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God Help Oaxaca

On April 11, in a speech memorializing the 88th anniversary of the death of Mexican hero Emiliano Zapata, a leader of the teachers union, Pedro Matias affirmed that the month of May 2007 will bring a series of mobilizations which can include work stoppages at intervals, marches, encampments, and the blocking of public offices on up to a general labor strike, to demand the departure of Governor Ulises Ruiz, freedom for the political prisoners, cancellation of arrest orders and to achieve true justice to make a reality the ideals of Emiliano Zapata.” He said “this is the only way that remains for the people (to fight) against the repression, the impositions, the sacking and the pillage by the state and federal governments.”

I don’t know how long this can go on without even more of a backlash than there already is. As my dentist said, he expects another teacher strike but he doesn’t know if Oaxaca can “resist” another long siege like the last one that lasted 8 months.

A meeting scheduled for April 18 with the federal government is not considered sufficient because the agreements that they signed on October 27, 2006, have not been completely fulfilled. Seven months after signing this agreement, demands such as the rezonification for cost of living and assistance to education, the freedom for the political prisoners and the cancellation of arrest orders against the participants in the popular movement are still pending. And people are still being arrested and disappeared.

After saying that they have had 27 years of struggle and they are not going to renounce the constitutional right to mobilize, the speaker repeated that the state and federal government have had sufficient time to sort out the problems but they have not wanted to do so.”



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