Sunday, July 23, 2006

Oaxaca, Mexico: Teachers attack and badly injure city buses

In response to the alleged attack last night on the teachers' radio station, Radio Universidad, which used to belong to the university before the teachers' union took it, a gang of striking teachers commandeered three city buses in front of Benito Juárez University this morning. They pulled the buses across the north bound lanes of Boulevard Universidad, then proceeded to slash the tires and bash out the windows. Then they caught a luxury tour bus driver unawares and proceeded to do the same to the ADO-GL bus. That will be expensive.

The alleged armed attack has been reported by the teachers' union as;
50 paramilitary commandos in 2 SUV's, or
50 paramilitary commandos in 2 pickup trucks with Mexico City license plates, or
50 paramilitary commandos in a city police car and a Hummer with Oaxaca plates 525-BV.
The commandos either did or did not fire thousands of bullets at the radio station and either did or did not throw molotov cocktails at the building, depending on which version you hear.

The state government's Secretary of the Interior, Heliodoro Díaz, says that APPO probably did it in order to keep the teachers riled up. APPO is the "citizens group" formed shortly after the teachers went on strike. APPO's purpose, according to its mysterious and shadowy leadership, is to support the teachers' union against the state government's aggression. Díaz says that APPO staged the attack because, if the attack had happened the way the teachers claimed, the results would have been fatal. He's got a point. I cannot imagine an attack on a building filled with women and children by 50 heavily armed paramilitary commandos with nothing to show for it but some broken glass.

The attack occurred at about 9:30 last night when there is a lot of traffic on Boulevard Universidad. The commandos, a gang that couldn't shoot straight of didn't want to shoot straight, arrived in 2 or 3 vehicles which had to sit in front of the university's gates for at least a few seconds while the chains and locks were cut. Then the 2 or 3 vehicles, pickups or SUV's or a car and a Hummer, drove into the university for some 200 meters to where the radio station is located. They either fired thousands of rounds or not, they either threw Molotov cocktails or not, then they returned to their vehicles and drove away. All this either did or did not occur in full view of the university's private security guards who were manning the guardhouses just inside the gates. Unless they were not. Who knows?

In any event, some buses that were no doubt innocent in all of this paid a heavy price today.

An armored bus, more or less teacher proof

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