Monday, November 20, 2006

Oaxaca, Mexico: Violence explodes downtown - again.

UPDATED: Scroll down.

APPO held its march today to celebrate the November 20 Revolution Day. Only about 200 APPo aficionados showed up for the "mega-march". APPO had been publicizing the threat that it would have an auto caravan with supporters from all over the state. In reality, only two groups, from the towns of Quiatoni and Albarradas, bothered to show up and they weren't part of the march.

I'm sitting and watching a news report on TV Azteca. The film crew was in the Zócalo earlier today. There were children playing, mothers with strollers, a real picture of peace and quiet. The moms were soon sent scurrying away.

The mob -- and that's what it is -- a mob of thugs and criminals armed with rocks, bottles, clubs, machetes and gasoline bombs, marched north on Eduardo Vasconcelos to the baseball stadium, then turned west onto Niños Heroes. They threw rocks and bottles at homes and businesses along the way, fired marbles from their slingshots at windows, and generally painted everything in sight. I just watched a pair of them decorating the windows at the VW dealership.

The mob moved down Niños Heroes and turned towards the Zócalo on Avenida Juarez, I think. It eventually made its way to the APPO winter encampment (Valle Forge) on Macedonio Alcalá at Santo Domingo. Then the mob moved on the PFP 4 blocks to the south.

The mob began with the usual launching of rocks and bottles against the PFP lines. The PFP responded with tear gas. Because of the small number of attackeers, the PFP has not had any troubble keeping them at bay. The mob has moved back to just a block south of Santo Domingo and begun building a barricade with sheet metal stripped away from a construction site. I watched TV Azteca film of these guys doing this.

The main body of APPO supporters at Santo Domingo are staying out of this. The APPO mob is composed of the dregs, the cannon fodder. These are the thugs who have been manning the barricades for $200 pesos per day, driving around the city at night robbing homes and businesses, fire-bombing hamburger joints, driving off with bank machines and the like.

This may be some sort of trap that APPO is trying to lure the PFP towards, I don't know. The PFP is reported to have hurt a TV Azteca photographer who wouldn't stop shooting when he waas ordered to do so. I don't know any other particulars about this incident.

Just an hour ago I approached Avenida Universidad and all of the barricades in and around Juarez University are still in place as far as I could see. Remember, APPO had promised to abandon those barricades so that they could be moved today to allow students to get to the school. The school was reopened last week but only for one day.

Mark in Mexico,, Pale Horse Galleries for gifts, collectibles, art and crafts,, Oaxaca, Mexico: Holiday strollers and Zócalo visitors trapped behind PFP lines by rioting APPO thugs.
Macedonio Alcalá, shot from the north.
Look at the crowd of citizens out for a holiday stroll in the Zócalo who are now trapped there.
Look at the little fruit stand to the left. "Yes, I have no bananas."

Mark in Mexico,, Pale Horse Galleries for gifts, collectibles, art and crafts,, Oaxaca, Mexico: A mob of about 200 APPO thugs commit vndalism in march across city and then attack the PFP in the downtown.
The Mob

Mark in Mexico,, Pale Horse Galleries for gifts, collectibles, art and crafts,, Oaxaca, Mexico: The PFP appears to score a direct hit on a rioter, member of a mob of 200 APPO thugs who attacked the PFP near the Zócalo.
Look at the right rear - it looks like that rioter took a direct hit from a gas shell.

So, another escalation by APPO. If the thugs try to remain behind their barricades in the streets and promenades around the Zócalo, the PFP will have to come out to get them. I would foresee some lightning quick strikes in the wee hours of the morning to pick off as many as possible. What the PFP has to do is continually reduce the numbers that they have to face. That means arrest and incarceration for the duration. The only way to do that, under Mexican law, is to break the law. That is, hte PFP has to take and hold prisoners in undisclosed locations so that APPO lawyers can't get them released to return to the fight. I imagine that the PFP is doing that now.

UPDATE I: Marcelino Coache, one of many mouthpieces for APPO, claims that APPO did not start this trouble. According to him, the people you see in the photos and the people I watched on news film are all "infiltrators". What a lying scumbag.

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