Friday, August 04, 2006

Oaxaca, Mexico: Bad news; reconciliation commission disbands, campesinos punished

The commission which was set up to help bring the two sides together in the teachers vs state government dispute has thrown in the towel. The commission, made up of Oaxca's most respected artist, painter Francisco Toledo, the Bishop Emeritus of Tehuantepec, Arturo Lona Reyes and Father Francisco Mayrén Peláez, Archdiocese of Antequera-Oaxaca, has given up on any settlement between the two warring sides.

In a joint letter announcing their withdrawal from the stage, the three recognized that the gulf separating the two sides is wider and deeper than they are able to bridge, said that the dispute had gone "to another level" and that it had gone beyond a dispute between a teachers' union and a state government and that too may other players had entered the game. They did warn that the fundamental issues which have brought the state to a standstill must be addressed or the confrontations and violence could not be brought under control. Specifically, they hinted that the days of using the "simple people" as election vote fodder, and then ignoring them for 6 years until the next election, are over.

That much of the letter I got from the local newpaper, "Noticias de Oaxaca". This newspaper has been involved in a running battle with the governor since coming out in favor of his opposition in the election two years ago. Here's what this newspaper left out of its report:

The three members of the commission went on to explain that they were helpless in the face of the the apparent "two wrongs make a right" philosopy now espoused by both the teachers union, the SNTE and APPO, the umbrella group of revolutionaries that also wants the government out.
"No se vale, todas las luchas son legítimas, porque tienen causas profundas, reales, pero nosotros lo que siempre decimos es que, no puedo yo luchar contra un delito cometiendo otro, ni puedo luchar contra la injusticia procediendo injustamente".

Translation: "It is not right to say that all violent actions are legitimate simply because they support real and profound causes. We must always say, 'I cannot fight against a crime by committing another crime. I cannot fight against an injustice by committing another injustice.'"
The local anti-government newspaper left that little gem out of its report on the letter from the three commissioners. "Noticias" also left out this report.

In response to the letter, the APPO sent a gang of youths to break into the social center of the Archdiocese of Oaxaca. The youths broke into the Family Christian Center and its indigenous arts and crafts store, Kieeluu, from which they carted off pieces of indigenous art, organic products, tools and all the cash from the till.

And who did APPO hurt with this action? Do you think the Pope was awakened to be informed of the loss? The only people hurt were the indigenous campesinos who rely on the Kieeluu shop to sell their arts, crafts and other products. Another great victory for the revolution; another great sacrifice for truth, justice and the Mexican way.

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

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