The Governor of Oaxaca Is Provoking a Mini-Civil War in the State Capital
Divide and conquer is an ancient strategy, and is well documented in rural Oaxaca where it’s easy to spark fights over water and land. But inside the city, where it would not be possible to target particular individuals, is another whole ballgame. Inside the zócalo on Friday I spoke to a waitress in the floundering restaurant cafe. She is young, pretty and vicious. Her words were, “we’re going to push them out”. How? I asked, since I doubt pushing is so easy, but when I referred to killing the teachers, she assured me that the APPO is armed – and the commercial people are also.
A small APPO march – apparently the APPO called off its megamarch as a show of good faith, but not everyone knew it or agreed to the cancellation – arrived at about 6:00 Friday evening. Among the first speakers was a man who identified himself as a vendor on the street Las Casas, who told the crowd that Las Casas would not participate in the attempt to dislodge the encampment, by a vote of 70% in opposition. (Las Casas is a poor street; it resembles Mexico City with its jammed sidewalks. It has been threatened with a “clean-up” because vendor stalls block entrances to shops.)
Saturday Noticias printed an article saying the attack was “suspended”. Two organizations are involved: Consejo Ciudadano para el Progresso, which was quoted as saying, “the peaceful expulsion planned for this Saturday was cancelled at the request of the governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz ‘to maintain the peace’ “. The other group, Organización Independiente de Comerciantes Establecidos (OICE) has thus far not announced their agreement with the CCP.
A spokesperson for the APPO called on the small and mid-size businesses to not fall into the “perverse game” of Ruiz Ortiz because he is trying to use honest men and women “ to fulfill his assassin’s aims”.
So we now wait to see if the current offer of the government is acceptable to resolve teacher-APPO demands. And we wait for URO’s next move.