fabricated charges against the students have been dropped: kidnapping, mutiny, carrying illegal firearms, robbery and damages to property. The authorities of the Polytechnic University know that these accusations are completely baseless and would be unable to proof any of them in court. Their latest line of accusation is... that the comrades are linked to the APPO! There is in fact no law in Mexico (as much as the illegitimate president Calderon would like to have one) making it illegal to be a member or to be associated with the APPO.

The campaign for the release of the arrested students has gathered momentum and today a full page advert has been published in the daily La Jornada signed by prominent PRD members of parliament, trade union leaders and others demanding their release. This is particularly significant since the government of Mexico City, which carried out the attack on the students, is control by the PRD.

However, in the meantime the students have been sent to the Reclusorio Preventivo Varonil Norte (a preventative penal institution in the capital), where they have suffered psychological and physical violence.

The names of the comrades arrested are:

Nahum Pérez Monroy
Héctor Alberto Aguilar Campos
Cesar Francisco Jay Aguilar
Isaac Castro Sánchez
Miguel Ángel Ocotitla
Emanuel Saucedo Pérez
Raúl González Lucio
Pablo Martínez Montes de Oca

We make an appeal to all activists of the labour movement to send their protests to the Mexican authorities, either contacting the embassies and consulates in their countries (http://www.sre.gob.mx/acerca/directorio/embajadas/dirembajadas.htm ), or by adding their names to the following resolution demanding the freedom of all political prisoners: http://www.elmilitante.org/index.php?option=com_facileforms&Itemid=108

On Tuesday August 14, the judge will determine if the comrades are to stay in prison pending trial or whether they are to be released for lack of evidence. This is clearly a politically motivated case and for this reason it is important to exert the maximum pressure in the next few days to demand their immediate release.

This campaign should seen as part of the wider campaign for the release of all political prisoners in Mexico, including Adán Mejía, the comrade of the Marxist Tendency Militante arrested in Oaxaca on July 17th, and for the fall of the illegitimate governments of Felipe Calderón, and Oaxaca governor Ulises Ruiz.

See also: video of the successful demonstrations of MENA in 2006: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEVQOies-18