Federal troops in Oaxaca
I've been fairly busy at work this week and haven't been able to offer an update on events in Oaxaca, though much has taken place. But Jeff asked what was happening, so I'll do my best to report.
I have to say, I'm certainly no expert on what's going on. I'm too far removed to really understand all the important nuances, so please take what I say with a giant grain of salt. I'm trying to be as fair as possible given my many limitations. So, here's my attempt at a report (with some analysis) - from the Brooklyn-Texan News Service (BTNS,or BS for short):
The situation in
(For more background on the situation, please see my earlier posts.)
Thankfully, there was a tremendous public outcry last week against sending troops to
Unfortunately, there has also been a fair amount of violence in
This morning, the APPO claims to have obtained a copy of Governor Ruiz’ Plan de Hierro, which details a proposed violent attack on the protesters in which military and police forces will be used. The APPO also says they now have direct evidence that, in August, Ruiz hired paramilitary forces composed of ex-military elite who were contracted to carry out vandalism and assassinations in order to justify the use of Federal forces.
Also, today, Bishop Raúl Vera of
La Reina and I were in
Hopefully, the Government proposal includes the removal of Governor Ulises Ruiz. If it does, then I think the protest will come to an end. The teachers said the other day that classes would resume 5 days after Ruiz left office. If the Government offer doesn't include Ruiz' dismissal, then I’m afraid that the APPO and the teachers will reject the proposal, which will lead to further protests, which will lead to increasing violence. It seems to me that the PAN, whose candidate Felipe Calderon is about to take power (in the official government), would gain a lot of much-needed public support by getting rid of Ruiz, who’s not even a member of their party. This might also help Calderon and the PAN diffuse the ongoing election crisis. But if they leave Ruiz in power, and the situation in
Another concern is that Ruiz may try to do something stupid on his own. He must know that he’s eventually on his way out. He’s already used force against the protesters once – which precipitated the crisis back in June – and I wouldn’t be surprised if he and the PRI are guilty of contracting paramilitary forces, and are, thus, responsible for the (at least) 6 protesters killed so far. Since he’s not a member of the PAN, I don’t know how much pressure they can put on him. And as Governor, I don’t know what rights he has to use force on his own.
Hopefully, though, a peaceful – and just – solution will soon be in place. This weekend will be very important. Prayers for a solution, I’m sure, are welcome by everyone in