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2006 Oaxaca uprising leader released from Mexico jail

[JURIST] Flavio Sosa, a leader of the 2006 popular uprising in the Mexican state of Oaxaca [BBC backgrounder], was released from jail this weekend after prosecutors failed to convict him of any charges related to the uprising. Sosa, a prominent figure in the People's Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO) [coalition website, in Spanish], had allegedly led a five-month protest demanding the resignation of Oaxaca Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz and other members of the Oaxacan government. Sosa was arrested [JURIST report] in December 2006 and jailed [APPO press release, in Spanish] in a maximum-security facility on five charges, including kidnapping and robbery. The Mexican attorney general's office had said [press release] that Sosa "is known for his use of violence, damaging private property and public byways, and also burning vehicles and buildings in Oaxaca City." Sosa, however, has maintained that his supporters acted peacefully.

The protests were sparked by a teachers strike in May 2006. In August 2007, Amnesty International urged the Mexican government [JURIST report] to initiate a probe into alleged abuses by government authorities during the uprising, saying that "ensuring that impunity for human rights violation is not allowed to prevail" will help to deter future abuses and be an opportunity for Mexican President Felipe Calderon [official website, in Spanish] to demonstrate that he is "committed to protecting, ensuring and fulfilling human rights." AP has more.

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