Many days in Oaxaca

December 3rd, 2006 – Xochitl writes: Hello again friends,

I’ve missed a bunch of days of reporting, for as many reasons as there were days.

Other than being sick with the lovely traveler’s malady, and a bad case of it, we’ve been trying to figure out how to deal with the massive repression in Oaxaca.

Since November 25 the dirty war has escalated. People from the movement have either left Oaxaca, are hiding, or moving around the city with enormous caution. There are death squads, which conduct night-time raids of movement leaders’ houses, or of anyone else known to be associated with the movement. There are reports that human rights workers have been detained in the daytime, by groups of men climbing off of a passing pickup truck and waving pistols. These human rights workers were subsequently charged with sedition (this report is from a newspaper, tho I am not sure if it has been confirmed).

The streets of Oaxaca seem to have returned to “normal”. The intersection where the Cinco Senores barricade was located has been completely cleared and cleaned, and is now filled with fast-moving traffic and painted-over graffiti. The Radio University encampment has also been cleaned, although some graffiti still decorates walls, saying “Hasta la victoria siempre” and “Live for freedom, or die to end slavery”

As we left our hostel several days ago, we talked with the owners (who, we believe, may have been keeping a little too close of an eye on us), who said “we just want to put this all behind us.” This seems to be the attitude of many of the wealthy and the politically powerful here. Those who can forget, are trying to. Those who still see a threat from the people’s movement hope to make the superficial life in Oaxaca go back to “normal” while they detain, torture, disappear and terrorize the people who rose up against the corrupt and repressive forces in power in Oaxaca.

I can’t say more about my own situation now, only that I am safe and am taking many precautions to stay that way. I have the privilege to find places that are safer, and thus this situation is inestimably easier for me than it is for many Oaxacan and Mexican people.

My reports may come less frequently now, because I do not want to put myself or anyone else in unnecessary danger.

Once again, please keep the people of Oaxaca (many still continue to fight, though a bit less publicly), and others around the world struggling for justice, in your hearts.