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Monday, December 04, 2006

"There is no government today in Oaxaca"

That quote was spoken by Raul Ruiz, president of the local association of electrical suppliers here in Oaxaca City. We spoke with him and with the owner of one of the finest restaurants in Oaxaca, Luis Ugartechea, who have helped a local NGO here, EDUCA, with a citizenship initiative.

The message they asked us to send to the US government today was as followsÑ

Human rights are being severely violated here in Oaxaca.
There is no government functioning here. "The government of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz is nothing."

They encouraged us to remind the US government to encourage Mexico to live up to human rights standards. Other folks have told us that Mexico is currently chair of human rights at the UN, a very ironic position to be in given the detentions in Nayarit, raids on schools and roundups of civil leadership happening here.

Luis: "I feel sad. I feel very angry. I don't want to live in this situation. We didn't have to live in this situatin. If we had smart people in power, this would not be necessary."

Tomorrow we go to the town of Zaachila, outside Oaxaca City, where federal police raided schools last week and arrested teachers in front of their students. We understand some people we would have stayed with have left town due to outstanding warrants for their arrest. We have been told there is hope our presence there tomorrow may defuse tensions between police and the citizenry.

I may not be able to write again until Wednesday, but I'll try to get on tomorrow to talk about one of our other meetings today if at all possible.

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