NZer Trapped In Oaxaca - Crackdown Underway
NZer Trapped In Oaxaca As Violent Crackdown
Trapped In Autonomous University Of Oaxaca
Surrounded By Federal Forces
From Julie Webb-Pullman
SCOOP EDITOR'S NOTE: New Zealander Julie Webb-Pullman has been reporting for Scoop.co.nz from Mexico's Oaxaca where a localised rebellion has been violently opposed by state and federal government backed forces for the past several months. Her most recent report, sent Friday (published today), summed up the previous weeks events. See… Mexico: The Good, The Bad, And The Hopeful .
This morning however we received a rushed report that indicates things have turned from bad to worse over the weekend. As the sun was going down over Oaxaca it seems that a large scale violent suppression of protest was underway in the city.
Scoop calls upon the Federal authorities in Mexico to intervene and prevent – or at least halt - what looks like yet another blood-bath occurring in Oaxaca.
The rushed report from Julie Webb Pullman follows. Readers wishing to stay up-to-date with events in Oaxaca may wish to also visit the Narconews Website
– Scoop Co-Editor Alastair Thompson
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Mexican Police In The Oaxaca Zocala
I am currently in Oaxaca, trapped in the university with a couple of hundred other APPO supporters and independent media, surrounded by EFI (EFI are the narco-police who have been brought in) and PFP, who have been trucked in by the busload, according to neighbours who have rung the university radio, and even Ulises Ruiz' own radio station has admitted to this.
Despite the university being an autonomous institution that the government cannot enter without invitation, everyone expects to be attacked today (it is now nearly 6pm) or tonight. Helicopters circled overhead several hours ago and were greeeted by home-made bazookas - not my idea of peaceful protest....
I have been able to get to this cybercafe behind the barricade escorted by a local but can only stay a minute. Yesterday's march was peaceful, until after the march when groups formed at every intersection surrounding the Zocalo, intending to stay there for 48 hours to keep the PFP "confined to barracks" .
After a couple of hours things got nasty, and police CS-gassed the crowds, then came the bullets and tanquettes. I have spoken to someone who personally knows of one dead person, but according to a doctor who arrived at the university at 1pm this afternoon, there are rumoured to be between 3 and 13 dead, more than 800 unaccounted for (could be in hiding, disappeared, dead, or still being tortured before being formally arrested), 100 detained according to official sources (which means much more) 30 injured (doesn't account for injured disappeareds), and the radio is constantly broadcasting messages from families asking for people to contact them.
The numbers of dead can only be rumoured because the officials deny all and any deaths, so unless the doctor certified the death or someone witnessed it there is no other way of 'confirming' these numbers. What we do know is that this is the worst attack so far, and it is not over yet.
I have some pictures before the proverbial hit - once the bazookas began I stopped taking pics and when the CS-gas was fired everyone ran but everywhere we ran to was also being gassed, and I can assure you that pepper-spray-cum-tear gas really hurts!!!
Three of us fled through backstreets and eventually made it to the university - and we were probably the only small group that made it - the rest got caught by either paramilitaries or police, or large groups made it together, on foot or in trucks. All day today people have been turning up, managing to sneak through or around the police lines - it is like a refugee camp.
The mood is tense - we cannot leave here until either the police come in and kill or arrest us, or the federal government does something like get rid of Ruiz and pull the PFP and EFI out .
Gotta go cops are coming!!!
Hope to see you again!!