Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Striking teachers occupy Oaxaca radio stations

Gunmen shot at a radio station occupied by striking teachers yesterday, prompting protesters to blockade streets, set buses on fire and take over radio stations in the southern Mexican city of Oaxaca. The early morning attack, which injured one person, was the latest in a series that has killed four protesters in recent weeks. Protesters demanding the resignation of Oaxaca state Governor Ulises Ruiz responded by blocking streets in the historic city centre with buses, setting some on fire. They also took over 12 private radio stations they consider hostile to their cause. Others blockaded bus terminals and gas stations and about 2,000 marched through the city streets. The teachers also ignored pleas to end their strike on Monday, the first day of the new school year.
1. Mexico has been engulfed in a political crisis since leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador narrowly lost a July 2 presidential vote and accused his conservative rival of fraud. The teachers’ strike predates the election but Ruiz has charged Obrador’s party of having links to the protesters. Some 40,000 teachers, who are also striking for higher pay, have been joined by Indian groups and students. The conflict has severely damaged tourism to the region. Last month, Oaxaca’s annual Guelaguetza fiesta of music, food and dancing was canceled when protesters set fire to the festival stage and barricaded tourists into their hotels.
(Source: Reuters/R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)