Friday, December 15, 2006


Mexico, December 15th

A hasty and superficial summary. Oaxaca is under the jackboot, but that doesn't mean things are sweetness and light. A lot of people figure that the fires that took down so many buildings may have been set by Governor Ruiz Ortiz. Sara Mendez of the Oaxacan Network in Defense of Human Rights believes that there is good reason for suspicion. According to Mendez, "The burnings of many of the buildings [on the 25th] were not burnings that would benefit the APPO at all but rather burnings that contained records that would reveal the details of corruption." Those details likely included the illegal transfer of state funds to the campaign of presidential candidate Roberto Madrazzo [sic]. Flavio Sosa & co. of APPO are being held for the crime. Figuring out whether Mexico can successfully resolve its problems peacefully involves reaching a judgment on whether (a) the Calderon government understands how p--sed off people are, (b) whether that government is capable of reacting constructively, and (c) whether the peaceful opposition movement represented by the PRD (about 30% of the population) stays separate from or merges with more confrontational movements like APPO and the EZLN (maybe 5% of the population) or even with people who have given up on talking and taken up arms (probably just a few thousand people). La Jornada carried an interview with leaders of four of six armed groups, the Lucio Cabañas Barrientos Revolutionary Movement (MRLCB), the Democratic Revolucionary Tendency-People's Army (TDR-EP), the 2nd December Brigades for Obtaining Justice (BA 2D), the May 1 Insurgent Organization (OI 1M), the Popular Liberation Brigade (BPL) and the Magician's Popular Revolutionary Unity (UPRM) group. They claim that the bombs planted in the capital were a wake-up call. The TDR-EP splinter group set those bombs in response to police repression in Oaxaca. Skipping over a lot of nonsense about what they think they are doing, one of the people made some interesting allegations. They claim to have infiltrated the military, and discovered that the paramilitary group Catarsis, active in Jalisco y Michoacán, is commanded by an Argentine and a retired captain from the Mexican Army and is preparing for disappearances and infiltration (of leftist groups). The ultraright also has intelligence from the military, the police, and the Center of Investigation and National Security. A cousin of Calderon through his wife's family, Felipe Héctor Zavala McGregor was executed, shot at close range in the back seat of a truck. No motive is obvious. The Calderons did not attend his funeral. Calderon intends to restore money cut from education. No child will be left behind!
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