Mexican Federal Police Invade...But the APPO Still Controls The Heart Of Oaxaca

After a full day;s assault, the thousands of Mexican Federal Police that invaded Oaxaca City today have now occupied the town square and other key parts of the city. But there are many this morning that maintain that the fight is far from over. At first glance, the Federal Government delivered a victory to the State Government of Oaxaca in its attempt to return control of the State Capital to Governor Ulises Ruiz. Armored tanks slammed through the APPO's barricades and brushed aside the women and children on the streets who had lined up to ask them not to enter their city. At least 50 people have been arrested, but the real number is feared to be much higher. Illegal search and seizures are occurring throughout the city, where Federal police and intelligence agents are hunting for the leadership of the Peoples' Popular Assembly of Oaxaca. (APPO) And, in outrageous coincidence evoking memories of Alexis Benhumea's murder in the town of San Salvador Atenco in May, at least one person is confirmed dead, a 15 year old boy slammed by a tear canister launched by the Federal Preventative Police (PFP).

But most observers on the ground told this correspondent last night that the fight is far from over; Radio Universidad, the voice of the APPO, is back on the air. Three marches are planned for today in the city of Oaxaca. The APPO remains present on every city block in every corner of the city. And despite the government's absurd claim that teachers will be back in classrooms today, members of section 22 of the teachers union made it clear that despite previous announcements, teachers will remain on strike. In fact, teachers from the democratic wing of the teachers’ movements in several states, including Guerrero, Michoacán, Tlaxcala, Morelos, Zacatecas, Oaxaca, Mexico City, and beyond, have vowed to walk out of classes as well. A mega march is planned in Mexico City to insist on the immediate withdrawal of the PFP.

"This is not a defeat." Insisted a host of Radio Universidad. "There are still more of us. They can't win unless they are prepared to put thousands upon thousands of us in jail, or turn the schools into jails. Or perhaps even turn the stadiums into jails, like Pinochet did."

Radio Universidad is currently on air giving instructions to citizens on how to engage in continued resistance.

Prior to yesterday's invasion, many people claimed that a Federal incursion into Oaxaca would not only fail to squash the movement, but would in fact strengthen it. Today, there are many signs that their predictions may well come true. Allies of the APPO took control of the government radio station yesterday in Guelatao, the small town in the mountains two hours from Oaxaca where Benito Juarez was born. From the word on the street, one suspects that today we will learn of many such small victories.

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About Gregory Berger

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Greg Berger (a.k.a. "Gringoyo") is a New York born filmmaker who lives in Mexico.