Sunday, October 29, 2006

Oaxaca update

WaPo has some decent background of what's going on down there (though of course there is an obvious anti-protestor tilt).

Police Surround Besieged Mexican City

The Associated Press
Sunday, October 29, 2006; 11:28 AM

OAXACA, Mexico -- Federal police in riot gear and armored cars took up positions on the outskirts of this southern Mexican city on Sunday, as leftist protesters who have taken charge of the streets stood firm at their barricades of tree trunks and hijacked trucks.


Protest sympathizers gathered on Saturday in the nearly deserted, graffiti-smeared main plaza _ the arch-ringed square normally abuzz with tourists and vendors _ to mourn Bradley Roland Will, 36, of New York, who was killed during a shootout between protesters and men they claim were local officials in Santa Lucia del Camino, on Oaxaca's outskirts.

In a statement, Will's family said it was "grieving over the tragic and senseless loss of Brad's life."

"Brad's friends and family admired his brave support for the downtrodden and willingness to act tirelessly upon his convictions. We believe he died doing what he loved," it said.

And a separate article about Brad:

NYC Journalist Slain in Oaxaca Mourned

The Associated Press
Saturday, October 28, 2006; 5:03 PM

NEW YORK -- Undeterred by violence, journalist Bradley Roland Will felt compelled to document what he called human rights abuses around the globe, so he headed to the volatile city of Oaxaca in Mexico.

As the situation turned increasingly dangerous, Will decided to stay. Despite his fears, he wanted people to know what was happening in Oaxaca.

"I am entering a new territory here and don't know if I am ready," Will wrote Tuesday in an e-mail to an ex-girlfriend. "Life is crazy."

The 36-year-old videographer from New York was killed Friday in the Mexican city where protesters have barricaded streets and occupied government buildings for five months in a bid to oust the governor.

The accompanying picture is the Brad I knew.

Update: this Houston Chronicle story is even better, with plentiful quotes from Brandon Jourdan.


mariamaria said...

I have been to Oaxaca. It is not a pretty place these days. The government is so corrupt.

reportero_c said...

Oaxaca is still in the grip of an old-school and authoritarian PRI party. The governor sowed poisonous seeds and - no surprise -is reaping a bitter harvest. He's part of the problem, not the solution. The torturous politics, though ... One commentator in a Spanish-language paper pointed out that no one wants the governor, but no one will act to remove him.

That said, the teachers' behavior has not been without blame either. The local tourism-based economy is suffering. The shutdown of the state capital is hurting a lot of small vendors and artisans that depend on an influx of visitors.