Sunday, July 30, 2006

Oaxaca, Mexico: State sealed off from rest of country

APPO (Asamblea Popular del Pueblo de Oaxaca) has announced that it has installed or will install 24/7 blockades on several highways throughout the state. This announcement, along with the SNTE (teachers union) announcements of highways that they already have blocked or intend to block, has effectively sealed the state off from the rest of civilization.

The map that you see below can be viewed in a much larger and more detailed size at my Flickr account.

Now, a warning: The locations of the blockades or intended blockades are marked with large black X´s and these marked locations are only approximate. I cannot determine from the various announcements by the SNTE and APPO the exact location of each blockade. In fact, some of the announcements coming from each group seem to conflict. For example, both groups have announced some blockades of the same highways but in different locations. Whether there are, in fact, two blockades being manned simultaneously by two different groups is unknown, but doubtful. I think it is a lack of coordination between the SNTE and the APPO.

The APPO, just to remind you, is an umbrella group composed of all the socialist, communist and anarchst groups that have moved in here to "support" the teachers union. The SNTE has been debating internally for the past two weeks whether or not to continue coordinated efforts with APPO. The teachers seem to realize the economic damage that they have done and the popular backlash forming against them. APPO doesn't care. APPO is in this for the sake of revolution, so the more economic hardship and chaos, the better.

Once again, I caution you. The blockades as marked on the map are only approximate locations which I determined, as best I could, from the conflicting and confusing announcements from both dissident groups.

Mark in Mexico http/,, Map of Oaxaca State in Mexico showing approximate locations of highway blockades. These blockades were announced by striking teachers union, the SNTE, and APPO, an umbrella organization comprised of various and sundry socialist, communist and anrchist groups. The marked locations of the blockades are only approximate because of conflicting and confusing reports from both APPO and SNTE.

It would appear from the map that the strategy of the SNTE/APPO coalition is to cut off the city of Oaxaca from its supply lines to the north and east as well as to isolate the tourist beaches along the coast. The SNTE announced earlier in the week the blockades of the highways south to the beaches as well as the one along the coast from Pinotepa Nacional to Acapulco. That would seem to be in keeping with their newly found desire to minimize economic hardships to the city's population. APPO, however, in their announcement yesterday, seems intent on cutting off most of the state and all of the city from the outside world.

Gustavo Adolfo López, spokesman for APPO and himself a member of the FPR (Frente Popular Revolucionario -- the Communists -- photo here) said that the blockades are "permanent and will not be removed until the governor has resigned."

If the highways remain blocked in these locations for any amount of time, the city may begin to run out of food . . . and beer. Now that worries me more than anything. I moved my family north to Puebla last weekend so my belly is the only one I have to worry about feeding.

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