PRI wins in Oaxacan elections as almost 80% abstain from voting

3 people taken off the streets on election night still not found, among them 2 Catalans and 1 Mexican

August 6th, 2007 – Barucha Calamity Peller writes: Last night at approximately 10 pm, while the votes were being counted that confirmed a PRI sweep of the state legislative elections, three people were taken off the streets of the Zocalo in Oaxaca City by police. Among them were two Catalans and one Mexican woman. Their status is still unknown over twelve hours later, and they have not been found in any jail. There is no other confirmed information surrounding their arrests.

The elections, in which almost 80% of the Oaxacan population abstained from voting, came as a disappointment for the APPO’s “punishment vote” campaign against the PRI.

Police presence was extremely heavy in the streets of Oaxaca City last night and today.

By midnight last night one could see over 30 trucks of armed state and judicial police drive through the streets surrounding the Zocalo, and men in plain clothes came through the Zocalo with machetes and cut down the political banners remaining from the section 22 teachers sit-in that ended yesterday. Even later at night state workers came to paint over political graffiti and stencils covering the walls of the buildings in the Zocalo.

With 80% of the state abstaining from voting the legitimacy of the state democracy is questionable, and the low-turn out shows the collective disillusion in Oaxaca with the electoral process that has left the heavily contested PRI party, to which Ulises Ruiz belongs, in power for over 70 years.


By calamity

Barucha Calamity Peller is a writer and photographer, high school dropout, and rabel rouser. For years she has worked within and reported on Mexican social movements. Her photographs and analysis have been widely distributed through alternative media outlets such as Counter Punch and the Independent Media Center. Peller reported from Lebanon during the 2006 Israeli-Lebanon war just before entering Oaxaca. She is known for getting herself into very dangerous situations and then escaping with photographs that depict both old women and young anarcho-punks fighting for peace and justice in the streets. Peller asserts that Oaxaca could not have been reported from the safety of a hotel room, but only from the barricades themselves.

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