A brutal repression and massacre of resistors by federal and state police in the small city of Atenco, 15 miles south of Mexico City, in May of 2006, foreshadowed the repression that was to follow June through November 2006 in Oaxaca. Government forces were attempting to crack down on some flower vendors that they assumed were associated with activists demonstrating against government acquisition of communal land for an airport. A “>video on YouTube is the best (graphic) depiction and explanation by analysts and historians that I have seen so far…with English subtitles…of the machinations the government has historically used in Mexico:
A Mexican-American friend who was a student in 1968 in Guadalajara, told me that when students were demonstrating in the soccer stadium in Mexico City , police snipers killed some soldiers to make it look like the students had done the shooting. Immediately, police opened fire on the students…killing hundreds.
In July 1975 the army evicted squatters from a section of Oaxaca City, herded them into buses and imprisoned them overnight while what remained behind was burned. According to Murphy and Stepick in Social Inequality in Oaxaca…a History of Resistance and Change 1991 “the state director of the federal public works agency masterminded the invasion in order to increase his political power by recruiting support among the urban masses (against the demands of the poor). The director’s plan had been to convince the owner of a large tract of land to relinquish a portion of it in exchange for the introduction of streets and water on the remainder of his extensive holdings. The agency’s director used university students with ties to the Communist Youth Party as intermediaries to implement the plan.”
Sounds familiar. A plan sure of alienating the middle class from the dissenters.
Tags: Mexico, Oaxaca, Reading