Posted by TourPro on August 27th, 2006
My wife and daughter just arrived in Oaxaca and I’m concerned for their safety. Therefore I have started this page as a source of information and news regarding the current situation there as it develops. The university has 8 students and support staff just arriving for the semester. (PSUNY Study Abroad Policy) Scroll down for links - none of the sources are vetted and propaganda abounds. Also, my Spanish is pretty pathetic, so I’m somewhat limited.
Latest News - Updated regularly
Hi there, if your reading this for the first time (probably your last too) here are some tips for reading Oaxaca - Watch. This is a live post. News is updated whenever, as are links. The following editorial section is updated, mostly daily, in reverse chronology - the newest stuff is first.12/13/06
A note of thanks to everyone who’s “watched” along with me for the last few months. The ladies are back tomorrow! I’ve learned much about Mexico and Mexican politics from “my team” in the blogosphere. It seems that things are in a new equilibrium in Oaxaca and I really do hope that it works out. Heck, maybe I’ll even visit someday. Likely, this post will fade away into my archives after this week, but I’m keeping my eyes open and will continue my watch.
A little anarchist riff, how poetic and inspiring.
How alive the brilliance of antagonistic fire, how beautiful the flight of indomitable cocktail Molotov’s, the joy of the insurrectionary machetes in the wind, the festive detonating of the PVC bazookas, the delightful and joyful humming of rocks reverberating against the shields and helmets of the lowly guardians of the State and Capital!
Phoenix Woman has put out a call for Oaxaca links after noticing on DailyKos that there was some concern that the solidarity types have moved on to other things. I’m guessing it’s more of an attention issue. One recent conversation quickly devolved into a moonbat debate over corn, this recent call for “remembrance” was also easily diverted into a Chavez chat. I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t be interested in adding Oaxaca - Watch to her list of links.
Holy Crap! Coup d’état in Oaxaca !! I haven’t even begun to process this. Wow it sure sounds pretty interesting, Federal forces have taken over the State government. This is like the the U.S. Army taking over Albany. Cool.
Class and Cleanliness in Oaxaca: The Return of the Tourist Police State? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The Eurohippiebackpackers and leftist academic types are looking for exactly the “quaint” “fantasy” of Oaxaca. They would prefer if the “indigenous” people remained so, for touristic entertainment/consumption and academic discourse.
Mexico is an extraordinary place, full of extraordinary people. There is every reason in the world to want to visit it. But it is fatally tarnished until issues of poverty, racism, and classicism are seriously addressed. Maybe if tourists would examine their own racism and classicism, and then withhold their money, Mexico would be forced to change. It does not seem anxious to do so on its own.
So far I haven’t heard the Canadians of being accused of being “multinational assassins”. Sporadically throughout my news gathering, I will run across some stuff about mining and other technical stuff about ore. Along with oil, access to two oceans, the richest trading partner in the world next-door, and good weather, they’ve got valuable mineral resources too. What the problem? Blame it on Bush! Hahahahahaha!
But even as tourists head for the exits, mining companies are arriving in droves and Canadian-based enterprises are leading the charge. Currently, there are 228 foreign firms exploring for minerals or operating mines and 171 are from Canada.
The Aztecs and other aboriginal people were extracting silver and gold from mountainous deposits when the Spanish arrived in 1512 and mining has occurred non-stop in the five centuries since then. Mexico is the world’s leading silver producer, it is fifth in lead, zinc and molybdenum, and 11th in copper.
Sounds crazy, but what if Al Giordano was in charge of foreign policy?
Problem is, most of who he is referring to always think they know better what is “right”, “good”, and “should”. Also, what if the locals really are nuts?
Speed and The Doctor cunningly join the conversation and point out how Web 2.0 has changed the way news is being gathered.
S: …Yeah, I know it sounds harsh but I think maybe the best thing to come out of this whole chingadera was Brad Will’s death. Maybe it will finally put the lie to the whole “Peace Corps” mentality of American hippies: “There’s trouble in the world, we have to help, we’re white people!” I mean, in this age of YouTube, and everybody in the world with their own blog, are honkies really required to “document the struggle”?
D: If there is one lesson, one parable that has come out of the experience of the last six months it is a repugnance to revolutionary-wannabe gringos sticking their ill-informed, language-illiterate noses where they do not belong. I now want to say “Thanks, but no thanks… Keep it in your own backyard… Mind your own fucking business… P–LEASE!” Shit, I sound like a Mexican…
Here’s some chat about “Revolutionary Tourism” over at Thorn Tree.
Here’s a pretty good description of the current situation in Oaxaca.
For the time being, however, the hotel prices can’t be beat. I’m paying $25 a night for a location that can’t be beat. A carpet seller offered me a carpet today (and it was a beauty, I tell you) for $400. The carpet was huge. If you like your tourism a bit on edge, with few fellow tourists around to ruin the peace and quiet, well, Oaxaca is for you. But I can’t guarantee it’ll stay this way for long.
Since Al Giordano of Narco News posed his question about the utility of foreign solidarity, the reaction of those he accuses of being “Revolutionary Tourists” is deafening in its silence. My opinion is probably apparent to those who follow this nearly-finished watch - the foreign meddlers are more than half the problem. Interestingly, the same question was cross-posted by El Enemigo Común who also anxiously awaits the navel-gazing self-criticism from the sojourning-socialists. If you’ve got any really serious thoughts on the subject, you can send them to “a white, genderqueer, trans, urban queerbo and organizer“.
Reports that I have received indicate that the Plattsburgh State Study Abroad Program in Oaxaca has been terminated. This was a not a decision made by faculty-in-residence, but from university officials in New York. Numerous incidents in the last few months which certainly would have justified canceling the program, and a U.S. State Department warning on the day they left in August was also initially ignored. Finally, less than two weeks before students were returning anyway, Plattsburgh State officials, despite situation reports from faculty-in-residence ordered students to be evacuated on December 1st. Anyone following the situation in Mexico recognizes the significance of that date which was the inauguration of Calderon. A worse day could not have been chosen. Too little, too late, the risk to the faculty and student has already passed in Oaxaca. No doubt, the escalating number of other schools canceling Oaxaca programs has put local officials on the spot. The typical “cover-your-ass” decision-making is the result of these state employees feeling the weight of responsibility and consequences upon their very selves. That’s the last thing a tenured administrator needs. Ironically, the hasty decision from New York actually puts the students and staff in more jeopardy. Some of the students have opted to not return as “ordered”, they were forced to read and agree to a disclaimer releasing SUNY from any liability in regards to their safety and security. These are the same geniuses that have had false advertising on their Oaxaca program site for the last six months - dead links and no real information about the current situation.
Breaking News - Plattsburgh State ends Study Abroad Program, Students return home - more to come.
“There is a defect in the coding for the Oaxaca Study Action Group (some setting is wrong) so that many of your messages and those of Nancy Davies are being diverted into the BULK (SPAM) folder.” Ironic, no? My spam filter looks for junk too.
I have never heard anyone in jail admit to being guilty. Leave it to Gibler to break the big news.
Somehow all my feeds for Oaxaca are down. ?
Sounds like a major defeat for the movement today. I’m still in a wait and see
mode, but check out Mark, he sounds…gleeful. Anarchists on the ground could be running like cockroaches soon too.
The very first time I viewed the final video shot by Brad Will, I immediately knew that his death was not the result of assassination by PRI paramilitaries. Thanks to Speed and The Doctor, we can now more clearly understand his last moments. Órale putos!
Due to the continued unrest in the Oaxaca region, Bridgewater State College has cancelled the Study Tour for Spring 2007. We apologize for any inconvenience; the safety of our students must be our priority.
Oaxaca Under Undeclared State of Marital Law - Marital, marshal - eh, what’s the difference?
There’s a new marshal in town. Who? Marshal Spellcheck you idiot. As my pal Phil would say, “it’s another day for you and me in paradise“. Say Bye-bye to the Huskies. I’d say it is a good time to get out of town since there is a “tendency” toward violence predicted.
The State Dept is officially concerned. Hahahahahaha!
Looks like the Oaxacan orphans can thank APPO for another cancellation. The UN guys can also say goodbye to some free student labor. I guess you guys get the message, I could spend all day listing the canceled stuff.
Something is brewing down Mexico way. A couple more days until Foxy is officially done. Wonder what he’s going to do? Anyway, one thing that appears to be brewing for sure is methamphetamine, like the Mexicans need that. Imagine some tweaker APPO pulling an all-nighter at the barricades…
Early on in my Oaxaca - Watch, I mentioned the potential threat the “protest” might have on the historic downtown of Oaxaca City. My query to the United Nations World Heritage Centre never even received a response. Those guys are lame anyway. The news today mentioned this little bit:
The disturbances have caused as much as US$27 million (€20.6 million) in damage to old buildings and other structures in the picturesque colonial city, Luciano Cedillo, the director of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, said on Monday.
Cedillo told local media that a stone and brick building from the 1800s had been completely gutted by fire. Such buildings will “have to be totally restored, but the original (building) materials have been severely damaged,” he said.
Between 700 and 800 other buildings have suffered fires, damaged facades, stone torn from streets and planters and graffiti.
Mark has more on the damages to some truly irreplaceable artifacts. I can’t help but see parallels to other such movements where “passionate” activists have destroyed things. These idiots are no better than the Taliban who blew up the old Buddha statues. This is just another nail in the coffin of Oaxaca tourism. In a bigger sense though, this is the least of their worries.
This soft revolution is an enemy of democratic life and may even make dead letters of laws eventually passed in the National Congress… In its extreme version, it might try to replicate what’s been happening over the past six months in Oaxaca, where a revolutionary group of teachers, infiltrated by the residual guerrilla forces that have always existed in the mountains of southeastern Mexico, has been reenacting on a small scale the scripts of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution.
If this nightmarish scenario actually happened, the implications for the United States could be ominous, too: a stream of refugees that would dwarf the current illegal migration, pushed by the collapsing Mexican economy, capital flight and spreading Oaxaca-style violence.
Will we have the means here in the United States to deal with this? I’ve never heard of a contingency plan for this scenario. A weak neighbor (like Canada?) can only be a threat to our national security. A hostile neighbor is even worse. We’ve already noted the Chavez connection to events south of the border, but Iran too?
Looks like the University of Rochester has canceled Summer 2007. The student-funded party train for all the Latin American academic types appears to be faltering. Forget about Arizona State University’s “Mexican Mosaic”, and Nancy Crow’s Art, Textiles & Fiestas of Mexico Tour. Even the Lutheran’s are bailing out.
Mark’s latest report seems to indicate a definite lack of wind in the APPO sails. I’m hopeful that there will be some short-term stability, but I can’t see the PFP staying around forever.
It seems that the University of Vermont has canceled their Oaxaca Study Abroad Program for next Spring due to safety concerns.
“It was enough with the State Department saying there are problems there. It’s part of erring on the side of caution,” Vivanco said. “When you have a group of college students abroad, there are many, many risks. They don’t know the language super well; they can’t always read cultural cues; and they can find themselves in difficult situations.”
Better safe than sorry.
The State University of New York at Plattsburgh went ahead with its fall semester trip to Oaxaca. The program’s few students has not run into any problems since their arrival there in August, said Charles Simpson, a SUNY-Plattsburgh professor and co-director of the college’s Oaxaca program.
“We arrived down there the last week in August and things were pretty stable. We’ve kept very much in touch with the situation; have a faculty-in-residence person there who’s been in touch with us on a regular basis,” Simpson said.
Well, that’s sort of true, but stable in August? Compared to what? Simpson is an expert on something, but I’m not sure what. It just so happens that the “faculty-in-residence” is someone I’m familiar with. Not surprising, the left propagandists have already chimed in with their commentary.
OK, I’ve read through most of the accounts regarding the “big march” and aftermath. What a goddamn mess is Oaxaca and the rest of Mexico. The lefty media is indeed hyping the bloodthirsty PFP while funding the “resistance”. Personally, I wouldn’t really mind seeing a more proactive approach to solving things.
One thing, the brain trust at SUNY Plattsburgh is still only marginally aware of the potential hazards involved in their “study abroad” program. A frantic plea for information at this point is way too late. The principals running the program are supposed to be experts, but unfortunately long hours delving into the sustainability of fair trade coffee schemes have left them unprepared for reality. The students are all adults making their own decision to go, but there is still liability involved here. At the very least they could be accused of false advertisement.
So, I get this message this morning from my wife telling me how trashed Oaxaca is today. Even she, who will find any excuse for the leftists, is shocked. I haven’t read all the news, tonite maybe, but I’m guessing the “indy-anarcho” types must be in a tizzy. Probably reporting a “brutal massacre” or something. Mark’s account pretty much sums things up; I really should read the other versions first, but his reporting is just so much more, mmmm, efficient.
Alright, only a few more weeks till the ladies are back home. In the meantime, it seems that things are “normal” in Oaxaca.
Mark’s been busy doing some amateur CSI action - I’d have to say though, don’t thing any reputable forensic examiner would waste their time with this case. He further exposes some of the financial support that APPO is receiving. Those doofuses in LA should get their crap together, just a couple of days ago they were calling for a remittance boycott.
Put the crazies in charge and you get some bad stuff. Today I read that some protestors in Los Angeles came up with the brilliant idea of a “remittance boycott”. “Our voice is our money! Stop the repression!” Uh, OK. I’m sure your unemployed relatives will really appreciate your new found “solidarity”. Don’t spend it all in one place.
I predicted the eventual elevation of Brad Will (Roland?) to martyr status by the left/anarchy/indies. What I really enjoy is the total internalization of that by the many drones who simply reprint over and over the handful of articles written by the devoted. Thankfully I’m not the only one to recognize this, I can’t believe I didn’t find this blog sooner. Check out Speed and the Doctor:
Well, the canonization of Brad Will is in full-swing. It’s amazing how little Americans require of a person to be a “hero” or a “martyr”.
Our priority is for the safety and wellbeing of our students.
It’s really great to know that our state resources are being spent on important issues of the
day. I’m also reassured to know that the University administration, SUNY
administration, State Police, and everyone else is so “in touch” with the adult
entertainment industry. What I want to know is how many New York State employees
have watched this video in the interest of safety and wellbeing. Somebody should
contact the President.
I’m not exactly sure about tourist flows to Mexico, but it seems to me that people planning Winter getaways are doing their destination picking right about now. The US State Dept has had a Public Announcement regarding Oaxaca since August 24th, and on top of that another with a general Mexican travel warning. Question: Do travelers even read those during the strategic destination planning phase? How many of the mainstream travel portals link to the State Dept’s website? You can be sure there is very little mention on the official Mexican Tourism site. It’s two clicks away on Tripadvisor’s Mexico page, can’t find it on Fodor’s, and below the fold on Lonely Planet. That Fodor’s site is no different than any other splog. I’m using Blog Search more and more these days, almost as much as web.
Fox team out of gas? Voice of outrage a whimper - I guess getting put under “house arrest” takes some of the steam out of his sails.
Sucks to be Calderon. Must be an interesting transition going on.
Mark’s has more analysis of the analysis of Will’s shooting. I’ve probably watched too much CSI, but doesn’t this sound a bit, mmmm, unprofessional?
Ok, let’s try to clear up some mis-information. Bradley Will’s body was never delivered to the Mexican Red Cross as had been reported earlier. A “human rights group” had claimed to have autopsied his body but that, apparently, never occurred. His body was abandoned in the back of a pickup left outside the amphitheater of the State Attorney General.
Hey, some big news. Almost forgot about that State Department Public Announcement. It was due to expire today, and well, they decided to extend it again. Why have an expiration date at all?
Oh boy, the news today about Brad Will’s (Roland?) death which puts the blame on the leftists will surely cause some gut churning.
The details are horrid, I’m not even going to link to the story. Here’s my position: Illegal aliens that enslave one of their “own” for the purposes of sexual slavery should be dealt with harshly. This is another story that the wacked left won’t touch.
I love it when a good plan comes together. I’ve always had my doubts about the “science” of economy. Fact is, it is mostly psychology. One thing most can agree on, the many instances where idealistic left-leaning types have been in charge have been miserable failures. Combine economic policy with foreign relation goals? Sanctions? Blockades? Walls? Coming on days after VDH’s piece about immigration, this suggestion of a tourism boycott sounds particularly stupid. How is that going to help? We might as well forbid any remittances AND build a wall. That will teach those pesky Mexicans. You’d think with a monopoly on “academia” that these intellectuals could do a little better.
Seems to me that Fox has given up on Oaxaca. And practically everyone else, leaving only Ruiz and the Leftists who are being refereed by the PFP. As before, the people of Oaxaca are the ones to suffer. I tell people around here that “the Anarchists took out the Burger King”. For some reason, this news, more than the death of Will (Roland?), gets their attention. “Whoa! Are you serious!?” I’m starting to wonder what’s left down there. More on that here and here.
VDH notes the wider implications of the Oaxaca situation in the context of illegal immigration.
My candidate didn’t win so I’m calling all my pals and we’re going to organize a strike. We are going to block Upper Cornelia Street in order to keep the neo-North Countryists from conducting business. If we can get our hands on some of their SUV’s we’ll then stop the 5 cars on I87. Can’t promise any kind of hunger strike, I’ve got coupons for Wendys that expire at the end of the month that I have to use. The will only be half-day barricades as I have to do my “relaxing period” in the evening.
On a serious note, why do leftist resort to personal attack when they want to silence someone? If your against border security, then your a racists. If you speak out against one of their own, your a drunk. Now I’m a “child molestor” for trying to inject a modicum of humor into an otherwise pathetically sad situation. Bwahahahahahahahaha!
11/07/06 - VOTE!!!
I don’t want to be part of a discussion (and/or social talk) Yahoo group.
I think these discussions are very fruitless. Yes they bring fruit after some chickenfight, in which I’m one of the chickens.
I will see how the situation has become, after my relaxing period.
OK, let me get this straight. The Mexicans say that Oaxaca is safe and that Americans should visit. But at the same time, the Mexican Congress has just voted to prevent Vicente Fox from traveling because Oaxaca is not stable. They even complain that the US State Dept is warning against travel. I don’t here them complaining about Canada, Australia, France, New Zealand, and UK warning their citizens. Sounds like ole Foxy had quite the little jaunt planned - Australia and Vietnam for a “conference”. Heh, I know all about conferences. More talk about Oaxaca travel at Thorn Tree.
More on Mexican bombers.
I’ve been going through this post to clear up any duplicate links or broken links, not easy or as entertaining as eating dirt. Funny thing, I’m finding that CNN, LA Times are the worst - some of the articles highlighting some of the more unsavory aspects of this “movement” have completely disappeared from their sites - archives included. Bastards or just lame web management? Anyway, forgive me if you find any - this is all done on the fly - shoot me a not via the contact page if you locate an alternative or cached version.
Everyone with a Yahoo account should join OSAG. They are having an interesting meltdown/censorship issue
and missing it would be a real shame. Also, I’d suggest RSS subscription for
easy dumping of lame stuff. Every now and then there are some jewels coming out
of that hole, otherwise it is good to have all the crazy anarchists all in one
place for easy
Here’s an interesting post which fairly accurately compares the Mexican situation with Columbia. The commentators show the typical left reaction to this kind of news - make up lame conspiracy theories. What predictability these people have.
What is happening in Mexico is beginning to appear to be what has happened in Columbia. A combination of drug cartels, repressive governments and groups of rebels and peaceful demonstrators fighting each other and within each other.
Now, is anyone really surprised the leftists claim responsibility for the bombing in Mexico City? Leftest equals Socialist equals Liberals equals: Bombs for the good of the people. Can we all agree that the crap is heading north? There is a concerted movement, likely funded by the obvious leftists dictators, to undermine the Mexican govt. As crappy as Fox and his gang are, we can’t ignore this growing threat to our security here. Is our only solution a wall? What role should the US play in this unfolding drama? I’m not the only one seeing the wider implications. The radical gap between the rich and poor in Mexico is a perfect example of why men rebel.
The Mel Gibson/Kennedy excuse is being employed as justification to stifle criticism by the anarchists.
Mark’s got more on the bombs w/ pics. It really is a miracle that nobody was injured. Earlier reports that the bombs were “sophisticated” may be inaccurate now that the corncob information has come out.
More activist bombs yesterday. Three explosions in Mexico City, PRI HQ, Electoral HQ, and a bank. Some of the images I’ve seen show very serious damage - deadly damage. Similar to the bank bombing in Oaxaca reported on October 2. Funny thing, CNN has pulled that article from its archives and I can’t find any mention of it. Here’s the cached version. Anonymous bombings are only used by terrorists, extremists, and lunatics. The Mexican left is now part of the bomb-cult. Hey, I didn’t say it first. Still better than getting killed by an ice pick.
Further, the lunatic fringe, particularly a previously mentioned wackjob, is now spinning like a top.
Has all aspects of a typical PRI/PAN/CIA/SAS action, however one doesn’t know for sure. But it was just after that a peacefull massive demonstration had ended. The only violence was a boy shot by some PRIist and this provocation wasn’t followed by counter violence. So it seems obvious who did the attack, just after the demonstrations turned out to be non-violent…
Mark got his camera fixed.
The San Antonio editors put the Oaxaca conflict in context and this “pack of lies” is making it’s rounds like a virus in the indymedia network, no doubt it will spread even further. Question: How do you aim a grenade?
The cancellation of the teacher’s assembly really illustrates the hypocrisy of the left when it comes to democracy and free speech. At least they didn’t use the Ice Pick method.
The Oaxaca teachers union suspended an assembly on Saturday and criticized allied protesters for “generating a tense environment.”
A visibly upset Enrique Rueda Pacheco, the teachers union leader, told reporters the assembly was canceled after Radio Universidad, controlled by the Oaxaca People´s Assembly (APPO), began summoning people to the assembly and using inflammatory language.
“This same type of approach produced a tense atmosphere before our last assembly and led to violence,” Rueda said. “I would ask that APPO and Radio Universidad stop making announcements in the name of the teachers union.”
The previous assembly took place on Oct. 28 and was delayed six hours after crowds gathered and harassed the leadership, even pelting Rueda with eggs and vegetables after it became apparent he was recommending an end to their strike.
Meanwhile, it looks like our wall is too late, they have already begun their invasion.
In the old days, psyops was conducted with flyers dropped from airplanes, now we’ve got the internet. Check this out - Please stop protesting the Mexican Embassy! ¡Di no a la intimidación de migrantes! I simply can’t believe that someone in the Mexican government could be that devious or technically competant to do such a subtle mind game on the indymediaistas. Why are they publishing the suspect letter? Wierd.
This might be the funniest thing to come out of all this: Church offers site for talks
Church leaders said they´d facilitate the dialogue under certain conditions:
- That participants act constructively and for the good of Oaxaca instead of simply defending their own interests;
- That goals are specified and progress reported publicly;
- That there are impartial coordinators whose purpose is to work toward consensus;
- That there is a cease-fire and no violence during the talks;
- That independent local actors with some claim to moral authority be invited to take part in the talks.
Question: Does incineration count as murder?
Sounds like the university is the battle of the day. Sounds like quite the battle going on.
According to military “intelligence” reports to which A Diario had access, groups of students were trained by Venezuelan agents ever since they began the political campaigns for the presidency, operating in Mexico from states such as Oaxaca, Morelos, and Guerrero where they had distributed propaganda in towns and communities.
They asserted that going back “six months, a Bolivarian Circle of activists enabled by the Venezuelan government has been coming to Oaxaca to economically, logistically, and ideologically support rebel activities.”
Lest we forget, the United Nation’s “Special Rapporteur” has a say about things.
Gibler continues to call Will’s death “assassination”. Here’s an interesting quote:
In most cases, plainclothes police and gangs linked to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) fired on unarmed protesters with handguns and assault rifles. In some cases, members of the APPO fired back with handguns, though they mostly defended themselves with rocks, bottle rockets and Molotov cocktails.
Here’s the MSM attempt at editorial. This guy completely misinterprets the film Brad Will took himself. It’s pretty clear the “red dump truck” was being controlled by the “activists” in their attempt to use it to break down a metal gate/door and “get” whoever was on the other side. No wonder newspaper circulation is diving for the bottom. I declare the writer a “tool”.
Seems that Ana Maria has some good insight, “Despite it all, there was a lot of smoke and little fire.” Left sites are actually showing peaceful scenes with federal troops doing tourism, and they are also recognizing that there are people that don’t agree with them. The pictures of the PFP enjoying themselves, clean-cut - in uniform, buying things, etc, just irks some - check the comment. “Brad the Martyr” is further analyzed - why does his race even matter? The left has such a hard time carrying out their race-based theories to their logical ends.
10/31/06 - Tricks or Treats?
I’ve talked about the info war before, it’s really the sheep out there that buy into one side or the other that you have to worry about. David Sasaki gets criticized for citing Mark in Mexico by some guy who apparently believes only the left can have the truth. Here he begins his investigation of “the shadowy Mark”.
A new State Department Public Announcement regarding Oaxaca - pretty optimistic as it expires November 15th. Most people agree that things are pretty dangerous there. I’m still seeing inquiries around the blogosphere asking if it is safe to travel. Most everyone will agree that I’m no Mexico expert, but I’m going to go out on a limb and proclaim - Mexican Travel is Dangerous.
“Not only are the tourists scared, the Mexican people are scared,”
The information war is trotting along nicely. Mark’s got more on the “brutal oppression” of the Oaxacan people. The truth is often much less glamorous than either side would have you believe.
Another watch blog.
Hell Is Rising in Oaxaca: An Interview With a Oaxacan Rebel - How appropriate on Halloween.
1. All armed forces acting on behalf of the government against the people of Oaxaca be removed immediately;
2. The illegitimate governor Ruiz be removed immediately;
3. The federal government negotiate directly with those people who man the barricades in Oaxaca;
4. Guilty parties on all levels be identified and held accountable for the assassinations of Brad Will and the other civilian victims in Oaxaca.
Canada says, “Don’t Go to Oaxaca.”
Ana Maria sums thing up.
10/30/06 - First Day of School?
Somehow I think this Canadian could latch onto any issue.
The Zapatistas seem to relish stirring things up some more. Shut-Down of Roads, Highways and the Media on November 1; General Strike Called for November 20
Check this - the anarchists call the leftists racists. Wow, it’s crazy that there are folks that even more left than the liberal media.
This past Friday, October 27, 2006, at least five unarmed people were killed on the streets of Oaxaca City, Oaxaca. One of them happened to be a young, white, male, American anarchist, working for the radical media outlet “indymedia.org” named Brad Will. Now it is no surprise that the Corporate American media would jump on a story where any American is shot dead in the streets of a third world country, but that same mentality has trickled down across leftist/independent news resources like those of infoshop.org, indymedia.org, Democracynow.org, and others, to the point where the popular struggle in the streets of Oaxaca, is only a legitimate struggle now that Brad Will was killed. This Brings up many interesting questions of how the radical left in the United States views itself in the context of a global struggle.
But the reasons for the government’s refusal to remove URO goes deeper. All three ruling parties—the PAN, the PRI, and the PRD (Party of the Democratic Revolution)—are the political representatives of the landlord, big bourgeois, and comprador bourgeois classes that exploit and oppress the masses of Mexican people. They defend the whole rotten edifice of semi-feudalism and capitalism subordinate to and tied up with U.S. imperialism. All three of these ruling parties are rooted in the economic and social relations in the service of imperialism that mean the ruination of millions of peasants and the forced migration to El Norte or the slums of major cities.
Alert!! “American multi-national restaurateurs are closed until further notice; McDonalds, KFC, Burger King and Pizza Hut.” This breaks my heart because I know at least one person who will really miss her chicken nuggets.
I’m starting a trend, here’s another Live Post: Oaxaca Burns: PFP invasion right now
This violence caused me to issue an advisory to American citizens on August 24, 2006, urging them to consider carefully the risk of travel to Oaxaca and to exercise great caution if they did choose to enter the region. That advisory was set to expire on October 30, 2006. However, this week, I chose to reissue it in light of the continuing escalation of violence in Oaxaca. The tragic shooting of an American citizen today only heightens my deep concern for the safety of Americans traveling there. (Full text of the advisory)
APPO is being equated to terrorists, and if you don’t like it you can always talk about corn.
12:30EST Bill Hemmer on Fox News is interviewing a tourist. I think the guy must have been paid off by some hotels or something to say how great things are in Oaxaca. “Oh, there’s some difficulty getting around, but things are surprisingly back to normal.” What?
I always fondly remember the first day of school. You know, having your mommy walk you past the burnt debris, finding half burned Molotov cocktails along the way, unwelding the school gate, saying hi to federal forces, etc.
Today is the day that the August 24, 2006 Public Announcement regarding travel to Oaxaca expires. How terribly convenient.
A Lesson from Brad Will - Still pushing the assassination theory.
…sure looks like a deliberate hit: no crowd, no evidence of a street brawl, no bevy of police or military, one or maybe two clean shots at mid-chest, and an activist is dead.
The Village Voice has an article about Brad Will, or William Bradley Roland, I’m confused. Pretty thorough piece, nonetheless.
10/29/06 - Welcome to Oaxaca - Colonial
This can’t be good for tourism.
Dane is blogging from Oaxaca. Sounds pretty intense.
“Some protesters used syringes to pierce their arms and legs, then paint signs decrying the police in blood.” Come on now! Is that really necessary? Don’t they have some kind of indigenously produced ink they could use instead?
Denial of Service Attack on Mexican Consulates - Angry White Kid is linking to this:
*** http://www.mountainrebel.net/oaxaca/ ***
I think just going to the site contributes to the attack.
10am EST - The report from Oaxaca this morning is that last night was one of the quietest in recent memory. Reports that barricades were abandoned are not entirely accurate.
Check the updates from StJacques.
The presidential election prevented Fox from taking action against the protestors barricades and the subsequent ”hung election”, with its extended unrest, also restricted him. … Now Calderon’s narrow victory has been ratified and Lopez Obrador’s Mexico City protests are subsiding. Friday’s murders up the ante. It appears Fox doesn’t want Calderon to begin his term with the Oaxaca problem unresolved. The next three days will be critical. I note in the Reuters report says the local teachers have agreed to go back to work on Monday. That’s a thin slat of daylight– a nod toward a negotiated settlement rather than a war in the streets of Oaxaca. Stay tuned.
The leftists are certainly agitated by the death of their white activist, seems the outrage is more than what was displayed for our headless dairyman. I’ve heard that the paramilitary death squads “assassinated” the noble activist journo with murderous sniper shots as “striking teachers, workers and indigenous activists” peacefully protest. What tripe. It’s Anarchy, that’s what you wanted, that’s what you get. Now the federales have to come in like an angry parent to stop the sandbox fight.
Brads Video Footage as posted on Chiapas Indymedia (Download) - Intense, but basically illustrates how screwed up and chaotic things are.
10/28/06 - ***The Bullets are Flying***
American (White) Photographer Gunned Down In Mexico! WTF? These guys are interested?!
“The APPO is not necessarily “leftist”… That’s pretty funny.
Oaxaca has made the Big Time - Boing Boing. (I’m honored by the link)
The so-called “paramilitaries” that killed Brad the Martyr sound more like pissed-off neighborhood watch.
Americans death prompts U.S. to extend warning regarding Oaxaca travel - I guess they got sick of doing this every couple of months, it is now extended to March 15, 2007! Funny thing, this warning makes no mention of Oaxaca - it’s actually an extension of a blanket public announcement which specifically pertains to Nuevo Laredo. This is sort of a sneaky way of upgrading things without making news. Good spot, Dane.
I wonder when the official U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Public Announcement regarding Oaxaca will be updated. The current warning, issued on August 24, is due to expire on Monday. I’m guessing some miraculous event will have to occur in order for things to return to normal by then.
10/27/06 - The “teachers” seems to have more people voting to go back to work, but does that really mean anything? How many anarchists does it take to ruin a democratic vote? This should be an interesting weekend. Ever seen rats leaving a sinking ship?
10/24/06 - Some kind of massive action being planned for Friday Oct 27.
No shirt, no shoes, no service.
The new is confusing about the teacher’s poll. Some say yes they’ll return, others say no, the strike continues. Mark’s got some details of the “vote”. But also some scary pics. It seems APPO has declared war on children and education:
To help assure that there will be no public schools, APPO mechanics have spread out through the city with portable welders and are welding the gates shut at every public school property they can find.
And in those schools where parents, teachers and students had arrrived before the APPO gate welding specialists, armed mobs of APPO supporters strode upon the scene, forcing the parents to evacuate their children. At 11:00 this morning, a mob armed with clubs, rocks, pipes, iron bars and machetes approached the primary school Francisco Zarco, in colonia Pueblo Nuevo. There were 800 kids inside and a number of parents performing cleanup and guard duty. The parents had to evacuate the children. A mother went after a machete armed masked APPO thug and tried to take away his weapon. She failed but she did send him packing, running away and hurling threats at her over his shoulder.
And, in a somewhat humorous note, angry parents turned the tables on striking teachers in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec this morning. When some teachers arrived to reopen the secondary school Secundaria Técnica Número 5 and the primary school 20 de Noviembre, parents who had opened the schools themselves back on the 7th of September threw the teachers out. The parents accuse the teachers of showing up just to perform minor clerical duties so that they can claim to be working and begin receiving their salaries. One angry mother who has been teaching in the school since September 7 told the teachers, “We’re not going to allow you to come in here just to perform student signup work so that you can receive your last two weeks’ pay.”
10/21/06 - The fight is now left to the “best of the best” Since last week there have been indications of a rift within the “movement”. This has been noted for awhile with many on all sides acknowledging the presence and influence of radical elements taking over. The feds have evidently backed out of this conflict by non-action and a schizophrenic statement on Ruiz. The majority of teachers no longer actively participate and are either already working or plan on returning. Ruiz has an even bigger hard-on.
I can’t wait for the info war about today’s “consulta” - who get’s to consult? Again, the OSAG is an interesting microcosm for seeing a certain perspective about the situation.
We should also keep in mind, however, that the Universal has repeatedly exaggerated and blown things out of proportion when reporting on the movement. Everything the Universal says should be taken with that grain of salt, compared with La Jornada, and with the opinion of teachers themselves.
The same goes for Radio Ley and Radio Universidad. As I’ve said before, those radios are controlled by a current that has been real good about generating divisions between the teachers and the APPO all along.
Jill has some thoughts on the teachers returning to work:
If the teachers do infact decide to go back to classes (in a consulta, decided by the base, and not a decision imposed from the cupola), I support them in that decision. For several reasons….the teachers i’ve spoken to (on the phone from Seattle) have expressed concerns about the dwindling numbers of teachers in the plantons (about 3000 in DF, and at best 5000 in Oaxaca, during the day). That’s out of 70,000 teachers. Where are the rest of them? In their communities, absolutely broke, witnessing a rapid hemorraghing of support from parents and community authorities. Some teachers have talked to me about the possibility of framing a return to classes in such a way that gives them the moral highground…for example, “we are returning to classes, but we will also be organizing in our communities for a consulta popular.” Or a return to classes where the educational focus is on everything that has happened in the last five months.
Maybe it’s time for the teachers to pass the baton for awhile. I mean, everyone talks about how this is a popular struggle, not a teachers struggle, but who has been sleeping in the streets for the last 5 months? Who has gone for 2 months with no income? Who walked to Mexico City? Who has to respond to angry parents and community authorities? The teachers, that’s who. If it’s really a popular struggle, then the “pueblo” should walk out of their jobs and sleep in the streets. I wonder how long they’d last..especially the pueblo who doesn’t live in the city. How many community members from rural communities have left their towns, their families, and their sources of income to come to Oaxaca city and sleep in the streets? Very few, and with good reason. It’s hard. It’s unsustainable. It’s something the teachers have been doing for awhile, and if they can’t do it anymore, I don’t blame them.
As for Jill’s comments, good and thoughtful as always, nevertheless leave me with a miserable gut feeling - when people call in weeping (which is not uncommon, everyone’s so stressed out), I doubt there will be forgiveness. Radio Universidad is taking call after call from people pleading with the teachers to hang on, and also pleading with the people to go an extra step in assisting the teachers in the encampment. One vote came in, but I didn’t get the locale - it was in favor of continuing on the strike. I don’t know how many teachers were part of that, dumb me, maybe somebody else heard it? I can’t get Ley or Radio Planton - streaming, they both stream the static interference, so I’m depending for the moment on Radio Universidad.
i have heard the desperate phone calls to the radio stations as well. but part of my point was…what if the radio signal was reaching the whole state and people from the whole state could call in. What would they say? how much do people in the rural communities even know about what’s happening in Oaxaca city?
Finally. I have been inside Radio Ley. Right inside the little room that they broadcast from. And I saw the little signs posted on the walls. “Compañeros, don’t allow any calls against the teachers to get on the air” “Compañeros, every five minutes, we are against the consulta.” Those exact words (but in spanish, of course). That’s democratizing the media? It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if there is a little sign posted on the wall at Radio Ley and at Radio Universidad saying “Compañeros, don’t allow on the air any calls in support of a return to classes.”
So when the radio becomes our means for taking the pulse of the movement, you have to ask how much of what we hear on the radio is really representative of the movement.
10/20/06 - Well, all the “institutional” channels seem to have been exhausted. They’re about to announce a date that all the kids can go back to school. What’s up with the hunger strike? Haven’t heard a thing. Anyone?
Pretty funny how the Mexican Senate supported Ruiz:
Senators voted 74 to 31 along party lines in favor of a resolution arguing that the Senate lacks the authority to remove Gov. Ulises Ruiz and it can only replace him if the state government has ceased to function. Oaxaca´s administration was still working on a limited level, concluded senators who had traveled to the troubled state on a fact-finding mission.
Despite their decision not to remove Gov. Ruiz, PAN senators criticized the governor for failing to maintain control of his state and suggested a peaceful solution would be easier if he left office.
Ruiz has refused to step down, instead calling for military and federal police to take control of the state capital, Oaxaca City. Much of the city is controlled by teachers and activists who are demanding Ruiz be removed, while police have pulled out and public officials have abandoned their offices or been forced out.
PAN Sen. Alejandro Zapata said Ruiz was “incapable of governing, negligent and clumsy.” But he said the branches of government continued to function in the state, albeit irregularly.
“We can´t close our eyes to the state´s reality, but we can´t break the law either,” Zapata said. “Unfortunately, this situation has gone beyond our authority.”
I’m guessing if they voted to get rid of him on these grounds, they’d have to get rid of practically every sitting official in Mexico. This is sort of funny. The Senate votes, but admits that it has “gone beyond our authority”, and furthermore “suggested” a peaceful solution. Hahahaha. Ruiz continues to call for federal assistance, but I think they are pretty much leaving him to swing on his own. In other words, they haven’t done a damn thing. The only real progress is that the teachers are going back to work for fear of losing their paychecks.
10/16/06 - It’s always reassuring to know that you have excellent emergency services. Here is a really disturbing picture of some firemen being “presented” to the media after trying to reclaim their firetruck. Is it just me or does it remind you of some recent pre-beheading pictures?
Three firemen are presented to the media after being apprehended by members of the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO) in Oaxaca City October 15, 2006. The firemen were accused by APPO protesters of trying to remove a fire truck used as a barricade during their demonstrations. The streets around the center of the tourist city of Oaxaca have been occupied for months by thousands of striking teachers and left-wing activists who are trying to bring down the state government, headed by state governor Ulises Ruiz, and who have taken law and order into their own hands. REUTERS/Daniel Aguilar (MEXICO)
The AP was founded in the heyday of yellow journalism, Hearst, Pulitzer and all, and has never been anything other but a journalistic shill for vested interests. I’m sure that Rebecca took a little something-something to slant her reportage. I’m also sure her bosses don’t care. As long as it’s slanted the right way.
Reuter’s news tradition reflects the idea that the capitalist movers and shakers neeed accurate, reality based assesments. Their traditional reader base needs accurate information. Consequently, while Reuter’s may slant their coverage, they seldom resort to outright lies and misrepresentations. That doesn’t fit the needs of their customer’s.
Articles by Rebecca Romero are best left unread. Not a single journalist I met while working in oaxaca (over 40 individuals, some working for very mainstream outlets, others more independent) has a shred of respect for her, and many of them suspect she isn’t a journalist at all. How she got the gig as AP correspondent in Oaxaca is beyond me.
Also, close friends of mine who write for different national newspapers in Mexico told me exactly how much money they were offered by the Ulises government to “change their tune” in their reporting. All of them refused the money. I’m guessing Rebecca Romero did not.
10/13/06 - Here in the North Country, we’d say, “What a frickin’ mess”.
10/12/06 - That OSAG group is just too much. Thanks to George (I think he’s for real!) for pointing me to the interesting and informative Oaxaca Lending Library site. I guess having the meeting space taken away kinda hit a nerve. You know, if you dine with terrorists, you might get a 500-pounder for dessert. What the hell did he expect? Librarians are hardly proponents of anarchy. Check this excerpt of a message on the front page:
The Board decided that the OSAG group should not meet at the Library as it was politically active and did not follow the Library’s policy against meetings of political or partisan groups. Salzman met with several members of the Library and the Library Board to protest this decision. At that meeting he accused the Board members of being “Karl Rove” conservatives and threatened to make the group’s exclusion “an international incident.” (Ha ha ha) The Board stands firm in its prohibition against OSAG or any other politically active group meeting on library premises.
After this confrontation, we received an email from Col. Johnathan Poprik Ret. who referred to the OSAG group as a “radical pinko communist group” and he threatened “If you do not comply with the following demands (for names of OSAG participants among other demands), two Mexican citizens will file a complaint against the library and ask for revocation of all rights and licenses necessary for the library to operate in Mexico. Also each participant or member of the library will be called in and investigated by local authorities and immigration. If evidence proves that they were participating in meetings of the illegal group against the Government, they will undergo deportation hearings.”
I guess all the peace talk was crazy. Ana Maria hints at the virus spreading to Mexico City. Mark reports on the continuing and growing calamity in Oaxaca. The Blue Crab is wondering too about the forces fueling the radicalism.
Obviously, someone is stirring this pot. The tentative peace deal indicated that many of the protesters were tired of the whole situation. A few radicals appear to have derailed the entire effort. It’s time for the Mexican government to start identifying who is behind this. Someone is paying the bills and keeping up the violence.
Dane’s asking the questions, who’s got the answers?
Among the questions — How long will the approximately 70,000 teachers stay out of work and in close ranks with the minority APPO leadership? How long will Oaxaca and Mexico permit this protest to continue, the roadblocks to continue, the nightly APPO security force patrols to continue? And of course, how long will the many Oaxacans who have lost their jobs in the ravaged tourist industry allow this to continue?
10/10/06 - Sounds like extortion to me. You have to admit, getting more money, no
criminal responsibility, control of occupied territory, and having an extended
summer vacation and/or march is pretty good. Also, it’s not like the federal
government is giving up anything they already didn’t have. They say there’s more
money coming, and if not, well then what? Regarding Oaxaca, it sounds
like they are just letting things continue as is. Honestly, it doesn’t really
sound like much of an agreement. In the long-run, this is still not a net plus
for sustainable economic development.
Aren’t there some “indigenous” types down there? How long does it take to become indigenous? Once you leave your “original place”, do you then become non-indigenous? Can anyone be indigenous? What if you know a place and culture better than the locals? I’m just asking.
Was it all just a spasm?
“…I don’t see why anyone who supports killing the teachers would be allowed to stay on the list. Why?” You see how ridiculous things can get? Censorship is the best way to eliminate otherwise unpleasant information. I was actually questioning the killing of a teacher, possibly by other teachers. Ironic how this person easily “translates” that into support of killing teachers. Simple arguments for simple minds.
10/8/06 - Who knew that there were Australian Socialists?
10/7/06 - Bishops battle over Oaxaca - even
these guys are taking sides.
Here’s another take on the teacher story - Oaxaca Machaca: Teacher’s Murder Makes a Hash of Tense Situation
Dane checks in and mentions the “Caravans of Death“. He also notes that hotel occupancy in Oaxaca is running at 3% and unemployment is running rampant. As a former hotelier, I can tell you that 3% is not a ‘break-even’ proposition.
Nah, it couldn’t happen there…
The participation of APPO is of vital importance: it could become the key to extending the revolutionary movement to the whole of the country. Likewise, its non-participation could have a very negative effect: it could lead to a dangerous process of isolation. Isolation is a life or death question for any revolutionary process.
In reality, there are no contradictions between the objectives of the CND and APPO. APPO could show the CND the way forward to the taking of power by the working class: on the basis of workers’ democracy and a complete break with capitalism. These last two demands have not yet been taken up by APPO as a whole, but it is vital that they be taken up if the movement is not to be thrown backwards.
Question: Why is it that the collateral deaths related to this “protest” are not discussed or even mentioned? Why?
Answer: Facing a world almost overwhelmingly dominated by the corporate media and government propaganda, “we” are but a tiny voice, and many people, like the coward quoted above, are apparently comfortable swimming with the flood of misrepresentations and lies daily broadcast and printed. The item that began this exchange was an AP dispatch in the Washington Post, but both these giant “news” corporations are notoriously dishonest “mainstream” sources of misinformation.
I must be one of the “fair number of psychologically distrubed [sic] individuals.”
We have not yet blocked anybody from posting, but we can all be aware of who yellow emperor (Is that what he calls himself?) with the adirondack address thinks. Delete key is useful for all those we learn to dislike.
And so the info war starts:
Re: [oaxacastudyactiongroup] Teacher Hacked to Death in Mexican City
The teacher who was killed belonged to the CCL, a group that broke off from the Seccion 22 last february, and which was later proven to be receiving money from the state government to divide the movement. They have not been participating in the strike, nor any other part of the popular movement in Oaxaca.
While there are some aggressive folks in the APPO and Seccion 22, they are not in the practice of killing people. The only documented “violence” carrried out by members of the movement has been the use of sticks, rocks, molotov cocktails, etc. to defend themselves from attacks by heavily armed police and/or government thugs. While it’s impossible to prove who killed the teacher, it certainly does look and smell like an attempt to create a level of violence and chaos in the state that justifies the intervention of federal police.
This isn’t the only example. The night before last, while filming in the barricades near Radio La Ley, I was told by some teachers that they had spotted heavily-armed men a few blocks from the barricades. We drove over there, and sure enough, there were at least 20 guys (not in any kind of uniform) with very big guns and big trucks, only three blocks from the barricades.
The government promises no use of force, the teachers brutally kill one of their own. Now for the leftist info machine to start grinding this morning. Let me guess, the teacher was killed by unknown “police agents”. No, no, maybe the killed teacher was a “police agent”. Where’s the FUCKING outrage?
Forensic experts examine the body of Jaime Rene Calva, a school teacher allegedly opposed to the teachers strike in Oaxaca, Mexico on Thursday Oct. 5, 2006. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Ongoing public demonstrations in the city of Oaxaca have adversely affected tourism in the area and leaded the cancellation of 79 flights to the Oaxaca airport originally scheduled for the month of September. The protests began as a teachers’ strike in May but have grown into more widespread general unrest against the Oaxaca state government. Protesters have threatened to close the airport and block regional highways, and the US State Department recently issued an advisory regarding travel to Oaxaca. We are unable at this time to predict whether or how the conflict will be resolved, or how the ongoing demonstrations may affect our operations.
What exactly is the deal with the death of Arcadio Hernandez? Who were the “rival political groups”? The image captions say he was shot.
Another night or “Red Alert”, the blogs are teeming with calls for solidarity and the impending “War” on the people of Oaxaca. Both the Air Force and Marines are said to be coming with “Heavy Weaponry”. The OSAG/Davies/Saltzman folks continue to push the issue of the “kidnapped” protesters - the number seems to be two. I think they found one guy in some prison somewhere where he is being charged with carrying explosives. Not surprising considering one of the new tools of choice for the barricade people is the Handheld Bottle Rocket Launcher XL.
Two more abductions were reported, one of a law student and activist from the Benito Juarez Autonomous University, Pedro Garcia, also a member of the Revolutionary Front, who was walking on Sunday with a woman friend toward the university when he was snatched by occupants of a van. On October 3 he was located in the prison at Tlacolula, charged falsely with carrying explosives. It seems the police or thugs have reinitiated the use torture.
Torture? Where did that come from? Police or thugs? I’d have to admit that the folks there at OSAG are pretty effective at pushing the message out to the blogosphere, but what are the real facts? Where are they getting this info?
Tangible losses due to the political turmoil - “Estimates claim such losses to be in excess of $7 billion.” I heard in the news yesterday that remittances have overtaken oil as the major source of Mexican foreign exchange.
Even more frightening a prospect than the tangible losses stands the belief that if one considers the Mexican government’s current attitude in addressing social unrest, which allows that these issues must die a natural death, Lopez Obrador has proven that any anarchist or terrorist group could operate with relative impunity on Mexican soil.
One fact is obvious: the monetary backing required to fund such a movement in a country as powerful as Mexico could not be gathered through neighborhood cake sales, and it certainly did not come from the poor, whom he claims to champion and, coincidentally, whom he lured, only to be left without bus money for the ride home.
Here’s an interesting conversation.
I was warned last night by my wife that we should expect some news today about guerillas. She was already convinced that these would be “fake” guerillas. Mark updates the guerilla situation. It would be cool if the fake guerillas had a run-in with real guerillas - I’d like to see the infowar that results from that.
The web is simply ablaze the last few days with calls for “solidarity” and that “war” is about to start in Oaxaca. Besides a few MSM articles, there is hardly any straight reporting. If I were to put a percentage on it, the majority of the activity is generated by a few on the left/anarchy fringe and the rest of the sheep-like liberals simply republish the material - kinda like I’m about to do, Ha. Much like a really good Grateful Dead tape, the next copy is going to start to suck. Check out this rant:
The elite of the richest countries are reaping huge profits from dangerous climate change while placing the burden on the most economically disadvantaged, rolling the dice with our life support systems in pursuit of higher profits. The eight richest countries in the world, the G8, plus five developing countries are meeting in Mexico City this week to agree to invest trillions to prop up the fossil fuel economy and to promote carbon trading, which we already know doesn’t work and will just shift the burden further to the Global South. Local activist groups with international participation are poised to resist the G8+5 meeting.
At the same time, President of Mexico Vincente Fox is preparing to send his stormtroopers to attack the Popular Assemblies of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), who have been occupying parts of Oaxaca City for over four months to demand the ouster of governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz - a corrupt frontman for corporate globalization - and the release of political prisoners.
Corporate-driven, neoliberal climate change. Corporate-driven, neoliberal suppression of resistance movements for democracy and local control. Different problem. Same enemy.
Funny thing, in all my trolling for related news, this is the first mention I recall in a Swiss outlet. I guess when banks get bombed, the Swiss get interested.
10/2/06 - OK, here’s my take of the day. In the short term, Mexico will either reform or face another undemocratic change in government. There are signs of hope after a really divisive election. Mexico, and Mexicans, need a strong leader that won’t screw them. I think Almond and Verba said it best:
Before the revolution, Mexican government and politics were essentially alien, extractive, and exploitative structures resting uneasily on a society essentially made up of kinsmen, villagers, and ethnic and status groups.
When was that revolution? I don’t think a whole lot of progress has been made. Where do drug cartels fit into their model? That’s worth a think.
AP is running some interesting pictures. Just a few days ago the ones being tied up were criminals, now they are “supporters”. I’m guessing the locals are simply getting fed up - “after they were attacked and tied to a light post by an unidentified group of people opposed to the strike in Oaxaca”. These guys don’t look like teachers or students. But check this - they are rescued by a guy with a homemade rocket launcher!
Three supporters of the teachers strike are untied after being attacked by a group against the strike in Oaxaca, Mexico, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2006. Leftist protesters have been camped out in Oaxaca since May, building barricades, burning buses and clashing with local police and opponents of their movement. The protest movement began with a teachers strike but has evolved into a broader movement of leftist sympathizers demanding the resignation of Oaxaca state Gov. Ulises Ruiz. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
A man shoots a homemade rocket during a fight to rescue three fellow supporters of the teachers strike that has paralyzed the state of Oaxaca during the last 4 months, after they were attacked and tied to a light post by an unidentified group of people opposed to the strike in Oaxaca, Mexico on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2006. At least three people were injured during the incident. The teachers strike began when teachers demanded better salaries but violence has escalated and teachers now want the resignation of the state governor. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
CNN reports that a bank was attacked with explosives, also the first MSM mention of the headless dairyman. Somehow I just couldn’t accept my local bank being blown up as “normal” protest activity. Also, this - “Late Sunday, nearby residents and authorities clashed with protesters who had seized a tractor-trailer and were unloading its cargo.” Sounds like the LA Riots to me.
APPO’s first homicide (we won’t mention the killing of the tourist industry or the death of law and order) was the result of roadblock incompetency. Will they accept responsibility like they expect from those they wish to oust? Guess not, since they didn’t even hang around to greet the widow. Never expect a leftist to take personal responsibility for anything. I expect that they will attempt to blame someone for this.
Been scanning the news this morning and realize that the beheaded dairyman is a story not getting much play. All the lefty sites have been harping about “war” being imminent in Oaxaca and how awful it is that there are helicopters flying around. Check out this headline, “Mexican Air Force against Oaxaca Teachers“. No doubt about it, the war is over for the headless dairyman and just beginning for his family.
10/1/06 - The choppers and appearance of military sure have some people worked up. Funny how some are celebrating the imminent restoration of order, while others see the end of the world. One “group” I’ve been following is the Oaxaca Study Action Group. This is clearly an agenda driven group of folks - the leaders seem to be ex-pats in Oaxaca - and they are quite prevalent in the leftist media with “articles/reports”. Seems recently they were kicked out of their regular meeting spot due to fear that their activities might cause trouble. This type of activism by foreigners is clearly forbidden, let alone in an organized group. Imagine if this were a right-wing type group? These people seem to be pushing their luck.
9/30/06 - El Gabo Gringo puts the Mexican situation into perspective and points to four basic solutions: End the state monopolies, desocialize agriculture, simplify tax and labor laws, decentralize and improve the education system.
Intrepid, adventurous travelers will likely have little difficulty, or not encounter any difficulties/disruptions that they can’t or won’t want to overcome. Other travelers, however – the majority of travelers, I think – travelers who expect to find in Oaxaca the same destination described in travelogues, magazine articles, travel guides or tour brochures – and who are uncomfortable being confronted with civil unrest, threats of violence and general uncertainty – will, I believe, want to head elsewhere until the conflict cools-down.
9/29/06 - “If your going to have a revolution, then just do it. Sitting around for 6 months while still getting your salary just isn’t revolutionary enough for me. Maybe it will all be over by the end of the weekend. “Mark echoes my thoughts.
I’m really impressed that one of the top news stories about Oaxaca today is about how hard it is for some specialty Mexican restaurants in LA to get Oaxacan ingredients. Oregano and cheese seem to feature prominently. Oddly enough, the other story getting passed around is about the rise of legal highs. Seems they have some “magic mint” that is on the brink of illegality. No wonder it took so long to get some kind of movement off the ground.
9/28/06 - Here’s the gist of what’s happening: 1) the movement is crumbling, 2) the movement has been taken over by radicals, 3) government intervention is possible, 4) tourism industry is dead, 5) locals are pissed off about the ongoing chaos, and 5) the city is shutdown.
Discussion at Daily Kos about the possibility of government forces coming in.
9/27/06 - I just read an great account about the Mexican elections and Oaxaca by Vince Gawronski - “The July 2006 Mexico Elections: Observations of a Renegade Researcher”. This could be one of the best pieces of analysis I’ve read about Mexico and the Oaxaca situation. He is both a first-hand observer and academic - wow!
He confirms the worsening political culture in Mexico:
Mexicans have become so disillusioned with politics and so inured to lies and corruption that many are now politically apathetic. Many also believe the political class to be self-serving, distant, and unresponsive to their needs and demands.
And sums up its problems:
…with approximately half of all Mexicans living below the poverty line and more than 25 percent of Mexicans living on less than two dollars a day (Human Development Report 2005).
Moreover, continuing high-level corruption and escalating drug-related violence created a pervasive climate of insecurity.
Oaxaca seems to be the bottom of the barrel - poorest of the poor, most corrupt of the corrupt.
Interesting how he noted the beginning of the loss of support:
Oaxacans sympathetic to the teachers started to lose patience. One taxicab driver put it this way: “I’m barely getting by. There are no tourists. I’m a Oaxacan and they won’t let me pass through the downtown area. Who are they to tell me where I can and cannot go? Where are the authorities?” The strike was becoming counterproductive. After all, many people who had nothing to do with the teachers’ plight or the police repression were suffering economically because of the strike. What most galled the average shopkeeper, employee, or waiter was that the teachers continued to receive their pay, however meager, while they were striking.
Finally, he tells of the cancellation of the Guelaguetza - Oaxaca’s largest annual tourism event.
Mark continues to report that support for the APPO strike is on the
wane. He sees grafitti calling for Fox to come and fix things! With the “APPO
thugs” hiding out, the state-wide work stoppage scheduled for tomorrow and
Friday “to avoid risks to workers, merchants and businesspersons” sounds like
the perfect time to move in and clean-up the
9/26/06 - ***Canada Upgrades Oaxaca Travel Warning***
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada has upgraded its Travel Warning for travel to Oaxaca. The previous warning advised against “non-essential” travel, it now reads “all travel”. Likely this is in response to the escalation of violence, specifically the hotel shooting over the weekend.
Protests and subsequent civil unrest in general have affected local security and resulted in vandalism and violence, gunfire in front of one of the city’s main hotels, armed assaults, arson attacks, and one reported fatality. The situation remains tense. Groups of protestors are gathered in the city’s main square (Zócalo) and their presence has resulted in frequent blockades, occupation or closures of government buildings, including the State tourism office and police stations, businesses, and several roadblocks throughout the city. Local transport is operating intermittently. Protests in surrounding areas have also resulted in either blockades or the interruption of traffic flow of local highways and the Oaxaca airport. Canadians have reported experiencing difficulties in obtaining assistance from local authorities in emergency situations.
Dane Schiller asks, “Could things in Oaxaca be coming to a head?” He suggests two possible outcomes, 1) Federal troops come in and forcefully end the demonstrations, or 2) the leaders of the “movement” find a face-saving excuse to withdraw. I would add one more. The status quo of anarchy could just continue. Dane also mentioned in his article yesterday about the hotel incident that the mob entering the hotel could have been “disguised state police officers trying to make activists look dangerous.”
Blue Crab Boulevard suggests Hugo “The Thug” Chavez is behind much of the leftist action in Mexico. I would have to agree that Chavez and friends would gladly foment revolution wherever they could.
APPO declares a Red Alert (Se declara la APPO en alerta roja)
REUTERS/Stringer/mexico. Two suspected thieves are tied to a lamp post after being caught by members of the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO in its Spanish initials), who said they had stolen a cell phone and money from an old lady, in Oaxaca September 25, 2006. Members of the APPO and striking teachers have been detaining petty criminals and dispensing summary justice while they have been in control of Oaxaca’s city centre for weeks as part of their effort to oust the governor. The sign reads “Here are thieves, hit them”.
REUTERS/Str. One of two suspected thieves shouts after being caught and tied to a lamp post by members of the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO in its Spanish initials), who said they had stolen a mobile phone and money from an old lady, in Oaxaca, Mexico, September 25, 2006. Members of the APPO and striking teachers have been detaining petty criminals and dispensing summary justice. They have been in control of Oaxaca’s city centre for weeks as part of their effort to oust the governor.
Now, if you going to go someplace to do “research”, it sure is worth it to get someone else to pay. The Fulbright program seems to be the E-ticket. I should have studied harder.
In Oaxaca City, Mexico, where Phillips will study public administration and policy, Phillips said she has already met important heads from various U.S. and Mexican governments and nonprofit agencies. She said she went to a networking cocktail party at the U.S. ambassador’s house.
Phillips will have to deal with some difficulty because political demonstrations have left many parts of the city closed. Phillips said the political situation where she will be living is making her work difficult, if not impossible.
Phillips said. “No one really knows when things might improve, so for now I continue to do networking.”
9/25/06 - Today’s news is both disturbing and not too surprising. What’s really surprising is the contrast between how this sounds in the news and the complete lack of information I get from my wife who is actually in Oaxaca. I’ve contacted the university to get their official policy on programs they run in countries with unstable environments. It will be interesting to see what they say. According to any Mexico news I read, it really doesn’t seem that great of a place to be right now. One article I read about Oaxaca mentioned how crime is just rampant due to the lack of police - they are practicing some sort of frontier justice. It was mentioned that they were on the “honor” system. One thief that was caught by some drivers had his hands burned. Nice.
The US travel advisory regarding Oaxaca has been extended to October 30, 2006. No surprise there either. I following is the response I received from one of the Professors here in charge of the Oaxaca program. This was in reply to my question regarding updates which I was to be copied on - hadn’t heard anything in weeks - and who was providing information in regards to the safety and security situation there. Remember, this is after reports of gunfire downtown:
12:55 pm (47 minutes ago)
Xxxxx (The local university head of program) also sends information from time to time, and the students formulate a weekly update. But yes, Xxxxx (wife) is the primary source of the information we have. Be assured that I’ll forward to you any information I receive from Xxxxx that is relevant to the issue of safety there.
My wife doesn’t bother with “the news” when she is here, let alone abroad “working”. Why would the local guy who probably gets pretty good revenue from foreign students report bad news? Why would local profs want to ruin a regular trip to the area of their “research” interest? According to my brief look, the semester abroad in Oaxaca is going to cost at least around $8000, or more if your “out of state”. At that rate, even a dozen students is pretty lucrative. Especially if your shipping them to Third World countries.
9/23/06 - Andres questions the long-term benefit of the “movement”.
9/22/06 - Things in Mexico are not good. Is it a case of constant anarchy there? Where is the law and order?
An interesting opinion piece highlights many of the problems in Mexico. Question: Why not stand up and do something to better yourself and your country? Striking for better handouts from a corrupt government is just silly. What makes them think that Obrador will be anything but another crazed thug like Hugo Chavez?
Things continue to spiral down in Mexico. More US warning not to travel, violence, anarchy, etc. Why would anyone want to go there to learn Spanish? Why not Costa Rica or Spain? Putting students and faculty in jeapardy surely doesn’t seem worth it. My wife is out of Oaxaca city for the next few days due to concerns that “something is going to happen”. I’m pretty mad about the whole thing, especially after the initial contacts with university officials that were first rude, then patronizing. Since then, I have not heard a thing. Maybe if the local press were investigating this human interest story I could get more frequent updates on the situation there.
9/19/2006 - Today’s news that our Senate will finally consider The Secure Fence Act may be good news to some, but I predict a surge in attempted border crossings as fears of a wall become reality. This will really put the hurt on what is already a country hitting the wall. Imagine if all those people dying to get out find they have no escape. The Mexican government might actually have to do something.
9/8/2006 - The recent election battle is clearly not over, nor is the chaos known as “Mexico”. I don’t care what anyone says, if someone declared an “alternative government” and there are loads of people wanting to go with him, then there’s trouble ahead. Fact is, Oaxaca is already not under government control. Control, HA, that’s a laugh. Who is in control? When human heads roll on disco floors, it indicates to me that things are pretty screwed up. Maybe I’m overreacting.
9/3/2006 - With the dust settling down across the border, it’s time to give our Mexican policy a think. John’s got some interesting thoughts about our neighbors. “It is also imperative that American leaders “connect the dots” between the anarchy now crippling Mexico and the millions of illegal aliens who marched in the streets of America last April and May to protest the rule of law in this sovereign nation.”
9/2/2006 - An article by Joaquin Cienfuegos is going around:
At the same time oppressed people in the u.s. are being killed, repressed, raped, exploited, and imprisoned. Black, Brown, Indigenous, Asian, and all people of color, young, working class, homeless, undocumented, unemployed, women, queer, transgender people living in the richest country in the world suffer from third world conditions. Especially us in the South West region who suffer from colonialism and neo-colonialism (as do people in the South, and other regions of the us), because we are living on stolen land and our communities are being occupied by the police departments, the courts, the prison industrial complex, an the entire police state. The struggle in Mexico is similar to our struggle, and it is our revolution. We have a responsibility to do our part, to organize in our communities, build autonomy, self-determination, self-organization and the self-defense of our neighborhoods, our people, and ourselves. We have a responsibility to bring down u.s. imperialism. Oppressed and colonized people all around the world have a common enemy, the white supremacist-patriarchal-and imperialist system and those who maintain it.
That is simply hilarious. What’s even more hilarious, loads of lefty blogs and sites are reprinting this winning “content”.
These people are serious, and I suspect they will be getting plenty of funding from Venezuela, if they’re not already. How do they afford to eat while protesting for months on end? Despite its relatively good economy, Mexico is a failed state, and we are looking at outright civil war in our own backyard. Don’t forget that Lebanon had two good tourist summers too. All it takes is a disruptive minority to ruin it for everyone.
I’ve got to agree with that, and though Chavez has been mentioned, this is the first suggestion of him funding resistance movements in Oaxaca. I’m more interested in his buddying up with Fidel at his deathbed. Like one of those weasely sycophantic relatives that comes out of the woodwork when you find out you have cancer. I would love to know more about the logistics of the action in Oaxaca. Who is supporting this? It would be too much to think that “the people” are voluntarily deliverying food. What about basic sanitation? What exactly is the damage to the World Heritage site? There have been rumors from the left about theft of antiquities.
9/1/2006 - PM It would suck to be Fox right now.
What happened? Rained out? I kinda wondered what effect a good lashing of rain would have on all the anarchists.
AM - This is pretty funny, but I’d take it a step further. AMLO should be a man and admit defeat for the good of Mexico. “I agree with the APPO on one point: Ulises needs to resign. Not because he violated anyone’s rights as the Chomskyites would suggest, but because he’s a fucking pussy.”
Mark says “Most of the teachers who started this whole thing have moved out and they have been partially replaced by the anarchists.” He goes on to describe a city seemingly out of control. On the other hand, the wife reports “oh, everyone is going to the march, sort of like one of those anti-iraq protests”. Cripes.
Zapatistas in the US? Yup, it’s true, the roots of radical left Mexicanists are taking shape here. Now, I’m all for people forming groups and stuff, but this is just silly. Let take a look at their complaints/demands. Aside from “gentrification” (they are getting priced out of their neighborhoods, AKA they have less of a competitive advantage than their neighbors, whine whine whine), here are their 8, very serious, issues:
- the sexual harassment of waitresses
- mistreatment in the hospitals
- bad service at the Mexican Consulate
- police abuse
- jobs paying less than the state minimum wage ($6.75 per hour)
- the high cost of public transportation
- the proposed immigration laws
- the high cost of sending money back home ($4-5 for a $100 remittance) and poor service.
Report on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in
Mexico, here, and here.
- Lack of insurance or method of payment always makes service providers touchy.
- What do you expect? These are the “cream” of the Mexican crop. Ha!
- I’m guessing there are a few hispanic types which commit many crimes in their neighborhood. Plus, don’t forget the baggage of Latin American political culture in general. Who trusts a cop? Police are only seen as abusers.
- Illegal aliens have no recourse, but at least they don’t have to pay taxes. Get legal with papers and they can’t screw you.
- What?! What do you want? Free? Get a frickin bike, good for exercise too.
- If you can’t find a way to send it more cheaply, then shut up. If you let the Mexican govt. get a cut, your stupid. Poor service? Write consumerist.com with your story.
This picture from Reuters, taken Aug 30. To say that I’m suspicious is an understatement.
****AUSTRALIA ISSUES TRAVEL ADVISORY****
This list of those warning against travel to Oaxaca continues to grow. Remember, this is in addition to the warnings of going to Mexico in general.
A picture of a small business with a White Flag really caught my attention this morning. Who is getting really getting hurt, who stands to benefit, and who is really looking out for the poor in Oaxaca? It’s clear that businesses owned by individuals and employing locals are really suffering. These mostly cater to the crippled tourist economy on which Oaxaca depends. HELLO! This is pure economic development - small business, local employment, exporting a product, and bringing in outside money. It kills me to see that flag of surrender to the anarchists which now rule the city.
There is no denying the fact that there are those now suffering economic hardship due to this ongoing disruption of trade and commerce. Now the really poor are being denied medical treatment. Los Quijotes, a group of about 50 San Antonio doctors, dentists, nurses and others in health care would have made their 18th trip there. They normally setup a full-service clinic which serves up to 500 people a day during their temporary mission. If your poor and have a toothache, try going to the APPO for relief.
8/30/2006 PM ****CANADA ISSUES TRAVEL WARNING***
Indeed, if there is any threat to democracy in Mexico, it is Lopez Obrador and his sense of entitlement. The vast majority of Mexicans, including many of those who voted for him, find his antics tiresome.
8/30/2006 AM I guess Oaxaca - Watch is making some impact in getting the truth out. I’m getting my links pulled from a variety of very biased sites. The real truth is, they are simply republishing or regurgitating the “party line”. So much for independent analysis and content. Leftists are inherently lazy and easily manipulated like sheep. Something about herds, I think.
In today’s AP news, they again state “As negotiations got under way Tuesday, hundreds of Oaxacan schools, supermarkets, banks, bakeries and restaurants closed their doors in a one-day strike organized by business leaders to protest the ongoing disruption of their daily lives and commerce. Many attached white bows and flags to their shuttered entrances in a plea to end the conflict.” This single fact is the most widely twisted item on the pro-protest sites. They insist that the businesses have closed in “solidarity”. That is what happens to media when people with sticks and machetes take over the station.
8/29/2006 The deeply entrenched issues in Mexican politics and economy bear watching. The latest news regarding increased remittances from abroad should serve as a dire warning for Mexican economists.
Jesus Cervantes, the Bank of Mexico’s director of economic measurement, said remittances will rise from $20.6 billion in 2005. The 2006 estimate is more than six times the $3.7 billion in remittances in 1995.
“We’re going to live with these increases for the next few years because for many Mexicans it’s very attractive to emigrate to the U.S.,'’
This option seems to be on the decline and it might be wise for one of the world’s largest panhandlers to find another option as they watch their many grabbing hands cut off over time. Their entire economy is predicated on the continued inflow of US Dollars.
The inflow of billions of dollars from Mexicans living abroad has helped keep the Mexican peso strong against the dollar and has driven consumption growth, said Alonso Cervera, an economist at Credit Suisse in New York.
Private demand rose 6.4 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, the highest growth rate since the fourth quarter of 2000, in part because money received from abroad is used immediately to buy food, clothing and other basic needs
“That money is not saved,'’ Cervera said. “That money is being spent and it’s one variable that has explained the pace of growth of private consumption.'’
The Mexican government has encouraged competition among financial companies that provide services for sending money home, which has caused costs to drop by about a third, Cervantes said. In 1999, Mexicans paid an average of $28.50 to send home $300. The cost is now an average of $10 and will continue to drop as more Mexicans open bank accounts on both sides of the border, Cervantes said.
Well there’s a cause for rebellion. The whole thing is just a house of cards. A simple matter like Border Enforcement would send their system into turmoil. At the same time, it seems the Mexican Govt has been ’skimming’ from the remittance system. Bastards. $28.50 on $300 dollars is almost a 10% fee to transfer money. I remember once we had to pay a similar “toll” on our way to Ensenada for the weekend. The “police officer” was kind enough to let us pay it ‘on the spot’. Gee, I wonder who profits from these transactions?
The story gets worse. They actually suggest all money transfers should go into a “Mexican Development Account”, run by the government! Probability: Hahahaha (this probability gag is stolen from a real loon, you know who I’m talking about.)
Distrust of banks is widespread in Mexico; most people don’t have accounts. Last year, the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of Mexico launched a system offering low-cost transfers if the recipient opened a bank account.
So far, the service has enlisted only thousands out of potentially millions of users.
A 2004 study by Inter-American Dialogue, a think tank, began simply, “A strong case can be made that remittances are now Latin America’s most important resource.”
“The U.S. has become addicted to cheap Mexican labor, and Mexico has become addicted to the remittance,”
For a supposedly Macho culture, this is the economic equivalent of wearing a skirt.
Unrelated, but cool. American Tequila. Bwahhhhhhaaahahahahah.
8/28/2006 I’m getting daily updates from my family and all is well. This is actually both their second trip in Oaxaca for a semester, so there is little adjustment needed. There is also a semi-official weekly report which I’m getting copied on.
“All the students arrived without incident. There was one plane delay and one misplaced piece of luggage. But this always happens. The airport is running entirely as it always has.”
Upon meeting host families “…all students reported a wonderful meal”.
“The city has assumed a predictable if altered pattern. All is normal during the day, except that due to the lack of tourists many hotels have closed. The result is a considerable economic problem for employees. At dusk the encampment of the teachers located in the Zocolo is reenforced with informal street closings, as is an area around a commercial radio station occupied by the demonstrators and which the government would like to close down. No pedestrians or tourists are challenged at these blockades and they are manned by a cross section of teachers who are happy to chat. The walls of the city are nearly all covered with signs to the effect of “Ulises fuera!”, a reference to the much disliked governor how is hiding in Mexico City. The chamber of businesses is calling for negotiations between the strikers and their supporters (APPO) and the government, and the Attorney General at the federal level has made such an offer, one which would involve Bishop Samuel Ruiz, retired from the Chiapas archdioses as well as others. APPO has agreed to a dialogue, which they distinguish from “negotiations,” but essentially are willing to talk first about when and how the governmor will leave office. The business community also announced that they were going broke, couldn’t pay their taxes, and called for a business close down for tomorrow, Tues, to demonstrate their concern. They didn’t condemn either side, but want a solution. At this stage things seem to have moved into a discussion phase and the government has stopped challenging the demonstrators directly. I continue to think that the situation is safe for students who take reasonable precautions, and we have instructed them exactly how to do so: leave the central city before dark; don’t participate in parades or demonstrations.”
8/27/2006 10am - For those that follow this blog, you know I have a tendancy to go “off topic”. I hope you’ll bear with me while I study this situation. This could make a nice addendum to the local news stories of students returning to class - that dusty meme comes up this time every year - what an easy story. I’ve yet to ping my news contacts, but as things develop, that would be the next step. Somehow I doubt they will try to steal my content. I’m stickying this post for now, but hopefully if things settle down, I’ll get back to the usual stuff.
8/26/2006 7am Alright, having a night to study the situation and do some cursory historical background, I pronounce that this sitiation is officially screwed up. I do not believe that Mexico’s solution lies with either side in this debate. The institutional problems resulting from years of corruption and a political culture that clearly distrusts the govt add up to a no-win situation. Basically, idiots on all sides. I can relate to the “people’s” frustration, but if these socialist-type “revolutionaries” think they have a better system, they better think twice. I wonder what outside forces might be watching or manipulating this event?
How about those outsiders that selfishly demand that the “quaint” indigenous retain their culture and life in a “sustainable” way? Blah, the whole notion makes me ill. There is absolutely no reason why Mexico cannot be a successful and prosperous country. They have natural resources (OIL!, among others), access to two oceans, a huge potential trading partner (the frickin US is next door!), and a population that has proven they are willing to die in order to find work. Is it something cultural? WTF?
I invite all the so-called Mexico experts, especially the “academic” ones to chime in. I have yet to see a successfull development model implemented in reality from those that sit atop the ivory towers. I think it is much more interesting for them to have a cool, “native” type place to “study abroad” or heck, even take a sabbatical. Gee, are those bug-eating locals just so endearing? Let’s make this “sustainable” so that they will be able to eat bugs for all eternity. Much like the CIA, these academic ‘brainiacs’ are meddling by supporting, of course, the teachers.
In sum, the Govt wants to keep power and stay rich, the academics want a place to bring their students and have cool sabbatical with natives, rich white people want a quaint and cheap place to retire with maid service, travelers want cheap and quaint with ruins nearby with beer, locals want a better life. Am I missing something here?
This Public Announcement supersedes the Public Announcement dated August 24, which alerts U.S. citizens to the mounting violence and disorder in Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, Mexico. U.S. citizens should at this time avoid travel to Oaxaca City due to this increase in violence, which has resulted in at least nine deaths over the past several months. This Public Announcement expires on November 15, 2006.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE - PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT 9/15/2006 (Full Text, U.S. Ambassador Issues Advisory Message To Americans Regarding Increased Violence In Mexico) Update 10/28/06 - This Announcement Extended to March 15th, 2007
Dept Foreign Affairs and Trade Australia 8/31/2006 - Travel Advisory Updated November 20, 2006.
This Public Announcement alerts U.S. citizens to ongoing demonstrations in Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, Mexico. Teachers, students, and other groups have engaged in increasingly violent demonstrations in and around Oaxaca City for several months. U.S. citizens traveling to Oaxaca City should consider carefully the risk of travel at this time due to the recent increase in violence there. This Public Announcement expires on September 24, 2006.
APPO (translate)is blogging on Wordpress. How 2.0 of them.
Página Oficial de La Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca
Sites Talking about Oaxaca - Google Blog Search, Technorati, Daily Kos, Free Republic, Mark in Mexico, Dispatches from Mexico, The Laughing Nomad, Oaxaca Study Action Group, Oaxaca Opina (translate), Mexico Today, Life in Oaxaca, Words and Rocks, Witness for Peace Mexico, Oaxaca Revolt, Sur real Oaxaca,
Aug 8 “Contrary to reports, there have been no problems I’m aware of involving tourists. We have some tourists now but a high percentage seem to be college students.”
Aug 10 “Carnival atmosphere”? Yes, another bus was torched in the city. Unless someone has an extraordinary reason to be in Oaxaca, now is probably a good time to avoid the place. Postpone trips until maybe next year, unless the situation, miraculously, resolves itself before then.
Aug 11 “Oaxaca is a beautiful and amazing place, but it’s far from being at its best right now, in my opinion.”
Aug 18 “There have been some reports, infrequent, of tourists being robbed as they leave ATM machines - robbed by demonstrators.”
Aug 21 “Disruptions for tourists in Oaxaca continued these past couple/several days. Getting in and out of the city by bus has been difficult - because of blockades. There was some shooting and violence in the center of the city this early a.m., and a massive protest march is planned for the next couple of days that may prevent tourists from enjoying their visit.”
Aug 25 “The U.S. Department of State has now issued a strongly-worded warning to persons considering a visit to the city of Oaxaca. This is the third warning issued in less than a month - the first two having been issued by the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. These warnings supercede any personal opinions expressed by staff at the U.S. Consulate in Oaxaca.”
Flickr - markinmexico’s photos, mexicosolidarity, oaxacaopina, puntoyaparteoaxaca, Tourist car burned, White Flag, An Official APPO Taxi, Teachers Encampment September 26th, Teachers Encampment September 27th, Teachers Encampment and Blockade near the Zocalo, Oaxaca: A Shell of Itself, Back door of Oaxaca hotel, Killers,
Mexico Opposition Leader Accuses Govt of Oaxaca Repression (The Cubans are simply geniuses when it comes to “news”)
Activists Accuse Govt of Oppression - I have to say, if this is news, then Canadians are living in an information vacuum. Must be the Arctic wind or something.
APPO supporters endure torture - Almost as bad as the pain of reading the “news” from Gibler.
Americans hear a note of
Telemundo apologizes for airing Mexican president’s offhand comments - The Fox is already gone.
OAXACA CITY - The Oaxaca teachers union suspended an assembly on Saturday and criticized allied protesters for “generating a tense environment.”
A visibly upset Enrique Rueda Pacheco, the teachers union leader, told reporters the assembly was canceled after Radio Universidad, controlled by the Oaxaca People´s Assembly (APPO), began summoning people to the assembly and using inflammatory language.
Protesters Overrun Mexican University - How come only the police can be “occupiers” while throngs of leftist fortifying themselves aren’t?
Masked men armed with bats and gasoline bombs patrolled the university’s gates Saturday, while the student radio station blared pleas to fight police. The lawns were filled with barbed wire and booby traps.
11/3/06 - Ever seen that movie Animal
Protesters clash with PFP - Gibler is nuts if he’s calling the groups seen in the many photos “a small crowd of university students and local residents with nothing in their hands.”
2 held in relation to Will´s murder - It’s only “murder” in the headline
Photographer David Jaramillo of the Mexican daily El Universal was hit in the arm by a large bottle rocket loaded with nails, and was hospitalized in stable condition, the statement said. Another two photographers suffered minor injuries after being hit by stones or nails packed in the rockets, which are about an inch in diameter and six inches long.
Violent Clashes in Oaxaca - What would Gandhi say about this?
“Today I witnessed violent street battles between federal police and students at the local university. The police came in an apparent attempt to remove the protesters from the university, where the protesters control the local radio station, Radio Universidad. The police used water canons and tear gas. The protesters threw big rocks and molotov cocktails. I saw several people seriously injured, at least one of them a photo journalist for the Mexican daily El Universal. A home-made bomb went off near us. It was filled with large metal nails. The photog mentioned above stood right near me when a cluster of nails gorged deep into his right side. THe police took him away in a helicopter.
Oaxaca residents build altars to honor victims - my daughter built an altar for my grandfather, he was in Ensenada once.
Oaxaca protesters honor their dead - Day of the Dead…
11/1/06 - All the News, that’s not really news
10/31/06 - The Beachhead
Oaxacans Opposed to APPO Leftists March in Support of Sunday’s Federal Police Intervention (Trans.) (from StJacques, nice spot)
10/30/06 - The Occupation Begins
Strike-weary residents took to the streets Monday to thank federal police for intervening in violent demonstrations that had held their city hostage for months, but the demonstrators said they would take back the city center in their push for the governor’s resignation.
The United States gave Mexico a vote of confidence Monday for its handling of labor violence in the south-central Mexico city of Oaxaca where an American journalist-activist and two other people were killed by gunfire. Americans were warned against travel to the formerly popular tourist destination.
Mexican stocks fell sharply and the peso currency also lost ground on Monday morning after federal police seized the colonial city of Oaxaca to end months of protests, raising fears of further violence.
U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza said Oaxaca police may have shot Will. Mayor Manuel Martinez Feria of Santa Lucia del Camino said five men seen brandishing pistols at the time of the shooting had been turned over to authorities. He identified them as two members of Santa Lucia’s city council, two of that town’s police officers and a former justice of the peace from another town.
The buses, covered with communist and anarchist graffiti, were eventually towed away while the remaining protesters peered down at the ranks of police from the patio of the nearby Ban co de México building. Families and Sunday strollers stopped to watch, curiously observing the spectacle, while street vendors continued to sell from their stalls just steps away from both sides.
Groups of people were standing on each street corner, listening to the radio and informing each other of happenings elsewhere. Surprisingly, most of those standing outside weren’t movement people. I saw a few Oaxacan friends that I know are non-political and are not involved whatsoever. There just seemed to be a general concern about what was happening. There were no pro-PFP sentiments or negative feelings towards the movement, as far as I could see.”
10/29/06 - The Siege of Oaxaca
Mexican Police Storm Embattled Oaxaca - Junkies or Diabetics?
Protesters could be seen readying Molotov cocktails and other homemade bombs, but had yet to use them against police, who fired tear gas canisters. The area filled with black smoke from burning cars. Some protesters used syringes to pierce their arms and legs, then paint signs decrying the police in blood.
Denial of Service Attack on Mexican Consulates - Angry White Kid is linking to this:
*** http://www.mountainrebel.net/oaxaca/ ***
I think just going to the site contributes to the attack.
Oaxaca Burns: PFP invasion right nowWhen the fight starts, it will be at Juarez University- Why is it always those pesky college kids?
The “students” have set up barricades up and down the boulevard, blocking both north and southbound traffic. About every 50 meters or so the road is blocked with vehicles, tires, stacks of firewood or boulders. They began setting fire to the tires about 30 minutes ago. The federales have a helicopter in the air circling above the university, planning their approach.
I hear gunfire or maybe rockets from the university. I gotta go.
Federales seal off city, moving in meter-by-meter - This is just great stuff!
They are moving very slowly, meter by meter, to allow the APPO personnel time to think carefully about what is about to happen and to abandon their barricades. So far, so good. The APPO insurrectionists have abandoned their barricades in a wholesale manner. Reports are that, as the APPistas flee, neighborhood residents are flocking into the streets to tear down the barricades before the federales arrive on the scene. Cool!
Reports from downtown are that only about 10 people remain in the city’s center. They have abandoned their encampment, leaving behind their tarpaulins, tents, sleeping and cooking gear. Downtown restaurants have begun reopening in anticipation of some hungry federales when they get there.
Mexican Federal Police Using Armored Cars to Advance Against APPO Leftists in Oaxaca (Translation) Yikes, with pics and all. Nice job StJacques.
Thus begins the reporting of the first confrontations with the Federal Preventive Police, which is advancing in two compact columns protected by their shields. In the first line the police are not armed, but the antiriot units who are going just behind them do have large weapons to shoot tear gas.
The situation has become chaotic and the inhabitants have ignored the repeated call made by APPO not to put up resistance.
By late evening Saturday, members of APPO were reportedly vacating government buildings they have occupied for months. There were reports that the state attorney general´s office had been cleared. This office was the site of a shoot-out on Friday where 12 people were wounded.
Many barricades in the city center were also removed, but the main streets and highways into the city remained blockaded.
In nearby Santa María Coyotepec, relatives of Esteban Zurita López - one of the three men killed in Friday´s violence - blamed the APPO and the teachers union for Zurita´s death.
Zurita was allegedly shot by an APPO supporter as he and other community leaders were trying to convince the protesters not to set up new barricades in the community.
Four other local residents were badly injured by Molotov cocktails and bottle rockets fired by alleged APPO supporters. One of the local residents is in serious condition, while another lost his right arm.
News Update (thanks StJacques)
Hundreds of police in body amour and a SWAT team armed with assault rifles filled a road entering the town after overrunning a barricade made of smoldering giant tree trunks, apparently abandoned by protesters at the edge of the city.
Oaxaca protesters melt away into night - No fight. “Melt” sounds like retreat after vowing to fight to the death.
The streets were eerily quiet late Saturday after demonstrators who’ve held a grip on this city for months unexpectedly abandoned their encampments and blockades rather than risk a clash with hundreds — or perhaps thousands — of federal police.
Burned-out buses, sandbags and an array of debris — from old tires to tarpaulins — are all that were left of what for months had been fortified positions where demonstrators vowed they’d fight to the death to further their cause.
A Reuters photographer saw police bulldozers at the edge of the city ready to smash through blockades built by protesters from burnt-out vehicles, barbed wire and sand-bags.
“I’m scared of the police coming, but it is time for the teachers to be moved from here,” said Maria Fernandez, 22, who said she no longer walked in the streets with her 4-year-old son at night for fear of being hit by a stray bullet.
Report from Oaxaca: First-Hand Account of the Attack That Killed Brad Will - Now I want to hear the account from the other side.
10/28/06 - American Killed
Teachers vote to end strike in besieged southern Mexican state - Uh, I don’t think so.
With virtually no police in the streets, residents of this colonial town in rebellion are stepping in to fill the void — often with brutal consequences.
People accused of being thieves are tied to light posts and beaten, one home was torched and a man was stabbed to death with an ice pick as five months of protests erode the rule of law in what was once a major Mexican tourist destination.
A long-running political crisis in Oaxaca state could harm Mexico’s roaring stock market if it is not resolved before the new president takes office on Dec. 1, the head of the stock exchange said on Wednesday.
As the stock market hit a new record high, Guillermo Prieto said the market has not yet been affected by the five-month-old dispute but it remains dangerous.
“Carrying this problem over to the next administration will not send a positive signal, not to investors, not to markets,” said Prieto, the stock market’s head.
With Ruiz reiterating his hard line and demonstrators using protester-run radio stations to call for barricades to be reinforced, analysts said violence appeared to be more likely.
Leftists who have taken over private radio stations in Oaxaca broadcast
diatribes on Friday calling teachers’ union leader Enrique Rueda “a traitor” and
a “sellout,” after Rueda said on Thursday that the strikers would return to
work, even though they didn’t achieve their main goal of removing Ruiz from
Rueda said the teachers would return out of sense of loyalty to Oaxaca’s schoolchildren and solidarity with the people of the state. He did not explain the timing of the decision.
PAN Sen. Alejandro Zapata said Ruiz was “incapable of governing, negligent and clumsy.” But he said the branches of government continued to function in the state, albeit irregularly.
Striking teachers in the southern state of Oaxaca on Thursday said they plan to return to their classrooms by month´s end and sought to distance themselves from vigilantism on the part of some of their allies in the effort to force out the state´s governor.
Rueda also said the union was not responsible for recent acts of vigilante violence in Oaxaca city, where several people - after being beaten by people supportive of the Oaxaca People´s Assembly (APPO) - have been tied to posts in the street with signs such as “Take a good look at me. I’m a thief and a rapist.”
Mexico’s Senate ruled Thursday there was no reason to oust Oaxaca’s embattled state governor, eliminating the last formal legal recourse for thousands of protesters who for months have demanded the resignation of Gov. Ulises Ruiz.
Mexico governor under Senate fire - This article is essentially the exact same news as above, but from BBC. Check the difference in headlines.
Oaxaca Conflict Stalemated - Prensa Latina actually mentions the return to work of the teachers. Is it just me or does the tone sound somewhat standoffish, like they are distancing themselved from the movement?
Meanwhile, teachers finally decided to return to classes after five months of conflict at the request of parents and children.
On Saturday, they will define the date of the beginning of the academic year and are slated to delineate on Sunday, along with APPO members, future strategies to achieve the removal of Ruiz.
The social movement will undertake its next actions via legal procedures and determine whether to keep or not the barricades, occupation of state radio stations and the sit-in outside the Senate headquarters.
In the latest violence, a teacher was shot to death late Wednesday in Oaxaca, police said.
Panfilo Hernandez, 48, was walking in the Jardin neighborhood when gunmen traveling in a car opened fire, said a state police official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Hernandez died minutes after arriving at a hospital, the official said.
It wasn’t clear if Hernandez was affiliated with the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca, or APPO, which had led protests in Oaxaca and in Mexico City but Florentino Lopez, a spokesman for the protesters, accused police of being behind the attack.
The soldier identified as Jonathan Rios, assigned to a state army barracks, was detained and questioned before dawn for the shooting, which investigators blame on a drunken argument that had nothing to do with the political dispute that has paralyzed Oaxaca for months.
According to a police report, Rios and three other men were driving away from a bar around 2 a.m. Saturday when they came across one of the roadblocks. After demonstrators refused to let them pass, investigator say, Rios climbed from the car and began shooting.
Alejandro Garcia, 41, was shot in the head and died that afternoon in a hospital, while 19-year-old Marco Antonio Joaquin was treated for a gunshot wound to the shoulder and released.
Protest leaders blamed the shootings on Ruiz’s government and vowed further unrest if Garcia died. But the streets of Oaxaca were quiet Sunday afternoon, even after news of Garcia’s death and the arrest of a soldier spread.
The shooting began after strikers refused to let two apparently drunk men in a vehicle pass across an occupied street, according to the state government.
Protesters commandeered a bus and tried to ram it through the gates of Oaxaca’s state congress, in an apparent bid to show visiting federal senators inside that the rule of law has broken down in this picturesque colonial city.
The demonstrators were unsuccessful in their attempt to ram the bus into congress but did spray paint on the Senate commission’s vehicle as it left, a day after protesters blockaded highways and tried to storm a government security agency, drawing scattered gunfire from police.
The senators from Mexico’s three main political parties will spend several days to determine whether the necessary conditions exist to remove Gov. Ulises Ruiz from office, namely that the state government has ceased to function effectively.
Wednesday’s gunfire occurred when a roving band of strike enforcers known as the “mobile brigade” wearing hoods and carrying clubs and rocks tried to take over the offices of a public safety agency in Oaxaca. They had had seized the same building weeks ago, beating one of the officials they found inside.
This time, however, they were greeted by gunfire from police inside the building. Ministerial Police Director Manuel Moreno Rivas said police fired into the air, and that there were no injuries. Protesters said two of their colleagues were grazed by bullets.
A large crowd gathered outside the building with the police apparently still inside.
Earlier in the day, strikers broadcast appeals over a radio station they seized months ago, calling on protesters to step up disruptive activities to prove to the visiting senators that the rule of law had broken down in Oaxaca.
In apparent response to those appeals, protesters blocked most of the highways leading in and out of Oaxaca, a tactic they hadn’t used in weeks.
Several government offices in Oaxaca had reopened in recent days and protest graffiti was painted over as Ruiz tried to show he was in control.
“They were wiping away our slogans, so we came out to prove that this city is ungovernable right now,” said teacher Ruben Villavicencio, clutching a can of spray paint. Police have not entered the city center since being beaten back when they tried to break the strike in its early days.
The political crisis that for months has besieged one of the nation’s most beautiful colonial cities seemed to be drawing to an end Tuesday after days of negotiations brokered by the federal government.
Leaders of protests trying to bring down a Mexican state governor they say is corrupt tentatively agreed late on Monday to scale back a months-old occupation of the tourist city of Oaxaca.
After thousands of protesters marched for days to get to Mexico City, the government and leaders of a teachers union said they made a deal that could see the protesters cede control of most of downtown Oaxaca to local police under federal supervision.
As part of the tentative agreement, the government agreed to release protesters who were jailed in recent months and steadily raise teachers’ pay in coming years, Rueda said.
In Oaxaca City’s central square, protesting teachers were surprised at the terms of the deal.
“This is bad because what we want most is for Ulises to be removed, not so much the salary raise,” said teacher Benito Santiago.
Protesters from Oaxaca in straw hats and colorful indigenous blouses were joined by sympathizers from the edge of the city, where many Oaxacans have settled in recent years.
Late Saturday night, both the Oaxacan People´s Popular Assembly (APPO) and the local chapter of the teachers union, which have led the protests, rejected a government offer that would have likely increased the teachers salaries, arguing the offer was “unilateral.”
On Thursday, a teacher belonging to a group that opposes the strike was killed by two assailants who stabbed him in the neck with an ice pick. Fellow dissident teachers accused militant leftists and strike supporters of carrying out the killing, after dissident teachers reported receiving death threats.
Calva Aragón had apparently angered strike supporters by teaching students at his home during the work stoppage.
Strike Altercations Continuining - List of deaths and injuries since August 6 2006
The private La Ley radio station, occupied by APPO since Aug. 21, is broadcasting messages urging people not to take their children to class because, they claim, the children will be “at risk” from exposure to unqualified teachers of questionable ethics — a reference to the teachers who have not joined the strike and to the volunteers giving class.
An estimated 10 percent of the 1.3 million public school students in Oaxaca have been able to resume their education in the last two weeks, albeit in an irregular fashion. Only the 150,000 children attending private schools are not experiencing problems.
Striking teachers and their radical sympathizers were meeting Friday to discuss a series of government proposals aimed at ending four months of protests and violence, a day after a teacher who apparently opposed the strikes was slain by ice-pick-wielding assailants.
A group of 60 leftists captured and beat three policemen just outside the city of Oaxaca, officials said Friday, the latest clash in a wave of political violence that has scared tourists away from the historic region.
The protesters had mistakenly believed the officers were going to escort Ruiz on a visit to the village. Ruiz later issued a statement saying he had no plans to visit Zaachila.
The three policeman were punched and kicked and held for more than two hours before they were released, state police said.
Culpa disidencia a líder del SNTE por muerte de maestro (Thank you, StJacques)
Dissidents blame SNTE leader for teacher’s death
The directors of the Central Council of Struggle (CCL) [of the teacher’s union (SNTE)] affirm that days before the homicide Section 22 of the teacher’s union included the murdered educator in a list of presumed enemies of its movement
Jorge Octavio Ochoa/correspondent
Friday 6 October 2006
Teacher Erika Rap Sota, member of the directors of the Central Council of Struggle (CCL), today directly accused the leader of Section 22 of the SNTE, Enrique Rueda Pacheco, of being the intellectual authority behind the homicide of teacher Jaime René Calvo Aragon.
She indicated that days before the homicide, the union delegation of Section 22, at the Technical Secondary School number 1 where the murdered teacher worked, circulated “a black list” of presumed enemies of the APPO and teacher’s movement.
Erika Rap’s own name also appears on that list as do the teachers Raul Villaseñor, Joaquin Echeverria, Humberto Alcala, and Miguel Silva, among others.
The name of Jaime René Calvo Aragon could be found in the fourth spot of that list.
Erika Rap declared that this crime is part of the public face of Section 22 and APPO, even including, she assured, that from the station of La Ley radio, a teacher named Carmen Xicayan made calls to the population to incite the people to physical aggression against teachers who try to reopen schools.
Elsewhere, she indicated that after the autopsy carried out on the corpse of Calvo Aragon, signs of torture were found.
Erika Rap, was Secretary of Finances of Section 22 of the SNTE until last April and resigned. She said that since then she has been receiving threats from Rueda Pacheco and from the new Secretary of Finances, Alma Delia Santiago Diaz.
Rap then presented a denoucement of them in the public ministry, so as to guard her physical person.
(IPYS/IFEX) - Early on the morning of 4 October 2006, unidentified persons stormed into the headquarters of Radio La Consentida and set fire to the transmission booths. They wrote death threats against journalist Romualdo Santiago on the walls. The attackers signed the threats with the initials of the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (Asamblea Popular del Pueblo de Oaxaca, APPO), a social organisation that, during the last three months, has seized several state-owned and private communications media to demand the removal from office of Oaxaca State Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz. The owner of the radio station, Congress member Humberto López-Lena Cruz, has dismissed the possibility that APPO is responsible for the attack and did not rule out the possibility that it was linked to his criticisms of Governor Ruiz Ortiz and of former governor José Murat. Oaxaca is situated in southern México.
The government has promised not to send soldiers against thousands of protesters camped out in the southern Mexican city of Oaxaca, avoiding what many feared would be a blood bath, protest leaders said Thursday.
Enrique Rueda, head of the Oaxaca teachers union, said Interior Secretary Carlos Abascal made the promise in a closed-door meeting.
Teacher Hacked to Death in Mexican City - Numerous reports appearing this morning about this. Lesson here? Who is committing the violence?
Victor Alonso Altamirano of the Oaxaca state police said teacher Jaime Rene Calva Aragon was on his way to a meeting Thursday evening when he was killed by two assailants wielding hefty ice picks.
Fellow teacher Alma Rosa Fernandez accused militant leftists of killing Calva for opposing a statewide teachers’ strike that was a catalyst for the wider protests. Fernandez, who also opposes the strike, said the dissident teachers have been receiving death threats.
Update from Oaxaca - Free Speech Radio News brings us an audio report about the Oaxaca situation. Question: Why is this “Free” speech? Who’s is otherwise stopping these people from talking? Anyway, listen to the short version here - (Update from Oaxaca 1:59).
Crisis Escalates as Marines Land in Oaxaca - The Cubans reported that the “Air Force” was involved, now Nancy Davies “reports” the appearance of the Marines. That’s not a sensational headline, no, not at all.
Oct. 3, Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico–I wrote the following dispatch a few days ago. Since then, little has changed, although there have been helicopters (usually the precursor to an attack) flying overhead, and some troops have been shifted to bases closer to Oaxaca city, and the Interior Ministry has made menacing sounds about a Wednesday deadline for a negotiated settlement. Truthfully, I can’t tell if tomorrow is “it,” or if it’s another move in the “feint and threaten” strategy of the government. All I know is that what I wrote below was—and is—a true description of what it’s like to be me, here, now.
In a rare show of progress in the standoff, protesters walked out of the offices of Radio Oro, a station they have held since late August. It was unclear whether they also intended to end their takeover of two other media outlets seized around the same time.
Protesters sometimes broadcast radical or threatening messages over the airwaves, but said they decided to give Radio Oro up because the station was no longer useful to them.
Also Wednesday, protest leaders told reporters they would not attend talks in Mexico City because they wanted 28 representatives at the meeting, instead of the four seats they said the Interior Department had offered.
Teachers and members of the People´s Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO) denied to participate in the negotiation scheduled for Wednesday with the Secretariat of Government to seek a way-out of the ongoing conflict in that Mexican state.
Many locals say they’ve been caught between the strikers and the government as they try to live normal lives.
“No one wants to listen to us,” said Margarita Díaz, a housewife, as she sat in her sedan surrounded by thousands of demonstrators marching through the downtown area. “We are like hostages.”
A few hours before the resumption of talks on the Oaxaca conflict Wednesday, at the Secretariat of Government, representatives from the social movement in that Mexican state had not confirmed attendance, thus creating at atmosphere of total uncertainty.
President Fox and his cabinet draw the line - Mark passes along this nice quote from Abascal:
“Suppose a group of attackers assaulted and took over my home. Then the occupiers heard sirens and helicopters outside. Then suppose they began to complain about being held hostage inside my home.
By God! We’re going to put things here in their proper context
Those who are the criminals here are those who have taken over my home, those who have held hostage one million three hundred thousand schoolchildren as well as the citizens of Oaxaca. So it seems infantile to me to complain, ‘Oh! We (APPO) are being held hostage.’”
Ana Maria report that the situation is getting worse with the “protesters”. She posts about a phone interview with Dane Schiller while he was at the Zocalo in Oaxaca.
And as the interview on his cell phone was taking place a group of 40 men approached him started screaming at him, demanding to find out who he was talking to, what was he doing, and they definitely started to harass. This was a potentially violent situation, which Dane handled magnificently. He was able to de-escalate the situation and actually continued with the interview with me…But believe me, it was a dangerous situation for Dane. In fact as he was finishing the interview, he let the audience know that the APPO thugs were detaining another man. We later found out that this man is being “tried” by the protesters….
Wow, it’s good to be on the ground if the story hits, but not good to be the story itself.
Banks attacked in restive Mexican city - This article was pulled from almost all archives, cached version here. Why?
Protesters threw explosives at two banks in Oaxaca on Monday, shattering windows and further raising tensions in this once-charming colonial city.
At least two people have been shot to death and dozens more injured in clashes between protesters and police. On Saturday, a motorcyclist was decapitated when he ran into a wire strung across a street as part of a blockade.
Late Sunday, nearby residents and authorities clashed with protesters who had seized a tractor-trailer and were unloading its cargo.
“They are trying to frighten us, but we will not be intimidated,” said Flavio Sosa, a leader of the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca, the left-wing alliance behind the protests.”We’re not just tense, we are furious.”
Airport full of soldiers - Mark reports on the arrival of federal forces.
There will be violence and a lot of it. The striking teachers and then the APPO have had an almost unbroken string of successes against law enforcement and their confidence is running high. I fear that only the smell of gunsmoke and the sight of their own blood running in the streets will bring them to heel.
If previous state and federal government attempts to regain control of streets both here and in other locations around the country are any indication, this is not going to go well.
Mexican government demands protesters stop “kidnapping” of tourist city - Sorta reminds me of “Don’t call us violent, or we’ll cut your heads off.”
The problem has shattered tourism in the picturesque city, known for its colonial architecture and nearby pre-Hispanic ruins. Local business associations estimate the protests have cost the city more than US$300 million (€235 million) in lost earnings.
More than 3,000 restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets and other businesses had promised to hold a two-day strike on Thursday and Friday to call on the Fox administration to resolve the problem. But on Friday most of the businesses were open.
Javier Chavarria, director of the Oaxaca Restaurants Chamber, said protesters had scared the businesses into opening by making threatening phone calls.
“They called us and said they would destroy and burn our businesses,” Chavarria said.
Shots fired in Mexican tourist town stalemate - Why is it that “Reuters witness” sounds bogus to me?
Unidentified gunmen opened fire on Friday near a road block set up by striking teachers in Mexico’s colonial city of Oaxaca, where months of protests against the state governor have scared off tourists.
A Reuters witness heard at least ten shots fired before sun-up close to a barricade in the graceful center of the city, the capital of Oaxaca state in southern Mexico. No one was injured.
The teachers and their supporters have formed a government called the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca, known as APPO.
They’ve declared themselves the law and patrol the streets with their own security forces, punishing criminals in the town square. They have forbidden state and local government employees — from street cops to the governor — from working in areas they control.
Juan Manuel López, a Oaxaca cab driver, said he supported the business closures and had stocked up on supplies for his wife and three children.
“This thing with the teachers is getting dangerous — the government has to do something,” he said by phone from his home. “It is impossible to negotiate with these people.”
López said he has repeatedly been shaken down by strikers who demand he pay them for permission to drive in their areas.
Mexican city grinds to halt amid violence - The Guardian is just famous for its incendiery headlines. Oaxaca has ground to a halt because of the strike and the local-business counterstrike, not because of violence.
Oaxacan Strife Hits the Palate - Just another example of the economic impact the protest has had on the Oaxacan economy. Now exports of foodstuffs is on the lists. This probably puts the damper on all the “sustainable” projects going on there.
Businesses in besieged Mexican city seek to pressure government into action - Again, the businesses are protesting the protest. Last time this happened the left wing sites and many news outlets claimed they were striking in sympathy.
Owners of gas stations, hotels, supermarkets and other businesses in Oaxaca City were launching a two-day strike to pressure the government into sending federal police against leftist protesters who have besieged the town for over three months.
Local business associations have estimated the protests have cost the city more than US$300 million (€235 million) in lost earnings.
Two people have been killed and dozens more injured in clashes between the protesters and police or armed gangs.
Oaxaca Protesters Fear Major Police Crackdown - Six people killed? Sounds like we need some facts.
A police crackdown in Oaxaca “is not planned, but neither is it ruled out,” said Interior Minister Carlos Abascal…
Meanwhile, on the outskirts of the city, the military and police presence has also been beefed up, according to various reports.
During the protests, as many as six people have been killed in violent incidents that have not been clarified, but which apparently involved irregular armed groups linked to the Ruiz administration and the police, according to human rights organisations. A number of demonstrators have also been arrested.
On several occasions in the last few weeks, APPO members have used violence, seizing people they consider to be criminals or opponents, and exhibiting them with their hands bound in a public square.
They have also entered public and private buildings, where they have attacked the occupants, among them a well-known journalist, Ricardo Rocha, who received blows from demonstrators who stormed into a hotel in Oaxaca looking for Ruiz.
Panic shopping in Mexico’s Oaxaca as crisis deepens - Reuter reports that 5 people have been shot and killed, unconfirmed and not what I’ve heard. You can’t blame Reuters for making up a bit of news to make things more interesting. At least they’re not posing the dead.
In recent weeks, gunmen suspected of being off-duty policemen have shot protesters manning blockades such as the ones around the city’s graceful central plaza.Five people have been killed in drive-by shootings and ambushes.
Stick-waving protesters reinforced street barricades on Wednesday and made Molotov cocktails in preparation for a possible police offensive.
Festive sabbatical in Mexico turns tense - A couple’s sabbatical is being ruined. Wah, wah.
Dan is a professor in the department of horticulture, staff chairman for the Linn County OSU Extension Service, and a regional Extension agent. Darryla is an artist, a therapist and a tai chi instructor.
“With more and more violence, with blockades of the intersections, burning tires and garbage, takeover of the government offices … and evening curfews with young guys with sticks and stones and attitude,” Darryla wrote, “the city got filthier and filthier, the festive mood diminished, and desperation has taken over.”
“If the whole of Mexico descends into chaos,” Darryla wrote, “we will come home.”
Civilians fear Mexican state labor crisis might escalate, U.S. Catholic missionary - The church weighs in.Oaxaca Strike Dragging On - My previous question about how these people could afford to “strike” for so long is answered. They’ve been collecting pay this whole time! Now that it’s been cut-off, maybe their pal Chavez will be willing to kick in some funds.
Hours before the invasion of the El Camino Real hotel, which is temporarily closed, the U.S. Embassy extended a travel advisory on Oaxaca for another month.
“Vandalism, arrests and injuries continue as a result of the ongoing confrontations,” the advisory said. “The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City has received reports of robberies and assaults in areas of the city not normally known to pose a high crime risk.”
Teachers have been drawing their salaries during the strike, but the payments ended over the weekend when the governor ordered them back to work. Ruiz’s strategy rests on the idea that the protests will fade once teachers go back to their jobs.
Members of activist social organisation assault and threaten news agency director - Couldn’t find the governor, so they pick the next “establishment” target.
President-elect Felipe Calderon said President Vicente Fox’s administration should intervene in Oaxaca to reach a resolution that leaves no “loose ends,” El Universal reported Sept. 26. The statement was Calderon’s first public comment regarding the Oaxaca conflict.
Members of activist group threaten journalists - No wonder there is such poor reporting about the situation.
The journalists were trying to take photographs of the location and to take notes when various hooded individuals that were guarding the barricade brandished guns, sticks and bottles threateningly at them.
Self-Defense Drills in Oaxaca - Getting ready for some action? In response to rumors:
“A pile of Molotov cocktails suddenly appears in the HSBC ATM machine in front of Section 22 (the local chapter of the national SNTE teachers’ union). About 100 teachers arrange themselves on the corners of the neighboring street, bracing for the worst.”
Their not making Margaritas, in case you were wondering. The message is clear, “You mess with APPO, and you Burn!”
US citizens warned against Oaxaca travel - Democracy in action.
About 300 demonstrators armed withmachetes, knives and pipes descended on the Camino Real searching for Oaxaca state Governor Ulises Ruiz, whose resignation they demand.
A group of about 40 men armed with sticks and guns then fired at the protesters outside the hotel’s front door.
Some protesters drew guns and returned fire, creating panic among people in the street.
The US Embassy said American citizens should”consider carefully the risk of travel at this time” due to the recent increase in violence in Oaxaca.
Mob overruns Oaxaca hotel, raising tensions - Personally, if I could, I would harm someone who chose to burst into my hotel room. The fact that the few remaining hotels in Oaxaca might have armed security is not a surprise either. Remember, there is no law and order in Oaxaca right now. It is the “honor” system. Question: What would these “protestors” have done with their machetes, clubs, and sticks had they found the Governor?
Activists and police had their biggest clash in months Sunday when hundreds of people marched on the Camino Real hotel, a stone compound built as a convent in 1576.
Theysurrounded the hotel, and about 40 people entered and searched restaurants, guest rooms and other areas.
The Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca, known as APPO, said on its Web site that one member was shot outside the hotel by police or security agents who fired more than 60 rounds.
Mexico’s Fox vows to end worsening Oaxaca conflict - Again, I ask, what’s he going to do?
Gunmen exchanged fire with leftist protesters outside Oaxaca’s Camino Real hotel, injuring two men and forcing dozens of tourists, residents and journalists to run for cover.
About 300 demonstrators armed with machetes, knives and pipes descended on the Camino Real searching for Oaxaca state Gov. Ulises Ruiz, whose resignation they demand. They accuse him of rigging the 2004 election to win office and violently repressing dissent.
Thirty protesters searched room by room for the governor, who later said he had been at a nearby restaurant but never went inside the hotel.
A group of about 40 men armed with sticks and guns then attacked and fired at the protesters outside the hotel’s front door. Some protesters drew guns and returned fire, creating panic among dozens of people in the street
Embattled Mexican state governor threatens to replace striking teachers - 9/23/06 - Ask the air controllers…
MEXICO: Bullets and Barricades in Oaxaca - 9/22/06 - Anarchy 2.0, video here.
The Politics of Violence in Oaxaca - 9/21/06 - Taking over an entire city is not destabalizing?
Calderon sees Oaxaca as Mexico’s main problem - 9/19/2006 - Yeah? What’s he gonna do?
Non-Spanish-speaking Mexican immigrants growing - 9/19/2006 - An interesting article about the increasing number of illegals coming from Oaxaca. While the leftists cry for more money from the government, many Oaxacans are simply leaving. The article is mostly about the language difficulties encountered by these illegals, but what I find most disturbing is this quote:
…many Oaxacan villages are nearly empty: “It’s very sad, there are just old women and old men left. They just wait there for money their kids send.”
What sort of future does that portend? Grim, I’d say.
Protesters beat four police officers, state official in southern Mexican state of Oaxaca - 9/8/2006 - “…officials are “moderately optimistic” that the problem will be resolved soon.” Yeah, right.
What’s wrong in Oaxaca? - 9/8/2006
Oaxaca, Mexico Ousting Governor - 9/6/2006 - Sounds like a treasonous activity to me.
Mexico, Sep 6 (Prensa Latina) The Peoples Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO) announced the replacement of Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortizan with an alternative government.
The organizations said the only government they consider legitimate, after 106 days of violent clashes over labor demands of Oaxaca teachers, is APPO.
Key goals of the new government will be public safety, reactivating the economy, urban and suburban transportation and peaceful coexistence.
Despite official claims that APPO and the teachers are breaking the law, the contenders claimed the measures necessary to fight Gov. Ulises Ruiz anarchy.
APPO said it will block access to local radio stations and government premises to prevent police and paramilitary attacks.
The group also denounced assassination attempts against its leaders and guerrilla warfare simulated by the local administration.
Federal Government Secretary Carlos Abascal met with Governor Ruiz Ortiz prior to a fourth meeting with APPO and Union leaders without proposals in an effort to settle the socio-political crisis.
Perhaps no one noticed… - 9/3/2006 - “What started out as a teachers strike, in Oaxaca, noble on its surface, has turned into a free-for-all, including every radical agenda one can think up. They’ve all but destroyed the city. Smeared graffiti over everything, countless meaningless slogans crying for ‘justice’. If ‘Justice’ were ever to visit this country the people would have to hide in shame.”
Drug-linked violence nears record high in Mexico - 9/3/2006 - This can only make things even more difficult.
Oaxaca’s Dangerous Teachers - 9/2/2006
La disyuntiva - 9/2/2006
Winners and Losers… - 9/2/2006 - Plenty of morning news about Fox’s speech, Ana Maria declares Fox the winner and the PRD as the losers in this little battle. El Che provides a nice roundup of photos from the day.
Political Unrest Cripples a Mexican Resort Area - “More than1,000 hotel workers have lost their jobs since the protests began, and the hotel and motel association estimates that the tourist industry has lost $150 million in the last three months as visitors are canceling travel plans well into 2007. ”
Oaxaca’s tourism industry is just getting hammered. When all the best and brightest of these businesses leave for more lucrative and stable climates, what will be left? When will all the rich retirees divest from this place? This is Oaxaca’s lifeblood which is slowly being sucked dry by the “teachers”.
Angry days in Mexico - 9/1/2006 - This editorial by the SF Chronicle is clearly not in support of ALMO and they predict his failure.
The former leftist mayor of Mexico City has run out of legal ways to challenge the country’s July 2 presidential election results, so he’s starting to seek illegal ones.
With Lopez Obrador’s behavior turning more and more egomaniacal, there’s a good shot that the three-party alliance he has built will crumble. We say, the faster, the better.
Instead of seeking ways to work within his country’s hard-won, new-found democracy, he would rather start a civil war.
Grupo armado apoya la movilización en Oaxaca - 9/1/2006 - More about guns and stuff.
Mexico is in rocky state as Fox gives final address - 9/1/2006 - I can’t wait to hear what Fox has to say.
The Other Campaign Comes to Spanish Harlem - 9/1/2006 - The roots of a sympathetic movement in the USA might be forming. Earlier mention of domestic terrorism in support of the leftist movement could be coming true.
It is here, in this place and at this time that the Movement for Justice in El Barrio (MJB) is emerging. The radical reference point and inspiration is no longer the Black Panther Party but Mexico’s Zapatistas and the national initiative they form a part of, the Other Campaign.
In August of 2005, MJB began studying locally based social justice movements from around the world in order to better understand their own struggle in its global and historical context. The Zapatistas and the Other Campaign were among the movements studied. Through this process they decided to adhere to the Zapatistas’ Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle and, since a majority of their membership is Mexican, MJB decided to join the Other Campaign as well. And they did not do so quietly…
Through town hall meetings, community dialogues, street outreach, door knocking, house meetings, and a community-wide vote, MJB’s members have consulted their neighbors in El Barrio for direction and to decide which problem, in addition to gentrification, they will begin organizing around.
Through an internal consultation of its membership, MJB had generated a list of theeight biggest problems in El Barrio other than gentrification: the sexual harassment of waitresses, mistreatment in the hospitals, bad service at the Mexican Consulate, police abuse, jobs paying less than the state minimum wage ($6.75 per hour), the high cost of public transportation, the proposed immigration laws, and the high cost of sending money back home ($4-5 for a $100 remittance) as well as the mistreatment they receive from the intermediary companies.
Mexico: Warning From Strikers’ Sympathizers - 9/1/20006 - Leave it the the NYT to downplay significant news, late, and buried, as usual. The entire piece:
The civil unrest in Oaxaca took a bizarre turn as a small group of armed masked men blocked a highway and distributed pamphlets warning the federal police and the military not to intervene in the three-month teachers’ strike that has spread and paralyzed the city, news reports said. “The revolutionary armed organizations are in a state of alert to respond strongly in case the national security forces intervene in the conflict,” the pamphlet said. It was signed by six radical groups. The men who blocked the road numbered at least eight, wore fatigues, had bandannas over their faces and carried automatic weapons, according to pictures from Agence France-Presse.
Political Chaos in Mexico - 8/31/2006 - More on the armed guerillas. Lot’s of very worrisome pictures.
Aparece grupo armado en Oaxaca - 8/31/2006 - An armed group appeared in Oaxaca today. More here. “El grupo manifestó su coincidencia con las demandas de la Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca (APPO), el EZLN y las organizaciones de “La Otra Campaña”.”
Mexico: Oaxaca - the Spearhead of the Mexican Revolution - 8/31/2006 - I didn’t even know there was a “marxist.com“. The Marxists are likely smoking some good dope, definately Capitalist Herb, not that crappy Mexican stuff. This quote speaks for itself:
To lay the ground for this, immediate preparations should be made for a 24-hour general strike, by making a clear class appeal to all the workers, peasants, and youth of Oaxaca and Mexico. The best way to prepare for a general strike is by forming revolutionary committees of struggle and information in every workplace, marketplace, and school. This would lay the basis for the democratic and efficient convening of the strike and ultimately, for the running of Mexican society by the working masses themselves. This would not only ensure the fall of governor Ruiz, but would also strike directly at the root of all the problems of the Oaxacan and Mexican masses: the corrupt federal government and above all, the capitalist system itself.
S.A. group balks at Oaxaca unrest - 8/31/2006 - This article appears in the Public Safety section. “As the U.S. government warns Americans to be careful in the southern coastal state of Oaxaca, fallout from ongoing violence there is being felt in San Antonio, wherea brigade of medical professionals postponed indefinitely an annual mission to provide free care for the poor”
Who’s in Charge in Oaxaca? (Dead Link) - 8/31/2006 - In reference to both sides of the conflict, “”I want to kill him, and all those protesters,” bookstore owner Elizabeth Gutierrez said. “Three months of this and we plead, beg the federal government to intervene.”"
Theft of Antiquities in Oaxaca (Listen)- 8/31/2006 This radio interview accuses the reigning govt of stealing old stuff. I say forget all that old SHIT for now. Move forward and build a better life for yourselves and your fellow Mexicans. Stop asking for a handout.
Protests and subsequent civil unrest in general have affected local security and resulted in vandalism, arson attacks, violence, and one reported fatality. The situation remains tense. Groups of protestors are gathered in the city’s main square (Zócalo) and their presence has resulted in frequent blockades, occupation or closures of government buildings, including the State tourism office and police stations, and several roadblocks in the city centre. Protests in surrounding areas have also resulted in either blockades or the interruption of traffic flow of local highways and the Oaxaca airport. Canadians have reported experiencing difficulties in obtaining assistance from local authorities during times of emergency.
Chaos in Oaxaca (Listen) - 8/30/2006 - “What started as a call by teachers for better pay has exploded into a free-for-all of antigovernment and anticapitalist causes. It’s not been good for tourism.”
Oaxaca Teachers’ Strike is Merely Symptomatic - Garry Caplan writes, “With graffiti in the city already at epidemic proportions, what kind of educator would permit our children to learn from seeing their maestros damaging and otherwise desecrating the formerly beautiful facade of the government building extending one full block of the zócalo? Our progeny must inevitably be witnessing their role models cutting off the lifeblood of the state—tourism—for months if not years to come, and their parents struggling to cope.The teachers are breeding in their students bitterness, despair and resignation to one’s lot in life, rather than hope towards attainable dreams and goals.”
Mexico riven by deep social, political divide - 8/30/2006
Ottawa advises against travel to Oaxaca, Mexico - 8/30/2006
“Already, elsewhere in Latin America, we see the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, adopting a more and more anti-American posture, lining himself up with Fidel Castro on the one hand and the Fascist governments of Iran and Syria on the other.
Suppose the same kind of government were to come to power in Mexico.It would not be long before, I would think, there were hostilities with the United States. “
Mexico vote saga goes on - 8/30/2006 - Seems to me, any way it goes, the saga will go on.
YA NO MAS TOLERANCIA - 8/30/2006 - Here’s a disturbing post from “the front of the civil resistance”. This little rant has me worried:
“…el gobierno estatal asesina impunemente, por lo cual un grupo de oaxaqueños hemos decidido enfrentar de la misma manera a estos grupos de choque, vamos con todo contra estos asesinos y represores,vamos a cobrar las cuentas pendientes, y asi como ellos atacan impunemente, nosotros tambien lo haremos, vamos contra sus familias, vamos a quemar todos los taxis, y demas transportes que tengan calcomanias de la croc, …
From Teachers’ Strike Towards Dual Power - The Revolutionary Surge in Oaxaca - 8/30/2006 - George Salzman provides a great summary of the forces leading up to this struggle.
Oaxaca, Mexico update: Shots fired this morning - 8/30/2006 - Mark is providing some valuable reporting here and provides a link to a map showing what is being held by APPO and the protesting teachers. MSM should take a look.
I heard gunshots fired this morning at about 6:00 AM. … The shots sounded like they came from the area of the university but I cannot be sure.
A gang of APPO thugs broke into the State Congress, smashing windows, glass doors, ripping up furniture, breaking into offices of the comgressmen and hauling off computers, files, furniture, phones and whatever. Interestingly, they broke into and damaged several offices of PRD congresemen; equal opportunity vandals, I guess. And, of course, the obligatory bus burning took place outside.
oaxaca.report from the serranos - 8/30/2006 - Jon posts and email report from Oaxaca. Not a whole lot new, but it does draw a picture of a chaotic situation with no end in sight. “Today the businesses, grocery stores, and markets of Oaxaca have gone on Strike,shutting their doors in protest of the Teachers actions. Yesterday they were packed with people shopping out of panic. Rumor has it, the businesses will be closed until next week. We pray this not to be true.Also today the [public transportation drivers] stayed home for the second day this month, leaving Oaxacans afoot. They are tired of having their busses stolen and burned.”
Oaxaca Sigue en la lucha - Publishing APPO’s action plan.
Mexican Government Mediating in Oaxaca - 8/29/2006 - AP “news” follows up on the so-called dialogue. “Thousands of leftists, anarchists and students have joined in, burning city buses, erecting hundreds of street barricades and covering buildings with graffiti.” It’s just great to have to negotiate with such reasonable people. Also, does anyone else think that 40,000 teachers is a high number? What is the teacher/student ratio in Oaxaca?
Running away to the mountains - 8/29/2006 - A student blogs from Oaxaca. “Oaxaca is definitely still in the throes of a protest, although the APPO and the federal government have agreed to meet for talks and negotiations. It’s pretty amazing, barricades are built every night on all the major roads to prevent the paramilitary from coming into the city at night and shooting up protesters in front of banks, radio stations, and public buildings. The 2 public buildings on my way from home to school are coated in anti-URO (the governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz) and anti-PRI (the dominant political party) graffitti, which is painted over every day… and then re-tagged every night. It’s nuts; walking to school every day, I literally walk over proclamations of “Hasta la gente tiene libertad, no hay gobierno en Oaxaca” (”Until the people have freedom, there is no government in Oaxaca”) spray painted onto the sidewalk. The craziest part is that it’s moms, teachers, and just Oaxacans fueling this protest. In a march in July, 1 million protesters joined in– over 1/3 the population of Oaxaca, and there STILL hasn’t been any way to officially get rid of the governor. Although for all practical purposes, he’s ousted, it’s still a testament to the injustice and fucked up nature of government and “democracy” in Mexico that last night he was on the news from Mexico City talking about the state of Oaxaca as though he was still an authority on the subject. He hasn’t dared show his face within the state for the last month at least. The result in micro-scale: I still haven’t been allowed to leave my homestay after dark.”
Mexico Leftist to Create Parallel Gov’t - 8/29/2006 - I wonder if he can form a “parallel army” and can collect some “parallel taxes” too. This is like a wacked-out John Kerry speaking Spanish. “‘What Andres Manuel has suggested is not an alternative president,’ … ‘It will be a legitimate government with a legitimate president.’” I hate to keep saying this, but it sounds like a treasonous offense by any standard of sovereign nations.
Concuye sin acuerdos diálogo entre SNTE, APPO y Segob - 8/29/2006 - Apparently 4 hours of dialogue resulted in nothing.
Mexico’s Walls Exclaim: “The revolution of the 21st Century will arise in Oaxaca” - 8/29/2006 - Nothing new here.
Protesters begin to free besieged radio stations - 8/28/2006 - Like a breath of fresh air - a new perspective! ““We are worried that what began as a work strike has degenerated into a violation of the rights of the people to be informed, and the right of the press to inform without being put in danger,” Gonzalo Marroquín, the president for the Freedom of the Press and Information Commission for the Inter-American Press Association” “Along with the takeover, 25 media professionals have been taken hostage. The Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders called for APRO and the unions to immediately release the radio workers and for the government to put an end to the conflict.” Here the protestors are described as “leftist activists, union workers, and strikers who were armed with sticks.”
People and Media Critical of Ulises Ruiz are Under Attack - There are just a plethora of sites basically republishing a bunch of stuff from Narconews. I need some corraboration about some of the allegations. Does anyone have any information? What is Amnesty basing its call for action on?
Oaxaca is Closed in Solidarity with APPO - 8/29/2006 - Bradley reports on the protest counterstrike. The big problem here is that the businesses are closed to protest the ongoing disruption, not in solidarity with APPO. It is just so hard to get the real story here.
Oaxaca Communities Rise Up (Listen)- 8/29/2006 - Interview with Telesforo San Diago, grade school teacher in Oaxaca. He describes the events leading up to the current situation. The interviewer is mainly expanding on the recent Amnesty International charge that armed militias are working with state police in counterinsurgency operations. The interviewee blames the “Capitalistic system”. He also blames the state controlled media for the need to physically take over several radio stations. Now he claims that now the “real information” can come through. They have no plans to return to work until Ruiz steps down. (My daughter is attending a private school - they are having classes with no problem.)
Businesses strike in violent Mexican tourist city Dead Link- 8/29/2006 - “Stores, restaurants and other businesses in this popular tourist city went on a 24-hour strike on Tuesday to demand an end to violent clashes as the government tried to kick start negotiations to restore order.” “”We demand security for our economic and social activities, without which Oaxaca will not return to the path of growth,” they said in national newspaper ads, complaining the protests were costing jobs and sales and shutting thousands of schools.” This strike is in protest of the striking “teachers”. Sort of a counterstrike. My strike is bigger than your strike.
Honza seems to see things my way. “The assorted universitoids, anarchists and civil servant employee union employees are now fighting each other over whether or not to negotiate something with the government. At least the uber-lefties are collapsing in on themselves.”
Juan writes about barricades, “…going home after 11pm is like a labryinth…15 barricades (informal checkpoints) in 5 kilometers…”. 8/29/2006
Courage and resistance in Oaxaca and Mexico City Dead Link - 8/29/2006 - A good round-up and summary of the events in Oaxaca placed in the wider context of Mexican politics and economy. Some dire possibilities are suggested, especially in light of the still contested election. Could Mexico become split? Lendman points out some important dates - Aug 31 Trife to finish count, Sept 6 Trife must declare winner, Sept 1 Fox State of Union address, Sept 15 Mexican Independence Day.
Remittances to Mexico Increase 23 Pct. - 8/29/2006 - AP (you know, what the old media calls “news”) reports that remittances for the first half of the year are up. Whether that means the supply of money has increased (smarter, harder working emigrants becoming more successful) or demand has increased (Mexico’s economy going down the tubes) was not mentioned. Most telling is the fact that this is the second largest source of foreign exchange after OIL. More here, and here.
Contra-Stye Paramilitary Operations In Oaxaca - 8/29/2006 - The Narconews editor thinks the CIA is responsible, he also predicts civil war.
AMARC alarmed by aggression against Oaxacan journalists and media outlets, places blame principally on federal and state governments - 8/28/2006 - Somehow calling a bunch of people that have taken over a radio station “journalists” is pushing is a bit.
Oaxaca, Mexico, First Steps for Talks - 8/28/2006 - “The Mexican Ministry of Interior and the Peoples Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO) made first contacts on Monday for talks to resolve the ten days of political and social conflict in the state of Oaxaca.” Ten days?
Court uphold victory of Felipe Calderón, Andrés Manuel López Obrador vows to set-up parallel government (Translate) - 8/28/2006 - Civil War? Or just a poor loser? (thanks Mark)
National Security and Political chaos… - 8/28/2006 - Ana Maria suggests that things might be worse than they seem nationally and that there are implications for US National Security. She cites this article, “Mexico’s political crisis lets drug violence spread“. “There are some real worrisome signs because there’s a power vacuum,” said Ana María Salazar, an expert on national security and former high-ranking Pentagon official. “We still don’t know who the next president is, and that only makes the situation more precarious.” Also, “In Monterrey, the 31-year-old son of a former police commander was gunned down Thursday in his Hummer SUV, bringing to 35 the number of drug killings this year in the state of Nuevo León” - I’m guessing the cash for the Hummer didn’t come from years of hard, honest labor.
Mumbles and stammers from the vicars of Christ in Mexico; plus some humor - The Catholic Church will of course do what is convenient for them. I’m not Catholic, so for me to criticize them would simply be unfair (not to mention, too easy). How come Jimmy C. isn’t down there with his crack election squad? That Venezualan story is pretty funny. We screw with them, they screw with us. They intercepted “poultry”. Ha! Likely the food there sucks or can’t be trusted, so the Americans need to bring all their own stuff. As far as denying them the rotating UN Security Council Latin America seat - if this is the highest aspiration of the Venezualan govt., and we hold the power to decide, and we pay the most for this useless organization, then I say we keep giving Chavez the finger. HELLO Americans!, Citgo is Venezualan! Don’t buy your gas there.
Operation “Clean-Up” in Oaxaca - Narco News is almost amusing in its conspiratorial tone. Fact is, who is really surprised about that. These guys could very easily be paid by hotel owners pissed off, drug cartel guys whose business is being disrupted, or heck even parents who just want the teachers to go back to work. Are these teachers being paid now? Don’t tell me, they all have tenure!
Who’s in Charge in Oaxaca? Dead Link - 8/28/2006 “What began as the Oaxacan teachers’ annual spring strike for higher wages has turned into a leftist free-for-all supported by various groups of farmers, students, unionists and Marxists.” This sounds like a movement doomed to failure.
Mexico, Oaxaca: the beginning of a revolution? - 8/27/2006 Chaos seems to be the flavor of the day.
Amnesty International insists militias present - 8/27/2006 - “Amnesty International (AI) said it has strong evidence that illegal armed militias operating in conjunction with state security forces have attacked protesting teachers in Oaxaca city.”
Gloomy lessons from Mexican teachers’ strike - 8/28/2006 - Things don’t sound that optimistic.
EPR defends rebellion - 8/27/2006 - “The Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR), an armed group which first appeared 10 years ago, warned the government Saturday that when peaceful protests fail, an armed uprising is the only alternative.”
Security checkpoints. Anti-American sentiment. Brazen pickpockets. What’s a traveler to do? Dead Link- “Terrorist threats. Political demonstrations. Late-night muggings. Pickpockets.” 8/27/2006
Warning to Our Comrade Teachers in Oaxaca / Cuidado a nuestros profesores del camarada en Oaxaca - “Beware the Trojan Horse Filled with US Teacher Union Leaders” - this illustrates my suggestion that there are many outside forces interested in this event. Honestly, the last thing they need is the weak and vestigal “unions” here to help their “struggle”.
Navigating the politics of populist upheaval - “Today, Oaxaca de Juarez is in a balanced state of anarchy.” A good look at the history behind this “movement”. 8/27/2006
Continuum Resources Ltd.: $1,500,000 Private Placement - “The proceeds of the private placement will be used primarily for exploration on the Company’s mineral properties and for general working capital. Continuum is currently actively exploring numerous epithermal precious metals deposits located in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico, primarily the Natividad and San Jose-Taviche prospects.” Foreign investment seems to be going along just fine.
- The “alert” system.
The Battle of Oaxaca in the Context of Mexico’s Post-Electoral Crisis - Narco News 8/26/2006
When Media Ownership Means Life and Death - 8/25/2006
Mexico: army mobilized to Oaxaca - 8/25/2006
Oaxacan teachers occupy radio and television stations - News and analysis from the Party of Socialism and Liberalism - this is clearly a bunch of idealist loonies. Putting these people in charge is clearly not a proven development strategy.
Journalists caught in teachers-governor crossfire in Mexico - Even the Indians are interested.
Mexico tourist city blighted by political unrest - Reuters 8/24/2006
‘Nights of terror’ in top Mexico tourist spot - AP 8/25/2006 -
Mexico: Federal government must address Oaxaca’s crisis - Amensty International Press Release 8/25/2006 - Expresses concern for recent torture and killing of protestors and govt security squads.
Mexico: Protesters accept negotiation offer - Infoshop News
8/25/2006 - The call for the resignation of the Governor is still non-negotiable
according to the protest leaders. This is unlikely to lead to a solution.