Thursday, December 07, 2006

Oaxaca, Mexico: Radio commentator interviews opposition newspaper owner; AMBUSH!

This is pretty funny. It would probably never have happened in the US because, just as here in Mexico, it is illegal as all hell. However, a big difference between the US and Mexico is that in the US someone would probably have been punished.

Radio hostess Adela Micha invited the owner of the virulent anti-Ulises Ruiz Ortiz Oaxaca daily Noticias onto her radio show. Ericel Gómez Nucamendi, also a PRD Senator, readily agreed. I'll bet he's kicking himself now.

Adela Micha also had, on another line, PRD Senator Gabino Cue, who ran unsuccessfully against Ulises Ruiz Ortiz in the last gubernatorial campaign. He found himself in the middle of something where he had no interest in being.

After some conversation with both participants on the sad state of affairs in Oaxaca and all of the usual platitudes and hand wringing, Adela dropped a 10 ton block of granite on them both.

Adela Micha played two highly illegal tape recordings of phone conversations that Gómez Nucamendi had, allegedly on the morning before the big November 25 street war that culminated with the burning and partial destruction of the state Judicial Tribunal building in front of Parque Llano.

In the first conversation, the Noticias owner and PRD Senator calls his chief of information, named Raciel, or "El Chino". Gómez Nucamendi can clearly be heard telling El Chino that he had been informed that APPO was going to attack the Unión de Crédito building later that day. He tells El Chino that he is "involved" with that business and would like it left alone. He tells El Chino to talk to "our friends, those of Flavio" (Sosa). El Chino says he'll "check with them."

In fact, the Unión de Crédito building emerged unscathed from the orgy of vandalism that took place later that afternoon and evening.

When asked for his reaction, the newspaper owner and politician sputtered on, and rightfully so, about illegal wiretaps. Then he admitted that it was his voice and that he did indeed have an interest in the business along with "1500 other" credit union members. And that it was not unreasonable that he should want to protect that interest along with that of "1500 other members". And he roundly denied that he had any relationships with anyone from APPO, other than as sources for newspaper reports.

She then played the rest of the conversation where the newspapewr owner tells El Chino that "my friends, the morons on the barricades, are going to leave the barricades to go paint (ant-government slogans on walls)". He tells El Chino that in reality the "morons" are going to confront the PFP. El Chino agrees that that's what they are threatening to do. The newspaper owner tells El Chino to be sure and have photographers on hand to record the events.

At this point, Adela asked him point blank if he was directly involved with APPO. Again, hot denials all around. She granted him this but she wasn't quite through with the now sweating and squirming newspaper owner. She played another tape, this one recorded just after the first one, of a conversation between Gómez Nucamendi and his editorial director, Ismael San Martín, where they discuss the burning of the Tribunal before it occurred.

It appears that in this illegally taped conversation that "information" from "you know whom" had passed between the two. And that information was that the Tribunal building was going to be burned along with "another" (possibly the Juarez Theater which was completely detroyed). San Martín said that a smokescreen (from fires and tear gas) would effectively isolate the "people so that they could carry out the attacks" on the buildings. Gómez Nucamendi instructed San Martín to gather photos and reports so that he could send out a "national note tomorrow along with Deputy Ramirez of the PRD."

San Martín was also ordered by the newspaper's owner to leave out any mention that Noticias opposed the "private intitiative" (burning buildings).

I am assuming a "national note" is a report and photos that the newspaper can sell to other media outlets. I would further assume that the "PRD Deputy Ramírez" mentioned by the newspaper owner would be the political hack blessed by the newspaper with adding his two cents worth to this particular national note.

Adela then asked Gómez Nucamendi, "Who is PRD Deputy Ramírez?". He sputtered that, again, he had no involvement with APPO, the conversation took place after the Tribunal building arson was already in progress and, furthermore, "I don't know any PRD Deputy Ramirez".

She played that portion of the tape two more times when he accused her of making baseless charges. Her response both times was, "Listen, it's your voice."

Senator Gabino Cué had been sitting and listening to all of this on another line, by this time no doubt wishing he were any place but there. When she turned to him for his comments on a PRD Senator and newspaper owner as well as a PRD Deputy Ramírez being involved with APPO arsonists, he launched into a long soliloquy. He condemned illegal wiretaps, people providing those illegal tapes who just wanted to stir up trouble, the governor's fault for all of this and the PRD's non-involvement.

She let him off the hook with that and he skeedaddled. She again trained her guns on Gómez Nucamendi, playing the tape yet again. But not before the newspaper owner had once again roundly denied any involvement in the incidents of arson.

Whew! At the end of her radio show, after both Gabino Cué and Gómez Nucamendi had fled the airways, Adela Micha stated that "I know these tapes are illegal and we don't engage in this type of illegal activity, except for its purely journalistic value." She also cautioned against "speculating on what the tapes mean."


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