Sunday, October 01, 2006


Good Morning, Oaxaca

It looks like PAN may be about to throw down in Oaxaca. Image from Reuters. The PRI tried to dislodge the APPO (protestors) with paramilitary thugs. They killed a few people. They destroyed the radio communications to isolate the protestors. They tried to buy them off. But the APPO wants Ulises Ruiz Ortiz and his mafia out. The PAN can't afford to dump Ortiz, because it needs PRIista backing. If they dump him, other PRIist governors, equally corrupt, will be looking over their shoulders. And presumably they can't wait out the APPO, because then blame for the bloodshed would be on FeCal. They have to decide what to do in the next ca. 60 days. Now the Mexican military is there in force, engaging in standard tactics of disruption. They are overflying the city of Oaxaca to keep people jumpy and prevent them from sleeping. Federal Police have come to replace the ineffectual but thuggish state police. One APPO radio station, The Law of the People, remains on the air. Just to add to the already ridiculous level of overkill, the marines have landed in dozens of amphibious vehicles at Santa María Huatulco and Salina Cruz. But the reality is that troops are rarely deployed unless they are used. It's difficult to keep men in a state of readiness for combat over lonbg periods of time. They start to notice that their opponents include women, old men, and children, armed with pipes and sticks against their automatic weapons. They waver. Many bloggers imagined that when AMLO declared a parallel government, there would immediately be violence. But the real danger was always in places like Oaxaca and Chiapas, where the narcotrafficking and the corruption is so far out of control that life has become unlivable for millions of people. Pray for Oaxaca. Both that they remain strong in their resolve to nonviolently force the removal of the corruption of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz and that the government asks itself whether it wants to have a Vietnam inside its boundaries and turns away from the path of bloodshed. UPDATE from PW: A Kossack's diary on the planned PAN/PRI Oaxaca throwdown currently tops the Recommended list. It forms a nice complement to Charles' piece today.
Are you out of your MIND. Do you actually believe what you are writing? As a person who actually lives in Oaxaca, Peurto Escondido that it is. I have seen what this Lawful (lol) has done to the children, local businesses, and tourism. There is not ONE GOOD THING that has come of this. It has destroyed the very thing these people are try to achieve. You hear that load pop? That was your head coming out your rear end.
Are you out of your MIND. Do you actually believe what you are writing? As a person who actually lives in Oaxaca, Puerto Escondido that it is. I have seen what this Lawful Demonstration(lol) has done to the children, local businesses, and tourism. There is not ONE GOOD THING that has come of this. It has destroyed the very thing these people are try to achieve. You hear that loud pop? That was your head coming out your rear end.
Funny thing, "Richard", but while you say you live in Oaxaca, that's not what your IP address shows.
Oh, and nice misspelling of the name of your alleged hometown, "Richard". Most literate people, whatever their native language, can usually remember to spell certain things properly, such as their own names and the names of the places where they live.
I actually DO live in Oaxaca and have seen for myself what has been happening over the last months including this most distressing recent development. The heavy-handedness of the military presence here can only lead to more violence and death. APPO has problems, yes, but this military solution is untenable. I respect APPo's more or less non-violent efforts to get rid of an obviously corrupt governor.
I believe Charles is correct in his assessment that if URO is ousted, it will set an ugly precedent that other corrupt governors will fear, hence the radical response from the Federal government.
There's an interesting pattern of people who are distant from Mexico claiming to be right in the middle of the action, so that they can tell me how much I don't understand.

I am actually very sympathetic to the businessmen of downtown Oaxaca. They too are victims of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz. Many of them may send their kids to the same substandard schools that were the spark that ignited this strike.

But it was not APPO that refused to pay a living wage to the teachers. It was URO. It was not APPO that fired on people at the Guelaguetza festival. It was Ruiz Ortiz's agents. It wasn't APPO that destroyed the radio stations or dropped teargas from helicopters or assassinated teachers. It was URO's agents.

Mass demonstrations like this simply don't occur for no reason at all. Like the Boston Tea Party, they occur because people have had enough and will take no more.

As Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled."

It does not matter what the objective(s) of each side of the conflict is. What matters is that a resolution can be obtained, even if both sides have to compromise; what matters is that an armed conflict is avoided and lives be saved. I don't believe everything the APPO says or claims they are fighting for; they too have done much harm to Oaxaca's economy. It all started; teacher's wanted to be paid more and now they want the governor out of office. What is next? At the same time I do recognize that corruption is a problem? Solution to this problem can not be obtained in the short run; however, it is a long term situation. What the APPO is doing does not help nor can it create the free-corrupt Oaxaca. The majority of the people in Oaxaca are not worst off as a result of these manifestations; their economy has almost disappeared. Furthermore, my fear is that even if APPO succeeds and places a new government; one of their representatives will arise to govern and his government will be just as corrupt or more than the one just replaced. I have relatives living in Oaxaca and they are worried that if this conflict continues they won’t be able to bring bread to their tables. They don’t trust APPO leaders and don’t think these leaders are or have the solution(s) to this conflict.
Anonymous, this is not hard.

The APPO alleges that Ruiz Ortiz is engaged in massive corruption, violence, and murder.

The federal government has the power to go in and investigate. Perhaps it could enlist an internationally-respected jurist to head the investigation.

Assuming that even a small part of the complaints probably has the power to arrest him and remove him from office.

Then there are free and fair elections.

End of story, end of uprising.

Instead, Vicente Fox has refused to even investigate.

Fox has always had the power to end this peacefully. Instead, he'll kill a bunch of people and try to blame it on APPO. That's because in some degree he is part of the corruption, violence, and murder.

It DOES matter what the objectives of each side are.
What you are saying is that FOX's objective(s) is to have and protect a government that is corrupt, commits violence and engages in murder? I can believe the corruption claim but to say that he is deliberately involved in violence, murder has no substances.
If this was the case then we can easily say that all governments at all levels, from all countries engage in corruption, violence and murder. Then, who is to say that once the APPO comes to power or even if there are free elections upon defeating Ruiz Ortiz all these hideous acts will stop?
There is no end to these problems as they are presented and the current uprising will likely not make things better; hence their objective(s) won't matter. It is only a band aid to the bigger picture...
Anonymous, I'm afraid that the Fox government does appear to be connected to organized crime. This is a disappointment to those of us who hoped that Fox's election heralded an end to the corrupt, repressive policies of the PRI.

They have not.

Indeed, Fox's own sons are in danger of indictment for illegal enrichment, i.e., kickbacks, bribery, sweetheart deals, etc.

But it's worse than that.

Much worse.

I don't have the time to go into detail right now. You will find some examples in our archives, and if you decide to follow the blog regularly, I might be inspired to start a thread on the source of violence in Mexico.

But bottom line: there's a h--luva lot of money in play.

Enough to corrupt a saint.

Enough to bring an ordinary man to violence and murder.

Revolutions never seem to make sense when they start. Bostonians dressing up as Indians to throw tea into the harbor? Gandhi marching to the sea to make salt? The comfortable middle class looks at these acts and mutters, "Crazy idiots"... until something happens to make the craziness make sense.

In Mexico's case, the wake up will probably come over economic decline. A recession in the US, for example, would probably devastate the Mexican middle class.

If the PAN had allowed the votes to be counted, this whole thing would have worked itself out. If PAN had moved against corruption, they might have taken the moral high ground. But now a third of the country is openly hostile to the government. A recession is looming, and with it, the government will lose all legitimacy.

The fuse is lit, and I doubt that anyone can put it out.
This has been going on in the mountains of Oaxaca for decades. why does everybody care now?? far more people have been murdered in the mountian areas for decades. But now they mess with your tourist area and all the sudden it matters to you. give me a break.
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