The APPO declares a RED ALERT in Oaxaca: We ask all our readers to remain vigilant
More military flights over Oaxaca City
By Dan Feder, http://narcosphere.narconews.com/story/2006/10/1/153447/243
Posted on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 03:34:47 PM EST
The Mexican news agency Notimex reports:
OAXACA: A Mexican Navy helicpter again flew over both the outskirts and center of the state capital, provoking uneasiness among the members of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO in its Spanish initials) and teachers who have occupied parts of the city since May.
Just after 10:30 a.m., an aircraft could be heard in the cloudy Oaxacan sky that was later confirmed to be one of the two that flew by the night before, but on this occasion its flight was slower and higher in altitude.
People who have participated in the barricades and on the APPO’s Security and Vigilance Committee launched rockets, just as they had the night before, but did not manage even to slow the aircraft.
Just after noon, a Mexican Navy airplane also passed over the city. The radio station 710 AM, “The Law of the People,” occupied by the APPO since August 21, broadcast messages requesting that people not make rash decision: “Let us not fall into making decisions out of desperation; let remain calm.”
Segundo sobrevuelo de helicóptero de Marina enciende alarmas en la APPO
Poco después de las 10:30 de la mañana, se comenzó a escuchar en el cielo nublado una aeronave que posteriormente se confirmó que era uno de los dos helicópteros que sobrevolaron ayer por Oaxaca.
Ebrio derriba barricadas de la APPO; activa las alarmas
Oaxaca.- Un helicóptero de la Armada de México volvió a sobrevolar la periferia y la zona centro de esta capital, lo cual provocó inquietud entre los integrantes de la APPO y profesores que se mantienen en plantón desde mayo pasado.
Poco después de las 10:30 horas, se comenzó a escuchar en el cielo nublado oaxaqueño una aeronave que posteriormente se confirmó que era uno de los dos helicópteros que sobrevolaron la víspera, pero en esta ocasión el recorrido lo hizo más lentamente y a una altura superior.
Quienes han participado en las barricadas y en el Comité de Seguridad y Vigilancia de la Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca lanzaron cohetones, al igual que el sábado, sin conseguir al menos acelerar el paso de la nave.
Poco antes del mediodía, una avioneta de la Secretaría de Marina Armada de México también recorrió la ciudad. La emisora 710 “La Ley del Pueblo”, tomada por la APPO desde el 21 de agosto, difundió mensajes que solicitaban no tomar decisiones precipitadas, “no vayamos a caer en decisiones de desesperación, mantengamos la calma”.
En tanto, la marcha hacia el zócalo oaxaqueño convocada por la sección 35 del Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Secretaría de Salud tuvo poco éxito, pues una horas después de la cita había menos de mil personas en el Hospital Juárez del Instituto de Seguridad y Servicios Sociales de los Trabajadores del Estado.
El contingente no había avanzado hasta las 11:00 horas para reunirse con los integrantes del plantón instalado desde el 22 de mayo pasado y que los domingos luce prácticamente vacío, pues los fines de semana los participantes se retiran hacia sus comunidades a descansar.
Preparations for War in Oaxaca
Military Aircraft Doing Reconnaissance Flights Over APPO Encampments
By Diego Enrique Osorno and Óscar Rodríguez
October 1, 2006
The Mexican Navy carried out a reconnaissance operation over the buildings and public spaces occupied by the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO in its Spanish initials).
Two MI-17 helicopters and one CASA C212 Navy airplane with registration number AMP-118 flew over the streets of the city – where opponents of Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz have maintained several encampments over the past 130 days – for about 40 minutes.
The zocalo, or central city square, the Oro and La Ley radio stations, the state government building, the Brenamiel and El Rosario radio antennas, as well as the Department of Finance building – all places where the rebels have installed protest camps – were reconnoitered by low-level flights of military aircraft.
As they passed over the Radio Oro facilities, the two helicopters were fruitlessly “attacked” with rockets and fireworks that teachers of the National Education Workers’ Union local Section 22 launched from Conzatti Garden. The airplane then made four more passes over the areas around the zocalo and returned to the airport, where five other military aircraft were stationed.
At 5:30 that afternoon, the naval surveillance plane and two AMHT-202 and AMHT-205 helicopters landed on a city airstrip and let out 18 soldiers in black-and-grey camouflage, bulletproof vests, helmets and firearms.
Lino Celaya Luría, state secretary of Citizen Protection, confirmed that the objective of the military flights was to “reconnoiter” the scene of the conflict, but claimed not to know if this was the prelude to an eventual federal operation to remove the protesters.
The state official limited himself to saying: “We were informed that a flight would occur over the areas where the dissidents are present. We believe this is to obtain field information on the situation.”
Meanwhile, from the occupied radio stations, the rebels again declared a maximum alert in the face of what they imagine could be the beginning of a removal/eviction operation against the popular and teachers’ movement.
Broadcasting on the radio station 710 AM, known as “The Law of the People,” the Popular Assembly’s “vigilance committee” directed a message to listeners, urging them to remain calm and prudent in the face of what they called an “act of provocation.”
In several different city neighborhoods, residents and APPO sympathizers began building barricades hours earlier than what has become a nightly custom, and also unleashed a thundering chorus of fireworks to alert the general population to the situation.
At night, a convoy of 30 military vehicles mobilized on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. At 10:00, Section 22 reinforced its barricades and warned over the radio that it will block people from entering or leaving the city.
Flavio Sosa, a member of the provisional leadership committee of the APPO, warned assistant interior secretary Francisco Yáñez Centeno via telephone: “Fox is going to stain his hands with blood if he allows this to happen.”
“They hope to bend us through terror,” said teacher Rogelio Pensamiento, another member of the leadership committee. “Nevertheless, the APPO has demonstrated its political capacity because we are willing to negotiate, but only under conditions of equality. We will not accept them intimidating us. We call for people to remain in the encampments.”
Aprestos de guerra en Oaxaca
Son vuelos de reconocimiento, admiten autoridades. Los disidentes se atrincheran en los edificios públicos. Se trasladará el CEN perredista a la entidad.
La Armada de México efectuó ayer por la tarde un operativo de reconocimiento sobre los edificios y espacios públicos tomados por la Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca.
Dos helicópteros MI-17 y un avión de la Marina CASA C212 matrícula AMP-118, sobrevolaron durante cerca de 40 minutos las calles de la ciudad donde los opositores al gobernador Ulises Ruiz Ortiz mantienen diversos plantones desde hace 130 días.
El zócalo de la ciudad, las radiodifusoras Oro y La Ley, la casa oficial de gobierno, las antenas de transmisión radial de Brenamiel y El Rosario, así como las oficinas de la Secretaría de Finanzas, donde los rebeldes tienen instalados sus campamentos de protesta, fueron “reconocidos” por los vuelos rasantes de las aeronaves militares.
Al sobrevolar las instalaciones de la estación Radio Oro, los dos helicópteros fueron “atacados” infructuosamente con cohetes y fuegos pirotécnicos que lanzaban maestros de la sección 22 del SNTE desde el Jardín Conzatti. Posteriormente el avión realizó cuatro vuelos más sobre las inmediaciones del zócalo y regresó al aeropuerto, donde había otras cinco aeronaves militares.
Siendo las 5 y media de la tarde, el avión que sirve para vigilancia marítima y otras dos aeronaves AMHT-202 y AMHT-205 aterrizaron en una pista del aeropuerto de la ciudad, descendieron del interior de las mismas 18 soldados con uniforme camuflajeado blanco con negro y gris, chaleco antibalas, casco y armas de fuego.
Lino Celaya Luría, secretario de Protección Ciudadana estatal, confirmó que los vuelos de las fuerzas armadas tenían como objetivo “reconocer” el escenario del conflicto, pero dijo desconocer si éste era el preámbulo de un eventual operativo federal de desalojo.
“Nos informaron que realizarían un vuelo por las áreas donde hay presencia de los inconformes, creemos que es para tener una información de campo de la situación”, se limitó a declarar oficialmente el funcionario estatal.
Asimismo, desde las estaciones de radio tomadas, los rebeldes volvían a decretar la alerta máxima ante lo que estimaban como el inicio de un posible operativo de desalojo contra el movimiento magisterial y popular.
A través del 710 AM, La Ley del Pueblo, la comisión de Vigilancia de la Asamblea Popular dirigió un mensaje a los radioescuchas, instándolos a mantener la calma y la prudencia ante lo que llamaron un acto de provocación.
En diversas colonias de la ciudad, los colonos y simpatizantes de la APPO empezaron a levantar barricadas horas antes de lo habitual, así como también se desataron el tronido de cohetones para alertar a la población en general sobre la situación prevaleciente.
Por la noche, un convoy de 30 vehículos militares se movilizó en el Itsmo de Tehuantepec. A las 10:00 la sección 22 reforzó sus barricadas y advirtió por la radio que impedirá la entrada y salida de personas.
"Manos de sangre"
• Flavio Sosa, miembro de la dirigencia colectiva provisional de la APPO, le advertía vía telefónica al director de Gobernación, Francisco Yáñez Centeno: “Fox se va a manchar las manos de sangre si permite que siga esto”.
• “Pretenden doblegarnos a partir del terror; sin embargo, la APPO ha mostrado su capacidad política porque estamos dispuestos a ir al diálogo, pero en condiciones de igualdad, no aceptamos que nos amedrenten, los llamamos a mantenernos en los plantones”, dijo el maestro Rogelio Pensamiento, otro miembro de la dirigencia.
Oaxaca is the Football, and the PRI, PAN and PRD Are Kicking it Around
None of Them has Figured Out a Way to Score
None of Them has Figured Out a Way to Score
By Nancy Davies http://www.narconews.com/Issue43/article2102.html
Commentary from Oaxaca
September 29, 2006
OAXACA CITY: With so many big feet in the game, the Oaxaca population is getting battered. The latest was the alarm for the arrival of the Federal Preventive Police, who in fact are present, in quarters. If ordered to do so by President Fox, they will come in with maximum force and “clean up.” How exactly that could happen, I don’t know, because “cleaning” the zocalo would disperse no more than a few thousand people. Blockades are in many areas , at the radio stations and government buildings, and would all have to be attacked simultaneously to minimize citizen support in any one place. The popular teachers’ movement most likely contains two million sympathizers within the state, and sympathizers in neighboring states as well.
My reasoning against attack may be too simple. There are three and half million in the state: the nation’s largest indigenous population, the nation’s largest teachers union, and the nation’s poorest, or close to it. Put it all together and it spells trouble for a repressive force. More, I would say, not like kicking a hard ball but like squeezing a balloon.
The morning of Thursday, September 27 after the latest terror-tunes were heard, I walked as usual down to the zocalo for a look-see. This was supposed also to be the first of two days of a work-stoppage by the business community. I have not yet figured out why they would want to do that, and I suspect they haven’t either. Some ask for federal forces to intervene for law and order, some ask for the federal government to take Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (“URO”) out of the state government, some ask for the federal forces to intervene on behalf of human rights and thus on behalf of the movement, some would frankly appreciate the establishment of military law. Nobody likes URO, nobody wants bloodshed or perpetual war. No wonder President Fox doesn’t want to do anything. In these contradictions, it’s a lose-lose decision.
Only the popular teachers’ movement remains consistent, demanding the ouster of URO.
So, the work stoppage. The buses and taxis were running, and the normal stall-and-crawl traffic was wending down the main north-south street. No work stoppage there. I made it into the area of the “blockades”, which in this part of the city consists, in daytime hours, of many women sitting on the ground with their embroidery. I dropped off some photos from the USA, of teachers in sympathy. Big smiles.
In the zocalo, the first thing I noticed was the smell of fried bananas, a sweet odor that can be recognized for a city block. The food vendors, the CD vendors, the fruit, soda, water, popsicle, clothing, salad bowl and jewelry vendors were spread around the sidewalks surrounding the kiosk where the usual banners hang. On three sides the tourist cafes were closed – no cappuccino today, but since no tourists were present either, it was irrelevant. The small super-market was open as usual. The little shops – maybe three were closed, despite the grand headline by Noticias that 6,000 businesses would be shut down. What I think happened is that 6,000 signed up, and when morning arrived with still no attack by the Federal Preventive Police (PFP) force, they shrugged and opened up. The big central market stood open, with a sheepish sign saying “We will close for one of the two days of the work-stoppage.” Tomorrow, I guess.
I stopped at the movement tables to get some word on what had happened during the night. I guess I’m the only one in Oaxaca who slept poorly. Nothing happened.
The teachers voted again last week to maintain their strike until URO goes. This was followed on September 27 by the most recent teachers’ vote in their assembly, again, not to return to the classrooms until URO leaves. The teachers also demand the release of the movement’s political prisoners: Germán Mendoza Nube, Evangelio Mendoza González, Catarino Torres Pereda and Ramiro Aragón Pérez. No change there.
The APPO foot march – Oaxaca to Mexico City – changed its route to prudently avoid the state of Puebla, where resides one of the governors who is thought to be “domino numero uno” if URO goes. The marchers have been fed and brought water and fruit along the way, both by local people and by the vans the APPO sends. They sleep indoors or in vans, off the ground. A photo in Noticias shows them accompanied by an open truckload of soldiers, who don’t appear to be hostile. Nevertheless, the APPO has designated a contingent of members to walk ahead of the two to three thousand people on the road, to act as a “guard.” They are armed with the usual sticks and pipes.
I headed out of the zocalo for two blocks and saw some shops closed and some open. I rewarded one of the open shops, which has a chain competitor, with a purchase of two glass beer mugs, setting me back four US dollars. Then I went home to read the newspapers.
Teachers declare “maximum alert” was the headline. At the very same time, the Secretary of Internal Affairs, Carlos Abascal Carranza, stated “we are neither anticipating nor ruling out the use of federal forces”. What’s going on?
The URO’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) has only the power of alliance, it’s too small now to carry off anything on its own.
The President Fox’s National Action Party (PAN) needs the PRI to beat back a surge against its president-elect Felipe Calderon whose victory the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) believes was fraudulent. If the PAN lets URO fall, that would be taken as a sign that the PAN won’t support any of the other PRI officials whose heads would roll if a popular movement sweeps the country. Thus far, historical political rivals the PRI and the PAN have been united by their common fear of a widespread uprising of some kind led by López Obrador. On the other hand, Fox has been reluctant to overtly support the unpopular URO.
The PRD is quick to point out what is going on. If the PAN cuts loose the PRI, it cannot out-vote the PRD.
The PRD, we may recall, was formed not two decades ago, mostly by dissident PRI members, so it’s not as if the PRD is the knight in shining armor. That is to say, it knows how to kick the ball.
Many of the Oaxaca APPO back the PRD, and expect to be backed in return. This puts pressure on the PRD. But many of the APPO follow other political currents, many to the left of López Obrador, who, after all, is another capitalist in populist mode. What kind of currents? Well, the APPO itself is a movement without political pretensions. It’s in a daily battle to rein in the socialist, communists, Trotskyites, and PRD elements, along with adherents to the Zapatista Other Campaign, so that a focus will be placed on its own popular assemblies.
It is the APPO politic that attracts the indigenous and campesino adherents. The socialists tend to be urban intellectuals. The APPO model is being presented in other states, and the APPO has sent out delegates to further that work, much as have the Zapatisas to further their position.
Of the above named groups, all have a political agenda with a clear political leader or aspirant thereto, except for the Zapatistas. Like the Zapatistas, the APPO is horizontal in structure, or at least it’s trying to be. The “movement leaders” supposedly are dispensable, and like the union assemblies, from which the teachers move their consensus up the ladder from the base, this is what the APPO is all about. That’s why the teachers, the Zapatistas and the APPO fit. The issues of each group, not the method, constitute their differences. Nevertheless they all are concerned with the poverty of the many and the wealth of the few, and the disregard for the indigenous population. The APPO is openly anti-neoliberal, as are the Zapatisas
So what’s a political party to do? La Jornada had a headline September 26 that read: “The renunciation of Ulises Ruiz was never considered in the meeting carried out at Los Pinos” (between URO and Fox). Huh? We also read that URO was offered once or twice a face-saving kick upstairs to federal office, but declined. He wants to stay as state governor.
So Fox and the PRI governors have a new political strategy, which as I read it, sounds like buying off the struggle. Written in La Jornada by Rosa Elvira Vargas: “…a new political strategy to resolve the conflict in Oaxaca… consists of a new economic proposal to the teachers of Section 22… and in an offer to the organizations making up the APPO, to reform various laws and local institutions and solve specific political problems, like the liberation of political prisoners.” It took 11 governors and more than two hours to conceive of this plan: “An integral package which takes care of the demands of the teachers’ Section 22. Second, attending to the social claims and a profound political reform: what the prisoners of Loxicha demand, what the APPO demands, the businesses, all of that is on the Oaxaca agenda. Third, the coordinated, respectful responsible action of all the governments – municipal, state, federal – seeking what is the best policy and the agreements to resolve this conflict.”
A package of reforms of institutions, electoral methods and a transparency law was presented. Along with this was the idea that somehow URO would be monitored by the federal authorities, sort of a governor’s house arrest procedure.
This incentive package was followed by claims and disclaimers regarding the use of federal forces. Fox is saying that he’ll resolve the Oaxaca crisis before he leaves office. Maybe.