Saturday, September 30, 2006


The Oaxaca Conundrum Explained

The Interior Minister, Carlos Abascal Carranzaannounced that the Oaxaca situation has "reached a limit," and threatened the use of state power. APPO holds Vicente Fox responsible for any violence. The accused the government of acting shoulder to shoulder with criminals, paramilitary groups, and known murderers. Barriers of sand, rock, wire, and vehicles have been laid down to prevent an assault. Nancy Davies, writing in NarcoNews says that “cleaning” the zocalo would disperse no more than a few thousand people. Blockades are in many areas, at the radio stations and government buildings, and would all have to be attacked simultaneously to minimize citizen support in any one place. The popular teachers’ movement most likely contains two million sympathizers within the state, and sympathizers in neighboring states as well. As for the businessmen who have lost so much by the strike, Some ask for federal forces to intervene for law and order, some ask for the federal government to take Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (“URO”) out of the state government, some ask for the federal forces to intervene on behalf of human rights and thus on behalf of the movement, some would frankly appreciate the establishment of military law. Nobody likes URO, nobody wants bloodshed or perpetual war. The threatened business strike has failed to materialize The small super-market was open as usual. The little shops – maybe three were closed, despite the grand headline by Noticias that 6,000 businesses would be shut down. What I think happened is that 6,000 signed up, and when morning arrived with still no attack by the Federal Preventive Police (PFP) force, they shrugged and opened up. And Davies lays out the unspoken political conundrum that explains why the PAN allows the situation to spiral downhill: The President Fox’s National Action Party (PAN) needs the PRI to beat back a surge against its president-elect Felipe Calderon whose victory the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) believes was fraudulent. If the PAN lets URO fall, that would be taken as a sign that the PAN won’t support any of the other PRI officials whose heads would roll if a popular movement sweeps the country. Thus far, historical political rivals the PRI and the PAN have been united by their common fear of a widespread uprising of some kind led by López Obrador. On the other hand, Fox has been reluctant to overtly support the unpopular URO. Scissors, paper, rock. No one wants tho throw down.
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