I was taking a stroll around Parque Llano (Parque Benito Juarez on the tourist maps) this afternoon when I bumped into Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz . . . et al. The governor was out for a walk and a little glad-handing. In Mexico it is common for politicians up to and including the president, along with their assistants and security staff, to dress quite casually, especially when out amongst the common people.
The fellow you see with the jacket, baseball cap, soccer shorts and with his hands in his pockets is a bodyguard. I was amazed that I saw no long guns anywhere. This guy was the only one around who even had a jacket which could conceal a weapon of any appreciable size. However, if you look closely in all three pictures, you can see no evidence of any weapon at all. Either this guy was carrying a newly introduced Uzi "Short 'n' Skinny" of which I have no knowledge, or he had something no bigger than a small .38 stuck in his pocket.
The governor is laughing here because, after he would shake someone's hand and exchange a few brief words, a television news crew with a really aggressive lady reporter would swoop in and snatch the unfortunate person away for a few shouted questions. His bodyguard is watching moi.
I was able to just march right through the crowd and get as close to the governor as I wished. Besides being eyeballed by his security staff, which I would expect, he was open for handshakes and a brief chat with anyone who wished. I wonder if Governator Schwarzenegger is that approachable.
Narco News, Indymedia, La Jornada and Oaxaca's own "Noticias" will all caption this photo,"Bloodcrazed governor attacks small child."
The governor was talking and gesturing to the girl with the backpack but his eyes and the eyes of the bodyguard in black were on me as I fearlesslessly continued to track him down. "Jist how close you think yer gonna git, there, Gringo-boy?"
All in all, a surprising day. I did not have a movie camera or I would have bored in for a question or two of my own. I was surprised to see him out and about with such a lighly armed escort and so amenable to approach. I don't know where his tour started, but he walked the entire length of the park, about 200 meters, and then veered off down a side street in the general direction of the ADO bus station, still on foot.
for art, gifts and collectibles -- all hand made
by Mexican indigenous artists.
TAGS: Oaxaca, Mexico, Oaxaca teachers strike, Gobernador Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, APPO