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martes, noviembre 07, 2006

Oaxaca Update

Today is Election Day in the US. In Oaxaca it's another day of the 5 month long confrontation between strikers and the government. And from Mexico City there's the sad news that the conflict has culiminated a series of bombings. Nobody was killed. Throughout Mexico, Oaxaca is again today's lead story.

This story is a frightening one. The longer the confrontation continues, the greater the chance of widespread, violent, governmental repression. In my mind, the build-up is oddly and frighteningly reminiscent of the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre. Photos here (if you can stand them) . As in 1968, the government (does it matter if it's the PAN or the PRI?), it seems, will tolerate demonstrations only for so long. And then, failing to appease the demonstrators, or negotiate a settlement (here that seems to require the resignation of the Governor of Oaxaca), or disperse the strikers, and unwilling to countenance the continuation of the barricades and the negative images of governmental impotence in the press, the government is prone to bursts of widespread, organized violence.

I really hope this won't happen. Reports of steps toward a negotiated solution are far from encouraging.