05 December 2006

APPO leaders arrested

While not entirely placid, a sense of normalcy is returning to Oaxaca. And sadly, Governor Ulises Ruiz is still in power.

After the late November dust up, which saw a number of buildings burn, more than 100 APPO supporters were arrested and jailed in Nayarit state - a long ways from Oaxaca. Several top APPO leaders were also apprehended yesterday in Mexico City and are now apparently in Altiplano, one of the country's most notorious prisons.

This whole Oaxaca situation is tough to completely understand and no side is without blame. Seemingly, there are just varying degrees of bad.

Why, for example, do the teachers strike every year? Or, why, despite assertions to the contrary, do APPO-led protests sometimes descend into violence? Of course, Ulises Ruiz and his thugs in the PRI have much to answer for - and his ousting would effectively put an end to much of the unpleasantness.

One troubling part is how APPO has garnered such sympathy. Are their motives entirely pure? Sergio Sarmiento pointed out in one of his Grupo Reforma columns that APPO used to receive money from the Oaxaca government, but Ruiz put an end to the payments.

That fact doesn't negate many of APPO's grievances, but it raises questions.

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