Lying Media Bastards

November 5, 2006

Oaxaca Chronicles

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A lot has happened since my lengthy post about Oaxaca last weekend.

After writing that story, I was pretty sorrowful. I didn’t see how this could end well. I felt sure I’d awaken the next day to headlines like “50 Dead in Oaxaca” following the siege by federal police. So I was actually relieved to hear that the anticipated massacre had not happened, that “only” three people had been killed. Which is still horrible, but not as horrific as my nightmares. At least not yet.

Then, to my surprise, the lower house of the Mexican congress called for the resignation of Governer URO. Then the upper house. The Mexican congress, no friend to the people of Oaxaca, was actually calling for URO to go. Not surprisingly, URO is refusing to leave.

Apart from that, the story seemed to be that while the federal police had succeeded in driving APPO out of the central square, the people were looking to come back in and reclaim it once they left. The police tried to (illegally) storm the campus of the local university (and home of Radio Universidad, which as served as the voice of APPO), and apparently were driven out by protesters.

I had planned to summarize the recent events in Oaxaca, but Narco News* and others are doing such an excellent job that I shouldn’t even bother trying.

Oaxaca: Solitary in Flames- none of Mexico’s political parties are supporting APPO, not even the “left-wing” one.

PFP Occupation of Oaxaca Reveals Growing Polarization Within the Populace
- interesting piece that acknowledges that not every citizen of Oaxaca is interested in this rebellion. Some just want an end to the chaos, and others (mostly light-skinned, middle-class Oaxacans) support the current administration. Most interestingly, the pro-URO factions seem to have adopted some of APPO’s tactics: marches, banners, slogans about “rising up”, and most interestingly, their own pirate radio station.

Radio Universidad in Oaxaca Still Broadcasting, A Miracle of People’s Resistance- first-hand account of the police invasion of Benito Juarez Autonomous University of Oaxaca (UABJO in its Spanish initials), the resistance by the people.

The Battle of Ciudad Universitaria- more detailed and structured account of the police siege, popular resistance, and, to everyone’s suprise, the police retreat.

KeHuelga- live radio stream from Oaxaca with news on the situation there, in Spanish. My language skills aren’t great, but I think that translates into “K-Strike”.

La Luchita and Women of Color Blog have also been covering the story well. WoCB’s author, Brownfemipower, also says something in that needs saying (in reference to the shocking, inspiring footage and photos of the Oaxacans’ fight):

these people are taking considerable fucking risks to make that perfect picture that people ooh and aah at. can you imagine? can you imagine your life being that bad, that oppressive, that as an old grandma, you would run up with your flowers screaming at armed henchmen? can you imagine as a young twenty something, your life being so oppressive, that you risk getting taken away in a henchmen’s van? can you imagine, as a woman, the life you must live to risk even showing up to a protest where henchmen have been known to disappear women and rape and sexually brutalize them?

There are a number of actions online (and off) going on that you can participate in:

- petition for the resignation of Ulises Ruiz and removal of the federal troops from Oaxaca
- send letters to the Mexican government
- send letters to your US Congressman
- “electronic blockade” of the Mexican embassy website
- donate money to Narco News
- demonstrations in front of Mexican embassies in many cities

Do what you can. If the Mexican government feels like the world has stopped paying attention to Oaxaca, the gloves come off.

* “Narco News” is a misleading name for the site. It was founded to cover stories about the Drug War from a Latin American point of view, but now does muckraking on a wide variety of subjects, still with a focus on Latin America.

Posted by Jake on November 5, 2006 12:45 am

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