Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Oaxaca, Mexico: APPO winter encampment (Valle Forge) burned to the ground

El Universal is reporting that APPO's winter camp at Santo Domingo has been burned to the ground. The newspaper says that unknown persons entered the camp about midnight last night and set it afire. The camp must have been mostly deserted, probably because of the cold temperatures, because there are no reports of any confrontations. There are no reports of any defense put up to defend the camp nor any injuries from the fire.

The newspaper reports that not only was the camp burned, but tents, awnings, tarpaulins, sleeping bags, wood, tin and cardboard shacks, cooking tents, clothing, protest signs and banners etc. were piled up and still burning at 1:30 am this morning.

I'm heading down there (on foot to avoid damage to my car) and I'll get some photos, if possible.

This is a major development here because APPO had been using women and children as human shields to prevent any attack by the PFP on the camp. APPO was taking advantage as well of the fact that Santo Domingo is considered "holy ground" to prevent any attempt by the PFP to disladge them from their last stronghold in the center of the city.

During the confrontation yesterday, APPO claims that the Federal Secretary of Interior, Carlos Abascal, during a telephone conversation which, according to APPO, was short and sweet, gave APPO 15 minutes to stop the rioting mob or Abasacal would send the PFP after them. Abascal also told APPO that the PFP would not stop with the rioters but would continue up Macedonio Alcalà to Santo Domingo and throw APPO out of there as well. Interior denies any such warning was given.

I also watched for a bit this morning as workers at last began removing the hijacked and burned out trucks and buses from Avenida Universidad at the southern approaches to Juarez University. I drove to the west to see what was happening on the Periferico and saw that the burned out buses are still blocking the western approaches to the university. I don't dare get too close to Cinco Señores at the nothern end of Avenida Universidad so I don't know what's happening there.

Not spell-checked 'cause I'm runnin'.

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