Narconews: Underlying Social Problems in Oaxaca
James Daria Reports on the Underlying Social Problems in Oaxaca
November 2, 2006
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James Daria reports on the underlying social problems in Oaxaca after the recent occupation by the Federal Preventive Police (PFP). Although, the city appears calm, James Daria shows a much different picture of Oaxaca; that of a deeply divided populace. Daria shines light on the complexity of the situation needed to truly understand the issues plaguing Mexican society.
James Daria writes:
"The city of Oaxaca is no longer filled with the smoke of burning buses and tear gas, but instead is burning from the inside as further polarization of the community has increased tensions amid a "peace" brought about by the forces of law and order. The city, paralyzed for the last two days, tried to return to normalcy as many business reopened. Overshadowing the this normalcy was the threat of more violence among the people due to a march convened in support of the Oaxacan state governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (URO).
"Today's march would not be the first held in support of Ruiz, which was held as a response to the many "megamarches" convoked by the striking Section 22 of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE). Many people feared that today's march would lead to provocations and confrontations similar to those that occurred last Friday, where agents of local police and municipal governments assassinated three people during a civil strike called for by the popular social movement coalesced around the popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO).
"The march left the "fountain of the seven regions" in the north of the city at eleven o'clock in the morning. Labeled as a so-called "march for peace," the protesters, dressed in white, chanted slogans in support of the governor and against the magisterial and popular movement. These protesters welcomed the entrance of the Federal Preventive Police (PFP) as a step in restoring law and order in a city which, according to them, has been kidnapped by violent and radical groups.
"The march for peace was organized by supporters of the governor and his political party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). The announcement of the event was widely disseminated through Ruiz's very own pirate radio station, Citizen Radio (99.1 FM), an attempt to use the opposition movement's own tactics against them. Many prominent local families and politicians loyal to the party could be identified among the marchers. The march arrived at El Llano Park and where a meeting was held in support of the governor. The crowd chanted slogans very similar to those common among the opposition. "Ulises don't give up, the people will rise up" and, "APPO get out" were some common phrases. Support for the corporate mass media was also expressed as one protester carried a sign that claimed that only TV Azteca tells truth."
Also, Greg Berger reports on the blocking of the Mexico City-Acapulco highway by members of the Zapatista Other Campaign Blockade after a call by the Sixth Commission of the Zapatista Other Campaign on Monday for a "nation-wide shut down" in support the people of Oaxaca and the APPO, after Sunday's violent repression by the Mexican government.
Greg Berger reports:
"Tens of thousands of people from Mexico City and surrounding states headed south today towards the beachfront resorts of Acapulco to celebrate Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). It is one of Mexico's most sacred days, when the dead are believed to walk the earth once again and return to visit their loved ones. It is also a national holiday and the start of a long weekend. As leisurely tourists approached kilometer 114 along the Autopista del Sol Highway in the State of Morelos, near the town of Alpuyeca, thousands of motorists had to hit their brakes, suddenly coming to the realization that millions of Mexicans chose today to honor their dead not by going to the beach, but by demanding justice for those killed by paramilitary groups loyal to Oaxaca Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, and by the Federal Preventative Police (PFP).
"...On Monday, the Sixth Commission of the Zapatista Other Campaign called for a "nation-wide shut down" in solidarity with the APPO and the people of Oaxaca. In a communiqué read aloud by Subcomandante Marcos, compañeros from the Other Campaign throughout Mexico were called upon to blockade highways and means of communication throughout the country in demand of an immediate withdrawal of the PFP from Oaxaca. Members of the Other Campaign in the State of Morelos met yesterday to determine when and how to heed to this call. Although the clear strategic choice was the Autopista del Sol Mexico- Acapulco, the plan was kept secret in order to avoid a police ambush. Members of the press were not informed and rumors were intentionally circulated that the blockade would happen in the Eastern part of Morelos State. It would be a relatively small group of people that would conduct the operation, but no matter; what numbers could not provide, logistics and careful planning would."
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