Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Protesters Take Over Oaxaca, Mexico

By Aussiegirl

This socialist candidate is going to use the Algore scenario to wage what amounts to a street insurgency against the legitimate government. We may have a nascent revolutionary movement going on in our southern neighbor, which is only going to exacerbate the illegal immigrant problem, not to mention destabilize our nearest neighbor. A corrupt and rightist government on our border is bad enough, a corrupt and hostile socialist Chavez-aligned neighbor is a disaster.

Protesters Take Over Oaxaca, Mexico - Newsday.com

Protesters Take Over Oaxaca, Mexico
Associated Press Writer

July 21, 2006, 1:28 PM EDT

OAXACA, Mexico -- Protesters have taken over the center of folkloric Oaxaca, making tourists show identification at makeshift checkpoints, smashing the windows of quaint hotels and spray-painting revolutionary slogans. Police are nowhere in sight.

It's not the tranquil cultural gem beloved by tourists from the United States and Europe. A month of protests to try to oust the governor have forced authorities to cancel many events, including the Guelaguetza dance festival.

Most tourists are staying away, costing the city millions of dollars.

The protests follow other eruptions of civil unrest and class conflict that have plagued President Vicente Fox as his term winds to a close.

Supporters of leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador are holding nationwide demonstrations to demand a ballot-by-ballot recount in the disputed July 2 presidential election. Federal and state police clashed with striking miners in April and farm protesters in May, leaving four people dead.

But the clashes in Oaxaca have paralyzed one of Mexico's top cultural tourist attractions, where visitors normally browse traditional markets for Indian handicrafts, hike ancient pyramids and stroll along cobblestone streets to sample mole dishes.

The protests have reduced tourism by 75 percent, costing the city more than $45 million, according to the Mexican Employers Federation, a business lobby. [....]

The protest leaders, a mix of trade unionists and leftists, say their fight is not with the tourists but with Gov. Ulises Ruiz, whom they accuse of rigging the state election in 2004 and using force to repress dissent. Ruiz belongs to the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which has governed the state since 1929.

Some analysts say Fox is hesitant to get involved because he himself is under fire from supporters of Lopez Obrador who claim the presidential election was tainted by fraud. Lopez Obrador lost to conservative Felipe Calderon of Fox's National Action Party by less than 0.6 percent, according to official vote tallies.

Some fear the tensions might explode if federal troops are sent in.

"There is rising social conflict in Mexico and the government appears impotent and unable to confront it," historian Lorenzo Meyer said. "If the government doesn't learn how to control these conflicts, they will only get worse as time goes on."


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