December 17th, 2006 – from FSRN: The landscape of downtown Oaxaca City changed considerably over the weekend when in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday, thousands of Federal Preventative Police discreetly pulled out of the public plazas and parks. The militarized police force had maintained a heavy presence in downtown since they took the city center on October 29th. Military personnel carriers, water tanks and razor wire are now gone and security operations have been handed over to state and municipal police. A contingent of federal troops have stayed behind in the city in the event of a renewed uprising.
Meanwhile, those clamoring for the release of the hundreds of political prisoners swept up since a brutal crackdown in November got some good news this weekend; 43 of the 141 detainees held at the federal penitentiary in the distant State of Nayarit have been released. Shannon Young reports from Oaxaca City.