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Rites of Spring in Oaxaca

2 May 2007

In the Big Bend we know Spring is coming when the retirees in their buses and RVs start flocking north and the buzzards return (looking, I supposed, for whatever RVers are left behind).  In Oaxaca, it’s the return of the teachers to the Zocalo:

I translated this short notice from yesterday’s Grafíco:

Teachers from Seccion 22 – the dissident Oaxaca chapter ofthe Sindicato National de Trabajadores de la Educación (SNTE – the National Teachers’ Union) — and backers of the Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca (APPO) again came to the Zocalo of Oaxaca for a march this May Day.

In addition, students took over the University of Oaxaca radio station, broadcasting support for the movement which calls for the resignation of Governor Ulises Ruiz.

They encouraged the people to participate in the march and announced road blockades around the state.

Ezequiel Rosales Carreño, of the the 13 members of the Seccion 22 Political Commission, said yesterday that the democratic teachers’ union had presented a list of demands to the Secretaría de Gobernación.

Bootsnall had an on-site report:

International Workers Day is traditionally a big holiday in Mexico with workers getting the day off to celebrate. Oaxaca had a huge march…thousand walking to and out of the Zocalo. The APPO contingent showed up about noon…a few speeches and songs…not a lot of interest. But observers say things are heating up.

But you know those nice pretty newly painted walls that the Governor paid for? They are now all full of graffiti again…

Today there is supposed to be highway blockades and strikes. I will definitely not be taking my car out today

I guess Oaxaca IS back to normal — though this year, there’s a NEW AND IMPROVED “threat” to the Gov’ner: an email on a Spanish website.  I’m kind of dubious about how seriously though to take cyber-guerillas

The Southern People’s Revolutionary Brigade (BPRS) claimed that it is the armed wing of the Oaxacan People’s Popular Assembly (APPO). This group took the lead in running the huge strikes and protests that took control of Oaxaca City from May to October 2006. The BPRS said that one of its goals is to remove Oaxaca’s governor, Ulises Ruiz, from power. Is the group for real? It used to take a fax machine and one or two “armed incidents” to be a guerrilla group. Now it takes an email letter. The Mexican government, however, cannot dismiss the group out of hand. The Oaxaca “occupations” were a major political embarrassment for the government of former Mexican president Vicente Fox.

Cyber-guerrilas are coming! Call out the Robo-cops!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Amanda permalink
    2 May 2007 11:35 pm

    I laughed outloud when I read this title. In all of my trips to Oaxaca, I’ve yet to see the zócalo without teachers sleeping in it.

    I’ve just discovered your blog and I’m finiding it a fantastic distraction from my dissertation (on MX lit).

    I have a question that’s bugging me and maybe you can help. About a block away from La plaza de tres culturas there is a mural. I cannot remember for the life of me what it is called or who it’s by. Any guidance?

  2. pj in texas permalink
    3 May 2007 6:41 pm

    Oaxacan teachers are driving the final nail in the coffin of the city with their renewed strikes. Regardless of how one feels about their cause, the end result is a complete economic destruction of the city. Small businesses, which are the lifeblood of the city, are closing almost daily. Most of the artists have fled. How sad!! How does one justify the complete and selfish disregard that the protestors have for the common good?

  3. 4 May 2007 3:11 pm

    very interesting! Thanks for the post. I am not surprised that the walls are covered in graffitti again. Did Ulises really think that it would stay clean for long? It is so very difficult to find out what exactly is happening there when i am no longer in oaxaca. At least I can read Noticias and La Jornada… do you know if there will be an official strike of seccion 22 this year?

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