Oaxaca: Ending the Blockades, Beginning the Reprisals?
The media this morning are reporting that the last barricade in Oaxaca has been taken down and that Radio Universidad, which was used by APPO to organize demonstrators, was returned to the University. According to the International Herald Tribune:
Authorities removed the last significant barricade erected by leftist protesters as part of their six-month takeover of Oaxaca City on Wednesday, and activists — some of them weeping — returned a seized radio station to university officials.
The loss of Radio University — which had served as the movement's nerve center, alerting protesters to police movements — and the removal of a barricade made of hijacked, burned-out vehicles just outside the campus' walls, appeared to be a huge setback for the once-powerful protest movement.
For the first time in months, police appeared to control this entire colonial city in southern Mexico, popular among tourists for its picturesque, arch-ringed main square.
[T]he day that I leave, the Cinco Senores barricade was dismantled, and APPO stopped broadcasting over Radio Universidad. These were the two last remaining physical outposts of the movement. What happens now? Radio Ciudadana, the voice of the PRI, which has called for foreigners to be killed and for people to throw acid when APPO marches, has been broadcasting the names and addresses of those involved with APPO. A few days ago, then, the offices of Flavio Sosa (a frequent APPO spokesperson) were burned, with no preventative measures taken by the "peacekeeping" PFP. Are we to see even more of this?
Meanwhile, tomorrow is scheduled for the inauguration of president "elect" Felipe Calderon in Mexico City. So the very limited main stream media coverage of the Oaxaca events will change its focus to Mexico City. Will this bring massive reprisals to Oaxaca?
I hope not. But all of the preconditions are there. I cannot yet digest what has happened in Oaxaca, and I cannot imagine the contrast of the sweet beauty of this city with the terror and ugliness of reprisals.