Friday, October 13, 2006

Oaxaca, Mexico: Senators attacked -- no end in sight -- and no school for the kids

And so on we go. The "agreement" hammered out on Monday between Carlos Abascal, Secretary of the Interior, and the APPO/SNTE bloque has now officially crashed and burned. Abascal isn't saying much because this is a real black eye for him. His supposed agreement with the APPO/SNTE lasted less than 48 hours before the groups holding Oaxaca hostage announced their intent to refuse to honor it.

The APPO/SNTE had initially agreed to meet with its rank and file on Tuesday to determine a date for their return to classes while the national Senate debated the removal of Governor Ruiz Ortiz. Now, the SNTE and APPO have canceled those meetings and say that they will not discuss returning to classes until the Senate gives Ruiz Ortiz the boot.

Yesterday a tripartite group of Senators arrived from Mexico City to review the situation. For their efforts, they were surrounded by APPO thugs who shouted threats at them to beat them, puncture their tires and then proceeded to spray paint their SUV with, "Ulises Die" and Ulises Out". The PRD Senator, Tomás Torres was the most frightened of all. He tried to order the driver to leave the PRI and PAN Senators behind. "Vámonos, de prisa, ciérrale, rápido (Come on, hurry, close it (the door)".

Then this exchange between the driver and the PRD representative; "'Faltan los demás senadores', le dijo el chofer a Torres. 'Pues que se apuren, vámonos', decía desesperado el legislador federal." ("We don't have the other two senators, said the driver." "Well, they'd better hurry. Let's go!" said the federal legislator, desperately.)

When the PAN Senator, Alejandro González, finally got into the SUV, he said, "I wasn't going to wait around any longer to see what time the beating would start."

At last, the Senator from the PRI, Ramiro Hernández, got into the vehicle and the driver was able to force his way through the crowd.

The PRDista, Torres, still scared, asked the PANista González, "Didn't you see them? The ones with the clubs?" González answered, "Yes, but you cannot show fear. You have to confront them, show them your face and listen to them." Viva González!

Now comes a constitutional scholar at UNAM (Mexico's big university) to declare that the national Senate would be violating the Constitution if it were to try to remove Governor Ruiz Ortiz from office. Professor Raúl Carrancá y Rivas says that the Constitution clearly states that all three branches of a state's government must be non-functioning before the Senate can appoint a provisional government. He says that, while it may be arguable that Oaxaca's executive branch no longer functions, it is clear that both the judicial and legislative branches are working as prescribed by the law.

So, if the APPO/SNTE bloque refuses to give an inch unless the Senate kicks Ruiz Ortiz out of office and the Senate cannot legally do this, we're at an impasse. I think that's where we've been for 4 months or so. Many of the the nation's newpapers carried headlines on Wednesday like, "Peace comes to Oaxaca" and "Children to return to school". They were just a bit premature with those declarations, it would appear.

The spoksman for the PRI in the national Senate is charging that the PRD (read: AMLO) is behind the trouble in Oaxaca. He says that Gabino Cue, the PRD candidate who lost the guburnatorial election to Ruiz Ortiz, "has never accepted his defeat and now takes every opportunity to attack the governor." The PRI spokeman also charged that the PRD has a "perverse" relationship with APPO and the SNTE as well as "urban guerillas".

This report which says that the APPO leadership met yesterday afternoon with the executive committee of the PRD would seem to lend some credence to those accusations.

If you will recall previous posts concerning the shootings two days ago in Colonia Reforma when an APPO mob trapped 57 people inside a government office building, it seems that the Mayor of Mexico City has been able to identify the shooters. They were not policemen. The mayor (of the PRD) says that photos were taken of the shooters and that 3 different people sent him information about the shooters via Email. He says that one of the shooters was Marcos Mateos Esteva Cruz, a student at Juarez university and a known university thug. Esteva Cruz is also known as "El Krusty" and I know he was identified here a couple of months ago as an APPO thug who burned one bus at the 7 Regions Fountain and tried, unsuccessfully, to burn another. One of the brave bus burners was caught at the time and said that "El Krusty" was the leader of that group. This "El Krusty" is an 8th semester Accounting student (a senior) who is also known to have spent a year and a half in jail for assaulting and robbing a local bar.

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