JANUARY 28 – FEBRUARY 3, 2008

1. MASSIVE DEMONSTRATION AGAINST NAFTA
2. CALDERON CRITICIZED FOR FEMICIDES IN CIUDAD JUAREZ
3. APPO LEADER CHARGED


1. MASSIVE DEMONSTRATION AGAINST NAFTA
More than 200,000 campesinos and allies marched in Mexico City on Friday demanding renegotiation of NAFTA.  The march extended from the Angel of Independence to the Zocalo, snarling traffic throughout the capital.  Speakers announced the formation of a national social and economic council that will demand renegotiation of the agricultural chapters in NAFTA, impede efforts to privatize the energy sector, oppose the Calderon administration’s labor reform proposals, and reverse last year’s ISSSTE (social security for state workers) reforms.  Unions and social organizations joined dozens of campesino organizations in the march that included tractors, cows and horses parading down the capitol’s major thoroughfares. 


2. CALDERON CRITICIZED FOR FEMICIDES IN CIUDAD JUAREZ
The National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) criticized federal and state authorities for “tremendous negligence and impunity” in the investigation of 423 women assassinated in Ciudad Juarez over the past fifteen years.  “The federal government lacks a serious commitment, and there is a serious problem of impostors – officials who spend federal resources (140 million pesos to date) without any results,” said Jose Soberanes, president of the CNDH.  “The government of Felipe Calderon must take action immediately on this problem.”  The CNDH noted, “despite the enormous quantity of resources already spent – 140 million pesos by the federal government and 180 million by the state of Chihuahua – these crimes against women continue.”


3. APPO LEADER CHARGED
A Oaxaca state judge this week formally charged Flavio Sosa, one of the most visible leaders of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), with sedition, kidnapping and arson.  Sosa has been in prison since December, 2006, and these are the first formal charges brought against him.  In bringing the charges, the judge ignored testimony by religious leaders in Oaxaca that placed Sosa in a church during the time that he was supposedly burning public buildings.