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Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights

BTL:Mexican Government Fears Spread of Oaxaca Civil Society Uprising

Interview with Jonathan Treat, journalist living in Mexico, Oaxaca, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Mexican Government Fears Spread of Oaxaca Civil Society Uprising

Interview with Jonathan Treat, journalist living in Mexico, Oaxaca, conducted by Scott Harris

As the movement of teachers, students, workers and indigenous groups marked six months of continuous protest in the Mexican city of Oaxaca, violence again erupted in the streets on Nov. 20, the day Mexicans celebrated the 96th anniversary of their nation's 1910 revolution. Running battles between the Federal Preventative Police -- firing tear gas and activists armed with sticks, slingshots and fireworks -- resulted in dozens of injuries and arrests.

Protests began in May, when teachers went out on strike demanding a pay increase and books for students. Oaxaca's Gov. Ulises Ruiz ordered police to attack the teachers and their supporters. That confrontation galvanized the teachers, sparked a civil society uprising and the formation of The People's Popular Assembly of Oaxaca or APPO, which demanded the removal of Gov. Ruiz, who many accuse of winning office by stealing the 2004 state election.

At the end of October, Mexican President Vicente Fox sent 4,000 federal troops to Oaxaca to remove protesters from the colonial city's central plaza, after more than a dozen people -- including Brad Will, an independent U.S. journalist -- had been killed by gunmen, whom protesters identify as undercover government agents. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Jonathan Treat, a journalist living in Oaxaca and coordinator of the Oaxaca Solidarity Network, who provides a brief history of the conflict and describes the current tense situation in the city.

Visit the Oaxaca Solidarity Network's website at www.OaxacaSolidarity.org

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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories & interviews with activists & journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national & regional political, economic & social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics & to check out our text archive listing topics & guests presented in previous programs visit: www.btlonline.org
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