Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Oaxaca, Mexico: APPO announces they'll turn up the heat (again) this weekend

APPO has announced several new initiatives, each one a little more confusing than the last.

First, APPO has called for a nation-wide strike for Friday. APPO says that the nation-wide strike will only affect 4 states; Oaxaca, Guerrero, Michoacan and Mexico State. Huh? That leaves 27 states and the DF (Mexico City) uninvolved in the "nation-wide" strike. And Mexico State is heavily AMLO/PRD, supposedly APPO's buddies.

To further confuse even the most casual and disinterested observer, APPO is circulating a "manifesto" which lays out its strategy for taking power over the entire country. First, APPO plans to depose Oaxaca's governor, then the respective governors of Sonora and Puebla. But Sonora and Puebla aren't included in the 4-state-only nation-wide strike scheduled for Friday.

Who the hell's in charge here, anyway? Fire the Offensive Coordinator!

While you bat that question back and forth inside your punkin' heads, consider this; APPO says that it has formed an "Asamblea Nacional de los Pueblos" (National Village Assembly) which will convene in Mexico City and form its own "people's national government".

Lessee here. We've got the outgoing Vicente Fox government, the incoming Felipe Calderon government, the still-in-formation AMLO's people's government and now an APPO village government as well as the EZLN government down in Chiapas. That's like . . . 4 different passports everyone will have to carry.

For you foreign visitors, along with yours truly, your current visas will get you into either Fox's or Calderon's Estados Unidos Mexicanos (the formal name of Mexico). To enter either the APPO Village Territory or the EZLN (Zapatista National Liberation Army) Territory, you'll need a ski mask, aka a balaclava, and a tattoo. A black "Che" tee shirt will get you VIP treatment (that's a chicken wing along with your beans and rice). And to get into AMLO's People's Territory, you'll simply need to wear a big smile and look really stupid and you'll be in like Flynn.

Of more immediate and pressing concern to the unhappy citizens of Oaxaca, APPO will not remove its temporary street barricades Saturday morning. These barricades will remain in place all weekend along with the permanent barricades around the Zócalo. In addition, APPO will block access to and from the city on the major highways as well as the airport. APPO mobs will block the major shopping and commercial centers and "transnational businesses". What? No Big Macs this weekend? Shit.

APPO will give Governor Ruiz Ortiz 72 hours to resign. APPO has not announced what they will do when he doesn't.

And to top it all off, there is a group of APPO hunger strikers somewhere in Mexico City, I think, who have announced stronger actions until Governor Ruiz Ortiz resigns. They say they have lost an average of 6 Kg (12 lbs.) and will now stop imbibing even the liquid nourishment which has been keeping them alive. No one, with the sad exceptions of their family members, I would suppose, has been paying any attention to them at all. And no one will, at least until they begin to expire.

At that time, as the hunger strikers begin to drop dead, one by one, and if Mexicans follow their usual pattern, there will be much wailing and the wringing of hands and the calls for more discussions and negotiations and meetings in Mexico City and congressional committees etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

Then, at some time in the future, they'll begin naming streets after the dates-of-death of the various martyrs; "Si señor. The museum is just down that street, at the corner of calle Martire de (insert date of death) and calle Martire de (insert date of death). You can't miss it. Would you like me to call a taxi for you, the driver of which is a heavily armed pirate?"

Note: Not spell-checked. So sue me.

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