Saturday, July 22, 2006

Oaxaca, Mexico: Show me the bullets

The striking teachers claim that their radio station, Radio Universidad, was attacked by "50 paramilitary commandos armed with rifles". Radio Universidad is ostensibly the property of Benito Juárez University but in reality is in the hands of the teachers' union.

The union claimed that women and children were present in the radio station when the attack occurred. There were no wounded and no deaths reported. In fact, union officials, when questioned in detail by reporters, had no details to give, including being able to identify any target at which the commandos were firing.

In other words, 50 heavily armed paramilitary commandos attacked a building guarded by women and children and there are no casualties and no bullet holes.


In other hilarity from the area, the teachers' union's Guelaguetza Popular", or their own version of the canceled festival, was attended by an enthusiastic throng of, uh, 3000 fans. El Universal is reporting that only 50 teachers attended the festival. I find that number to be a little too low to be believed. Regardless, they all left when it started to rain. One of the two big local dailies, Noticias de Oaxaca, so rabidly anti-government that it no longer bothers to differentiate between fact and fiction, reported on its front page today that "60,000 teachers have returned to the tent city in the Zócalo." That would mean that only 5% (or less) of them attended their own Guelaguetza Popular, and then only until the rain started.

The return of the 60,000 teachers, or their ghosts, since I haven't seen more than a thousand or so, was reportedly due to the completion of the school year. The teachers' strike caused the loss of 43 school days and when some of them went back to work they managed to complete the school year in only 15 days.


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