First came Secretary of the Interior Abascal to declare that the federales' incursion into Oaxaca was accomplished "a saldo blanco" -- with a clean slate --meaning that no one was killed during the operation. Then, President Vicente Fox declared yesterday that "there has been no loss of life" in the contretemps throughout the city.
I, and everyone else who was paying any attention, knew that there were at least 3 deaths involved within the first few hours of the federales entering the city. Before the operation even got started, a federale (PFP) officer was killed and 14 more injured when a transport carrying them to the city overturned and plunged down an embankment. Then, APPO announced that 2 persons had been killed by gunshots from the PFP. I didn't believe that story for two reasons; first, you can't believe anything APPO says and, second, the vast majority of the PFP officers are not armed with anything other than a baton, helmet and shield.
The PFP itself, on Sunday afternoon, announced that they had one body and that man had been killed when a nail-laden rocket he was attempting to fire exploded in his face. The other person killed was identified as Fidel García. He was reportedly shot in an alley near the big confrontation at the Tech University by a gang of masked men. It is impossible to determine who those men were. No body has been produced but it is pretty well accepted that there is at least one more fatal casualty. The generally-favorable-to-the-government local daily El Imparcial is reporting this as fact and I would tend to believe it.
The autopsy -- and I don't know who performed it -- of Jorge Alberto López, a male nurse from Etla, confirmed that he was indeed killed by a tear gas cannister. If you take a look at his body, there is no evidence, at least that I can see, of burns that would indicate something exploded in his hands and face. Nor is there any evidence of shrapnel wounds from "a nail laden rocket".
Indymedia is claiming 11 dead, but you can't believe anything they say, either. Show me the bodies. Indymedia also has a photo of shell casings which they would like you to believe is evidence of the use of firearms against APPO. At least one of these cartridges looks like it was fired several years ago, possibly in Viet Nam.
There, now. Two can play this game.
In any event, whoever advised President Fox that he could claim that there were no fatalities during Sunday's operation should be seeking new employment.
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TAGS: Oaxaca, Mexico, Oaxaca teachers strike, APPO, Vicente Fox, Indymedia