September 21, 2006 – Over 8,000 teachers left the zocalo at the heart of Oaxaca city today in a march to Mexico City to draw attention to their cause. The teachers and other community organizations have occupied the center of Oaxaca city for 122 days calling for the resignation of the governor Ulises Ruiz.
For those of you not in Oaxaca, you may not have heard the news yet that the Oaxacan teachers have decided to WALK from Oaxaca to Mexico City. They leave this Thursday. Probably about 5,000 of them. And the idea is that other sectors (neighbors, indigenous, students, teachers from other states, etc) will join them.
The teachers have not done this since 1986. They call it a marcha caminata. Since they announced this last night, I have talked with lots of folks in town who, even though they heard perfectly well the term “marcha caminata,” they still assumed it was a motorized march of sorts….walk a few miles and then everyone pile into a bus and go on to the next town. No. The teachers will walk the whole way, passing through the sierra and stopping in communities to talk about their struggle. They plan to pass through Oaxaca, Puebla, Morelos, and the State of Mexico, before arriving in Mexico City to establish an encampment outside the Senate.
By David Bacon
At 8:30 AM on October 21, 2002, Oaxaca state police arrested a dangerous schoolteacher.
Romualdo Juan Gutierrez Cortez was pulled over as he was driving to his school in the rural Mixteca region. Police took him to Oaxaca de Juárez, the state capital, where he was held for days on false charges. Gutierrez is the state coordinator for the Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations (the Frente), which had organized a loud, embarrassing protest during a visit to Oaxaca by Mexican President Vicente Fox not long before. Oaxaca Governor Jose Murat was out for revenge.
August 30, 2006
by George Salzman
The Revolutionary Surge in Oaxaca
Oaxaca shares, with Chiapas and Guerrero, the distinction of being the one of the three poorest states of Mexico. These three bastions of extreme poverty, albeit among the richest states of Mexico in natural resources, lie along the Pacific coastline in southeastern Mexico. Oaxaca is flanked to its east by Chiapas and to its west by Guerrero. Its population, about 3.5 million (2003 estimate), is unique among Mexican states in containing the largest fraction, 2/3, and the largest absolute number of people with indigenous ancestry.