Thursday, October 26, 2006

Oaxaca, Mexico: Teachers vote to return to classrooms; all hell breaking loose

The striking teachers union has voted to return to classrooms this coming Monday, October 30. It will be a short workweek in any case because of the Day of the Dead holiday on Thursday and Friday.

The final vote tally was announced as 31,078 for an end to the strike and 23,387 for a continuation of the anarchy. APPO has reacted as expected. In addition to the attempted coersion yesterday and again this morning with gunfire and burning vehicles a block from the teachers headquarters, APPO has begun to lock down the city. There were the usual charges of vote manipulation to which a union spokesman replied, "If someone's going to level such charges, he'd better bring some proof."

My wife and children left by highway for safe haven in Puebla at 5:30 and as of 8:10 they were still stuck in traffic on the far northwest side of the city, in front of the Tec University. That's still about 5 miles short of Etla and the toll road to Puebla, usually a 20 minute trip, at most. I don't know yet if they're going to get out of the city or not.

My neighbors have given up. He was the sales manager at, I believe, the Peugeot dealership. He got a job in Mexico City this week and told Peogeot, "Adios to Oaxaca." He and his wife told us that they initially loved the city but the political climate and the climate of fear and rampant crime was more than they had bargained for when Peugeot moved them here just a year ago. They drove off behind the moving van at about 4:00 this afternoon. That's the second set of neighbors we've lost in 6 months. The Mormon temple president and his wife were moved by the LDS to a compound built especially for church officials near Juarez University. That move was also for security reasons.

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


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