Sunday, November 26, 2006

Oaxaca in Turmoil

Mark in Mexico is on top of the situation. It isn't good at all. Demonstrations turned violent again. The Mexican government has sent in heavily armed police to break up the riots.
Protesters shot fireworks at riot police and burned down government buildings in Mexico's colonial city of Oaxaca on Saturday, days before President-elect Felipe Calderon was to take office.

At least nine of the demonstrators, who are demanding the resignation of state Gov. Ulises Ruiz, were injured in skirmishes with police wearing body armor and lobbing tear gas, a government news agency said.

Other protesters threw gasoline bombs into at least four government buildings, including a museum and a court, starting blazes that spread to nearby shops.

Oaxaca has been in chaos for the last six months because of protests by striking teachers, Indian groups and leftists against Ruiz, who they say is corrupt and authoritarian.

The latest violence flared when hundreds of activists, some armed with rocks, homemade wooden shields and fireworks, tried to surround federal police occupying the city's central square. Armored riot trucks with water canons drove the protesters away from the plaza and sent them fleeing down side streets.

Later, state police patrolled streets littered with burned out cars and detained people considered suspicious. A Reuters witness at one point heard what sounded like gunshots.
This, despite the claims by APPO that the demonstrations would be peaceful.

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