Monday, October 30, 2006

Oaxaca, Mexico: PFP and APPO facing each other down in the Zócalo

UPDATES: Please scroll down.

APPO was indeed able to muster enough people to organize 3 separate marches into the center of the city today. There may be anywhere from 500 to 2000 people involved. The PFP stood their ground and awaited the arrival of the marchers. about all that has happened so far are shouts, insults and a few thrown rocks. I think APPO is well aware they no longer have the force to retake the Zócalo, in spite of their promises to do so that they made throughout the night.

A large number of the marchers, including those few APPO leaders not in hiding, marched from their last redoubt in Juarez University. I wonder why the PFP did not move against the University after so many of their potential antagonists had left. I just walked over to take a look and it's not a pretty sight.

The propane gas tanker has had its delivery hose uncoiled and stretched out about 50 feet away from the tanker. It's lying on the ground. I suppose some moron intends to try to use it as a giant flamethrower. I used a Bunson burner once in high school chemistry class and it got really hot. I heated up a glass rod until it was glowing red. Then I blew on it until it just returned to its normal color. I then turned to a guy next to me, Chris Southwick, if I remember correctly, and asked him, "Is this yours?" He said, "Hey, what are you doing with my stuff?" Then he grabbed the glass rod, which had cooled to just less than 1000°F. Sssssssssst. Fistfight and subsequent suspensions ensued.

There will be no automated bank teller business conducted at HSBC (formerly Banco Bital) in Plaza del Valle, at least for awhile. Last night thieves yanked out the entire glass wall in front of the two machines. The glass is lying on the sidewalk in front of the bank. One machine is gone and the other is lying on its side, ripped completely open. My neighbors and I are mystified as to why we did not hear the alarm last night.

Sam's Club (you go, Wal-Mart!), El Portón restaurant and the following new car dealerships are open, if you're in the market today; VW, Nissan, Mercedes Benz, Ford, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Renault and Honda. These stores are strung out in a line from Símbolos Patrios to Plaza Oaxaca. You have to look closely to see that they are open because they've moved all of their rolling stock away from the streets to the back lots. However, the American multi-national restauranteurs are closed until further notice; MacDonalds, KFC, Burger King and Pizza Hut.

The Gigante supermarket is the only store open in Plaza del Valle. It's just a few doors down from the newly open-to-the-elements but not-open-for-business HSBC bank. Plaza Oaxaca is where the barricades begin on Avenida Universidad and they stretch from there all the way past the university to Cinco Señores, the next big intersection. The big Soriana supermarket in Plaza Oaxaca opened on time this morning, also. Bad move. There are now about 50 Soriana shopping carts strung together and being used as barricades near the gas tanker.APPO and university pseudo-students must have waltzed it this morning and begun rolling them out.

They also have torn down 4 big 15' columns as well as the roof that they supported and are using this debris in their barricades. I don't know where this stuff came from. It's painted in somewhat the same color scheme as Burger King but I couldn't see any obvious damage to the front of that building. However, the drive-through is at the back and that may have been the source of this material.

The gas tanker really worries me. I'm sure it worries the PFP, as well. It's far enough away and there is enough steel and concrete between the tanker and our little gated community to prevent any direct dmage. However, the explosion could shatter windows and would certainly scare the hell out of all of us. Hopefully, the moron who lights up this gigantic Bunson burner, just before his self-immolation, will drain enough pressure off to forestall the blast.

UPDATE I: It is now being reported that the APPO marchers have backed away from the PFP in the Zócalo and have set up shop around Santo Domingo. That's a real shame. Santo Domingo is one of the most beautiful colonial buildings in all of the Americas. Now it will be reduced to the same shit-hole status as the Zócalo. I do hope the PFP takes strong action to move APPO out of this area, and soon.

UPDATE II: The Mexican Chamber of Deputies just released a resolution calling upon Governor Ruiz Ortiz to resign. While the resolution carries no legal weight, it was approved with the participation of the PRD, PAN, Convergencia, PT, Nueva Alianza y PASC. Only the first 2 political parties count, the remaining 4 are too small to be of any import.

The PRI (the governor's party) and the PVEM, another tiny political party, voted against the resolution. However, there was only one speaker who rose in support of the resolution (from the PAN) and no speakers chose to argue against it. Pretty lame, really.

UPDATE III: Not lame enough for the governor, apparently. Governor Ruiz Ortiz has already answered. His lawyer has filed a petition with the country's Supreme Court seeking to have the resolution quashed. Ruiz Ortiz's lawyer says that the Chamber of Deputies does not have the right to even ask the governor to resign.

Please visit the Pale Horse Galleries online store
for art, gifts and collectibles -- all hand made
by Mexican indigenous artists.

TAGS: , , ,

No comments: