Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Oaxaca, Mexico: Are these people ever going to learn?

One would think that after a seven month seige, broken only by the power of the federal government, the destruction of the state's economy and 1.3 million kids missing almost one half of this school year, the Oaxaca government would have learned its lesson. Sigh. It appears not.

In Matías Romero, indigenous peoples from San Juan del Río have taken over a Ministerio Público office (local prosecutor) in protest of their lands being invaded by cattle operations and the state government aiding and abetting the cattlemen. I have not done much research into this but I have little reason to doubt the indigenous leader's statements and actions.

Carlos Beas Torres says that 27 dirt poor campesinos have been charged with various crimes by large cattlemen who tore down their fences (if there were any) and sent their cattle onto the campesinos' land. The state's Procuraduría Agraria has apparently been aiding the cattlemen by doing the usual song-and-dance over who holds title to the land. Lost documents, misplaced files, smudged, 50 year-old signatures and interminable court proceddings have all allowed the cattlemen to invade the campesinos' land and get away with it. When one or more of the poor farmers gets violent in defense of his property, the cattlemen file charges and the state has him arrested.

This is the kind of crap that blew up in the governor's face once before and, if it keeps on keepin' on, will all blow up again.

I think we should all prepare ourselves for the next explosion because the PRI, the state government and the big, monied interests don't really give a damn.

Please visit the Pale Horse Galleries online store
for art, gifts and collectibles -- all hand made
by Mexican indigenous artists.

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