Tuesday, October 10, 2006

All posts were moved (11/2006) to http://mexfiles.wordpress.com

Oaxaca... again

One of the more reliable English-language sources on Oaxaca is Ana-Maria Salazar Slack, who runs the Mexican news blog "Mexico Today." Her summation of the situation as it stands now is hopeful:
Conclusion: What seemed to an irreversible use of force to regain control of the City of Oaxaca last week, today it appears that there may be a different solution… One of the huge issue is when will the teachers return to the classrooms. It has been more then five months that they have been on strike…
The entire post is here. On the Lonely Planet's "Thorn Tree Mexico Message Board", South African Oaxaca resident "gbbackpack" posted this:
Overland bus transport has been nearly back to normal for weeks now. Day-time Oaxaca is basically calm, though people (and taxis) simply no longer leave much after 10 or 11pm (midnight buses are also the only ones still cancelled). This is not normal for Oaxaca at all, but maybe exactly because it used to be such a safe place – that it is actually surviving this lack of governance in a strange way. This week probably remains crucial: Predictions are hard right now, but watch ... news reports for updates (but keep in mind who the information source is).
That last comment -- in parenthesis -- is probably the wisest thing I've seen about the whole situation. Most of the anti-APPO "analysis" I've seen comes from either big business executives, or corporate sources. Consciously or not, they are going to be biased towards the way things SHOULD work... not the way they are working. What's ironic is that we're seeing a libertarian pro-democracy uprising going pretty smoothly... much to the chagrin of those who normally pay lip service to "self-reliance" and "do-it-yourselfism". Unfortunately, a lot of the pro-APPO reportage is also biased... I'm annoyed with U.S.-based analysis that somehow conflate a larger-than-usual, but not unheard of push to out a Latin American crook with U.S. politics, the Bush agenda and the 2000 Presidential vote count in Florida. None of which have anything to do with a mismanged state economy or a teachers' strike. And, even though Mexicans like to refer to Karl Marx, they aren't ones for following the rule book -- unlike European revolutionaries, Mexican history is written after the book comes out. Nobody wrote a Mein Kampf or Communist Manifesto for the 1910-20 Revolution. They still managed to have one. Having said all that... from the CORPORATE MEDIA (or, "MSM" as the right-wing likes to call it these days), this from the Mexico City News (El Universal's English edition, published in cooperation with the Miami Herald). What I noted was that top business leaders are now involved... making this look all the more traditionally Mexican, where crises are resolved through negotiation and compromise, as was the electorial crisis of 1988:
...In a press conference late Monday, Interior Secretary Carlos Abascal, who has headed the negotiations with the local chapter of the teachers union and the Oaxaca People´s Popular Assembly (APPO), said a tentative agreement had been reached over the return of law enforcement to Oaxaca City. ... Abascal said the crisis needed an immediate solution and called for the teachers to return to classes. School has been suspended during the unrest, affecting over a million Oaxacan children. ... APPO and the teachers reportedly put a three-page document on the table that calls for the establishment of a dialogue process in Oaxaca itself that would include a broad representation of the state´s citizens. The talks would start October 12. The secretariat, meanwhile, has offered full back pay to the dissident teachers, according to media reports. It has also said that an investigation was under way involving Oaxaca Governor Ulises Ruiz. The specifics of the investigation was unclear, but a document signed by Abascal indicated that previous Oaxaca state administrations were also being investigated. The ouster of Ruiz is the strikers´ top demand. ... The only major party that has backed the idea of Ruiz´s removal or resignation is the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD). On Monday, the PRD said it could accept that Ruiz´s replacement be from his own party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). ...On Tuesday, a Senate committee will decide if it will continue proceedings that can legally remove Ruiz from office on the grounds of inability to govern. ...Also on Monday, a diverse new citizens group called the National Democratic Dialogue called on authorities to avoid using any repressive means to deal with the ongoing unrest in the southern state. The group, which includes National Employers Confederation president Alberto Núñez Esteva and renowned pro-democracy activist and Colegio de México social scientist Sergio Aguayo, urged a political settlement to the crisis. "Efforts at dialogue must have priority," urged the group in a statement, "especially those that involve the participation of civic society and the construction of long-term solutions."


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