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From: "Dana Aldea" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> To: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> Subject: Universal,Oaxaca City still seethes ... but quietly,May 02 Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 15:37:53 +0200 Oaxaca City still seethes ... but quietly Just as the beloved colonial city is getting back on its feet, there is concern it could again plunge into disorder Wire services El Universal Mie'rcoles 02 de mayo de 2007 OAXACA CITY - The tear gas is long gone, as are the police in body armor, the burned out hulks of buses and the masked vigilantes. Along the colonial-era stone streets where striking teachers paralyzed this city nearly a year ago - declaring themselves the acting government - there are now weddings, foot races and outdoor markets. The shady plaza that served as a shanty-town headquarters for a seven-month insurrection is now a place where musicians strum guitars, children chase balloons and couples steal private moments. And just as this beloved colonial city is getting back on its feet, there is concern it could again plunge into disorder. The 60,000-strong teachers union marched through the city Tuesday as part of International Labor Day observances. Trouble started last May and intensified in June after state police violently challenged the teachers during their annual - and usually routine - summertime demonstrations. The teachers fought back, drove away the officers and occupied the town square, soon reinforced by a coalition of left-leaning community groups, which became known by its acronym, APPO. They set up tents, spray-painted stone buildings with revolutionary graffiti and used everything from garbage to burning cars and buses to block streets and fortify the city's Historic Center. At nightly road blockades, activists wearing masks, holding clubs and standing beside fires controlled who came and went. Demonstrators wouldn't allow government employees to work and at one point hog-tied a policeman, splattered him with paint and made him march through the downtown holding a portrait of the state governor, whose ouster they demanded. Oaxaca City was filthy and barely recognizable. Tourism plummeted, leaving hotels and restaurants nearly vacant. The city lost an estimated US$800 million in revenue, according to the hotel association. RIOT POLICE SENT IN Things came to a head in late October with the shooting death of U.S. journalist-activist Bradley Will, one of about 20 people human rights groups say were killed in violence related to demonstrations here and in outlying areas. After Will's death, then-President Vicente Fox ended a hands-off policy and sent in federal riot police to dismantle the barricades. The movement had exacerbated an already divisive presidential campaign, was threatening to spread to other cities and was giving Mexico a bad image on the world stage. Many people, including residents who said they'd become hostages in their own city, thought Fox waited too long to act. In black body armor and supported by water cannons behind bulldozer blades, thousands of officers retook Oaxaca City with relative restraint and precision. As Oaxaca City cleaned up, activists have regrouped, though some of their leaders remain in hiding or behind bars. The chief demand of the teachers and the coalition remains the ouster of Gov. Ulises Ruiz, who they accuse of being corrupt, using the government to benefit his cronies and unleashing force to squash dissent. They say they consider Ruiz an example of an old-school Mexican politician, ruling one of the nation's poorest states like a dictator. His office declined repeated requests for a response to the allegations. Many local residents say they fear the activists more than the governor and question their motives. Some participants are undeniably driven by a desire for reforms or wholesale change, but rumors persist that previous demonstrators were either paid or threatened with job loss. "We will not permit anyone to take our streets," said Freddy Alca'ntara, president of the Oaxaca hotel association. "If they do again, Oaxaca is finished." CALDERO'N'S ROLE For months, city police carrying over-sized batons have been deployed in the vicinity of the town square. Mobile fences, which can be used to block crowds, have been strategically stockpiled. A key factor may be how Felipe Caldero'n handles trouble. He's repeatedly vowed to establish the rule of law in Mexico and has deployed thousands of federal police and soldiers to combat drug trafficking. Mexico City political scientist Juan Pardinas said, in part because of Caldero'n, he doesn't believe demonstrators in any renewed push by the movement would be able to consolidate control for long. "A chief tenet for the past few months has been the use of government force to maintain order," he said. "It is not like Fox, who said nothing is going on or that it is a local problem" rather than a potential national issue. Noel Lombrera, a state police officer who was off duty and with his family on a recent afternoon, said it is important to not be provoked into violence. "It will be sad, very sad," he said of the prospect of the plaza again becoming the front line for a clash between the government and demonstrators. "For years, centuries, this plaza has been the center of our culture." In fact, the clashes have seeped into Oaxacan culture. Some of the more violent moments are depicted in art galleries, with paintings of police beating demonstrators. Discarded tear-gas canisters and even police shields and clubs have been crafted into sculptural works. "Our weapon is art, our ability to express ourselves," said Oaxacan painter Francisco Vera'stegui. "I saw how they were hitting people and I couldn't do anything." Sitting in the town square and listening to marimba music, resident Eligio Paz did not sound like a typical retiree. "If we raise our voice, they will crush us," said Paz, who supports dissent. "We stay quiet, so they don't throw us in jail." http://www.mexiconews.com.mx/miami/24457.html JUNTA DE BUEN GOBIERNO CORAZO`N CE`NTRICO DE LOS ZAPATISTAS DELANTE DEL MUNDO SNAIL TZOBOMBAIL YU'UN LEKIL J'AMTELETIK TA O'LOL YO'ON ZAPATISTAS TE STUKI'IL SAT YELOB SJUNUL BALUMIL A 29 de Abril de 2007. A LA OPINION PU'BLICA. A LOS Y LAS ADHERENTE S A LA.SEXTA DECLARACION DE LA SELVA LACANDONA. A LA PRENSA ALTERNATIVA NACIONAL E INTERNACIONAL, A LOS ORGANISMOS DE DERECHOS HUMANOS HERMANOS Y HERMANAS. LA JUNTA DE BUEN GOBIERNO DE LA ZONA ALTOS DE CHIAPAS. Por medio de esta Denuncia hacemos del conocimiento pu'blico lo siguiente. En meses atra's representantes de pobladores de la comunidad "Los Mangos", acudieron al consejo Auto'nomo de Santa Catarina a solicitar ayuda ya que se encontraban preocupados pues el presidente Municipal de Panthelo estaba realizando una obra publica consistente en sistema de drenaje que desembocaba en el. arroyo majasil, que es la u'nica fuente de agua para su comunidad. El Consejo Auto'nomo de Santa Catarina realizo sus investigaciones descubriendo que la comunidad de los Mangos esta compuesta por 162 familias unas son del PR!, otras del PRO y otras son Bases de Apoyo del EZLN, que han tomado acuerdo de luchar juntos contra la obra publica que les afecta, que esa obra de drenaje beneficiara a aproximadamente 30 familias de la comunidad de "San Caralampio"; que la obra consta de tuberi'a y dos tanques, por los cuales se pasa el agua con excrementos y despue's es depositada al arroyo y que de ese arroyo obtienen su agua las 162 familias de la comunidad los Mangos; que han acudido a todas las instancias de Gobierno. Sin que les hayan atendido y que por eso tomaron acuerdo de pedir' apoyo d'e las autoridades auto'nomas. El Consejo auto'nomo de Santa Catarina acudio' en la Oficina de la Junta de Buen Gobierno Zona Altos a exponemos el problema y a pedir nuestro respaldo, nosotros como Junta de Buen Gobierno acudimos en el lugar de los hechos para atestiguar los sucesos por lo que como primera accio'n estamos haciendo esta denuncia ya que consideramos que es indebido que el Gobierno use dinero para construir obras que benefician a unos cuantos y afectan la salud y el ambiente de muchos otros. Vemos que el da~o ya esta' sucediendo y que mientras ma's tarde la suspensio'n de ese drenaje el da~o va a ser incurable. Y tambie'n vemos con preocupacio'n que esta obra puede propiciar un enfrentamiento entre hermanos tzeltales, por lo que es urgente resolverlo. Aunque sea una obra que aparentemente esta' a cargo del presidente Municipal de Panthelo en la contaminacio'n de este territorio tzeltal tambie'n tiene responsabilidad las autoridades estatales y federales que nuevamente lejos de consultar a las comunidades afectadas les impone obras pu'blicas que adema's les afecta. Solo asi' nos quieren exterminamos peleando por esta causa misma Como Junta de Buen Gobierno exigimos la Inmediata cancelacio'n y el sierre de la Obra del drenaje quien haga lo que les toca hacer para resolver esta grave contaminacio'n. de la Humanidad. Estaremos pendientes. Es todo. ATENTAMENTE JUNTA DE BUEN GOBIERNO CORAZON CENTRICO DE LOS ZAPATISTA DELANTE DEL MUNDO ZONA ALTOS. OVENTIC CHIAPAS. MEXICO GERONIMO SANTIZ GUZMAN SENAIDA LUNA LO`PEZ MARIO RUIZ ARIAZ VERONICA HERNANDEZ HDEA EDGAR RUIZ RUIZ GUADALUPE DIAZ DIAZ CARACOL: RESITENCIA y REBELDi'A POR LA HUMANIDAD. TA TZIKEL VOCOLlL XCHIUC JTOYBAIL SVENTA SLEKILAL SJUNUL BALUMIL: SAN ANDRE'S SAKAMCH'EN DE LOS POBRES; SAN JUAN DE LA LIBERTAD; SAN PEDRO POLHO'; SANTA CATARINA; MAGDALENA DE LA PAZ; 16 DE FEBRERO; SAN JUAN APO'STOL CANCUC http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/jbg/707/ -- To unsubscribe from this list send a message containing the words unsubscribe chiapas95 (or chiapas95-lite, or chiapas95-english, or chiapas95-espanol) to [EMAIL PROTECTED] Previous messages are available from http://www.eco.utexas.edu/faculty/Cleaver/chiapas95.html or gopher to Texas, University of Texas at Austin, Department of Economics, Mailing Lists.