The Governor of Oaxaca Is Provoking a Mini-Civil War in the State Capital

On Friday June 29 a signed letter appeared in Noticias warning the public. Now, whether the author himself, one Patricio Solari, is acting in good faith or is himself a provocateur, I don’t know. But he outlined the plan, which we have already seen in its initial stages of the dozen or so commercial people from the zócalo area confronting the teacher APPO plantón with an ultimatum.. Solari names the ex- “chief of police” Manuel Vera Salinas, as being recruited along with other former chiefs. They would head up the selected infiltrators to be within the encampment. The former police, armed, would provoke the actual shooting – this in the middle of a zócalo occupied not only by overt partisans and teachers but also by vendors, tourists, children, and families. The infiltrators shooting into a column of marchers would incite the melee, bringing on the intervention of the ministerial police, state police, etcetera. A Saturday Noticias article claims that the PRI is paying up to 300 pesos per youngster to fight in the expected confrontation.

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.

About Nancy Davies

I’m a little old lady in sandalias, Plebian Consort of George Salzman on whose web-site some of my essays are posted. I write in every genre, I teach English, I hang out in the Mexican sunshine. I am in love with Subcomandante Marcos although we’ve met only in the noösphere.

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About Nancy Davies

Biography
I’m a little old lady in sandalias, Plebian Consort of George Salzman on whose web-site some of my essays are posted. I write in every genre, I teach English, I hang out in the Mexican sunshine. I am in love with Subcomandante Marcos although we’ve met only in the noösphere.