2006 civil unrest in San Salvador Atenco
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The civil unrest in San Salvador Atenco of 2006 began on Wednesday, May 3, when police prevented a group of 60 flower vendors from selling at the Texcoco local market in the State of México, about 30 km (19 mi) from Mexico City. Police used violence and arrest against resisters. The flower vendors appealed to the residents of San Salvador Atenco, a small neighboring community about 25 km (16 mi) northeast of Mexico City, famous for their resistance to the development of an airport on their land in 2002. The Atenco residents blocked the highway to Texcoco near their town. In response, hundreds of state police were summoned to remove the blockade, but were unsuccessful after five attempts.
The confrontations were very violent, causing the deaths of two protesters and dozens of people (mostly women) were sexually assaulted by the police forces.
National Human Rights Commission report
On 16 October 2006, National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) President José Luis Soberanes Fernández published the results of its five-month investigation of the case. The CNDH called the incident a "tragedy", called particular attention to the excessive use of force and firearms by state and federal authorities, and specifically found that:
- 207 people (including ten minors) were victims of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
- 145 were arbitrarily arrested.
- 26 women suffered sexual assault.
- 5 foreigners, in addition to the violence inflicted on them, were illegally expelled from the country.
In connection with these findings, the CNDH served recommendations to the federal Secretary of Public Security, Eduardo Medina Mora; the governor of the state of México, Enrique Peña Nieto; and the commissioner of the National Migration Institute, Hipólito Treviño. The contents of the recommendation included, inter alia, improved training for the security forces, due compensation for the next-of-kin of the two fatalities and for all those whose human rights were violated, and a review of the expulsion procedures applicable to foreign visitors.
The report also concluded that the violence could have been prevented through dialogue, but that "preference was given to the use of public force".
The National Human Rights Commission has charged that police used excessive force, smashing windows and furniture and hauling people from their beds. The commission is currently investigating reports that police molested and raped female detainees and abused children, the elderly and the disabled.
- San Salvador Atenco in Mutiny! Infoshop.org
- Continuing Struggle Against Violent Repression in San Salvador Atenco, Mexico Cleveland Independent Media Center
- Atenco: A Violent Attack Against The Other Campaign Adherents NarcoNews.com
- Police Brutality in Atenco, Mexico UpsideDownWorld.org
- Police Brutality in Mexico - Znet Zmag.org
- Mexico: police storm Atenco World War 4 Report
- CNDH Recommendation 28/2006: Violence in Texcoco and San Salvador Atenco
- CNDH pide reparar daño por operativos de Atenco, El Universal, 17 October 2006.
Atenco - Women of Mexican Dissent the New Target http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0605/S00313.htm