Thursday, November 02, 2006

Oaxaca, Mexico: Juarez University assault update II

The eerie silence down here as the PFP moved against the APPistas holding Juarez University has been shattered. Numerous explosions from the APPO rocket launchers, heavy smell of burning rubber, helicopter and the mysterious small plane circling overhead: all this indicates that the PFP has chased the APPIstas south towards my position. That's not good.

Couples on motorbikes, cars with 4-6 passengers and people on foot with clubs and iron bars are beginning to appear on my street, fleeing the fight. Sirens are constant. These have to be from ambulances. That's not a good sign. The long commercial district nearby must now be taking a beating, not that it hasn't been victimized for the last 4 days.

On Sunday night, the HSBC bank in Plaza del Valle had the whole front wall, all glass, ripped out and two ATM machines relieved of their contents. Monday morning, the Soriana department store was relieved of some 100 shopping carts which were added to the barricades. The manager of the store tried to confront a mob of about 30 and was beaten and had his wallet and cell phone stolen. This same mob then moved to the fire station and beat 3 firemen, stole helmets, suits, oxygen tanks, an emergency rescue vehicle, an SUV and bashed in the windshields of two more EMT vehicles. Monday night, the department store Cortina had its 2 front doors shattered and was relieved of some inventory. Tuesday night the Coppel department store had window smashed and lost all its cell phones and cameras.

OK, heavy traffic on my street now as APPistas flee the battle. The helicopter is now circling directly overhead. That means the fleeing APPistas are directly in front of our neighborhood, just on the other side of the two shopping centers. Heavy smell of smoke in the air. The noise from the chopper is drowning out the noise of explosions.

The chopper moves away and I can hear explosions but no sirens. We've run out of ambulances.

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