by MANUEL ESPARZA
January 17, 2007
Noticias de Oaxaca
I returned to Oaxaca after a month of self-exile that served to restore my mental health. The inevitable questions about Oaxaca and its governor on the part of my old and new friends in Seville helped me synthesize the seven long months of the conflict. What was happening there, I was repeating, has to be understood within the context of world capitalism in it imperial phase. All of México is immersed in neoliberal economics and to add to the complexity, it is stitched onto a zipper of more than 4,500 kilometers adjoining the United States.
The transnational interests and those of the indigenous high bourgeoisie managed to impose their lackey on the presidential throne by means of fraud. The disrespect for the majority vote resulted in the party in power not having the majority in Congress, necessitating that the PAN (a party similar to the PP in Spain, I explained to them so that they could follow me), needed the aid of the PRI so that together they could isolate the PRD which was the party defrauded (like the Socialist of Zapatero?, I asked them, pretending ignorance).
So then, what do we have? A weak illegitimate Executive, without the backing of the people, which urgently needs in the Legislature for the PRI to vote with the PAN, to be able to pass laws and reforms. In other words, I was saying to them so that these bull lovers might understand me, the PRI, loser of the elections, now has the PAN by the balls. And by the way, in this way they cover up past fraud and embezzlement. It no longer succeeded with Fox, in the scandals over Pemexgate.
This affair of Oaxaca is a Murat-Ulisesgate: a true sacking of the public treasury to the order of thousands of millions of pesos. Much of this money went to those two mentioned mafiosos, but principally for the campaign of the PRI candidate Carlos (sic) Madrazo who didn’t even place second in the presidential elections. A revelation of this scandal could cause the PRI to lose its registration, if there were independence of electoral authorities.
In this context one must examine Oaxaca: a PRI governor totally vulnerable because of corruption, embezzlement of funds and homicides, some presumably committed before the onset of the conflict with the APPO, and seventeen others surely his doing, plus a number still to be determined on the long list of the “disappeared”. The repression against a peaceful movement has been brutal (this was clear because the ETA just finished blowing up the new parking lot of the Madrid airport; they would not confuse APPO with ETA). The PRI can not risk losing its registration or being blackmailed in the future by Murat-Ulisesgate since it is advancing another bill collection on the spurious President in exchange for helping him govern.
There’s still more. The social problems in Mexico are a continuous and growing source of discontent, a persistent threat of multiplication of violent actions, an irrigation for the growing guerrillas. The economic powers are disposed to defend their own, thus the blood of the discontented swells. Such pressure has accumulated in the last decades that Calderón and the interests behind him are rapidly militarizing the country. The repression grows, the discourse is now not only against narcotrafficking, now it’s much to the taste of the interests of Bush and Company. It’s against terrorism, therefore it’s for national security to repress social discontent in whatever place. Does Mexico approach a dictatorship like those that were in South America?, they were asking worriedly.
But, is the governor leaving? Most likely no, since it suits Calderón for his political delivery to have a repressive cacique in the fifth largest state in the nation and one of the three furthest left behind, but situated on the Puebla-Panamá axis, and with resources that attract venture capital investments, including the Spaniards as with La Ventosa. Now it is the PAN to whom it is convenient to have a lackey who will do the dirty work without their government being accused of infringing directly on human rights, under the new PAN pretext that it is passé to depose governors. Up until now, the federal authorities have refused to throw out the governor and the conflict is entering eight months’ duration.
I return to Oaxaca and I see the change of scene in the Historic Center: there are no longer tankettes in front of the Cathedral, nor tents, nor ropes supending them, nor those grey soldiers impeding access on all sides. The second aspect of this, I don’t know whether to call it farce, tragedy or chaotic third world shame, has another scenic element: walls painted again and again, little policemen dressed in black impeding the same accesses, the restaurants half empty. The say that last week there was a grand march from the monument to Plaza de la Danza. Nothing has changed; the conflict is here: “the struggle goes on and on.”