Monday, October 30, 2006

Oaxaca, Mexico: APPO's criminal element shows its ugly face

Nothing happening yet at the university. There is a group of about 15 masked "students" awaiting the arival of the federales. They are carrying bags with their rocket launchers and ammo for same. They've set fire to a big pile of tires in the street. Lots of smoke but of little consequence, not enough to interfere with the surveillence overflights.

Some of their barricades that I saw just a couple of hours ago have already been plowed through by someone. Also, several owners of hijacked vehicles had apparently forcibly recovered their trucks. There are only two trucks left blocking the sourthern approach to the university, one of them being the propane tanker with the slashed tires. The big ADO bus is still sitting across Avenida Universidad directly in front of the university. Helicopter overflights are taking place about every 30 minutes.

Raymundo Pacheco, president of the Historic Center Council, a commercial group representing 570 downtown store owners, was kidnapped by APPO this afternoon as he walked across the Zócalo. He has just delivered a package of phone cards to one of his shops and was on his way to another. He stopped to take a picture of the almost deserted Zócalo with his cell phone. He was grabbed by APPO thugs who accused him of being a government spy. He's being held prisoner in the Zócalo's kiosk (bandstand). Pacheco is well known to APPO since he is downtown with them every day and has been for 5 long months.

APPO also grabbed 12 soldiers who were on their way to a training session in Ciudad Ixtepec. When they could not get there because of the federal forces having sealed off the city, they tried to return to their base. While zig-zagging around they ran into a 50-man contingent of APPO followers who yanked them out of their vehicle. After presenting papers showing their true intent, they were still being held while, "waiting for someone to come and get them." Apparently it has not occurred to APPO to simply allow them to drive away in their Suburban.

There was a violent confrontation somewhere on the edge of the city as the PFP moved slowly forward. I think this took place on Símbolos Patrios. According to the news reports, the federales are on their way towards Plaza del Valle (and yours truly) to confront the "students" at the university.

Mark in Mexico,, Palehorse Galleries,, Oaxaca Mexico:  APPO confrontation with federales 2

Mark in Mexico,, Palehorse Galleries,, Oaxaca Mexico: APPO confrontation with federales 1

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