Friday, June 01, 2007

Mexico City: 2 million pesos damage to ISSSTE building on Paseo de la Reforma

APPO and Sección 22 sure wore out their welcome in a hurry, didn't they?

Protesters yesterday assaulted the giant ISSSTE headquarters building on Paseo de la Reforma, doing 2 million pesos damage to the structure. They were finally run off by city security forces. Two protesters were injured in the more than 5 hour street battle which included the usual rocks, bottles, clubs and machetes from the "peaceful citizens exercising their constitutioinal rights" and helmets, shields, batons and tear gas from the cops.

One of the injured, with a broken arm, was none other than Raúl Ballesteros, 34, of Sección 22 of Oaxaca. These guys sure get around, don't they? He was taken to, ironically, an ISSSTE hospital for treatment. I wonder if they'll slap him with the entire 2 million peso bill. "Sr. Ballesteros, your treatment at this ISSSTE hospital for the injuries you suffered when you attacked the ISSSTE headquarters building is free of charge as it is your right under the law. However, there is this little matter of $2,000,000.00 which you must pay before we can release you. We accept cash and all major credit cards." Har.

ISSSTE officials vow to file charges against the "peaceful citizens exercising their constitutioinal rights" for vandalism, kidnapping and for forcing the closure of a government building. The "peaceful citizens exercising their constitutioinal rights" denied these charges and responded that it was the police who closed the building. Well, yeah. The cops had an accountant on hand to tote up the damage and when it hit $2,000,000.00, he said "That's the vandalism repair budget limit for today. Close 'er up!"

The protesters returned today with more weapons and reinforcements and are attempting to set up a permanent encampment on Paseo de la Reforma. The battle rages on as I write this.

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