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death in oaxaca

by brad will
another murder in the months long struggle in oaxaca
early dawn, oct16

yesterday i went for a walk with the good people of oaxaca -- was walking
all day really -- in the afternoon they showed me where the bullets hit
the wall -- they numbered the ones they could reach -- it reminded me of
the doorway of amadou diallos home -- but here the grafitti was there
before the shooting began -- one bullet they didnt number was still in his
head -- he was 41 years old -- alejandro garcia hernandez -- at the
neighborhood barricade every night -- that night he came out to join his
wife and sons to let an ambulance through -- then a pickup tried to follow
-- he took their bullet when he told them they could not pass -- they
never did -- these military men in civilian dress shot their way out of

a young man who wanted to only be called marco was with them when the
shooting happened -- a bullet passed through his shoulder -- he was
clearly in shock when we met -- 19 years old -- said he hadnt told his
parents yet -- said he had been at the barricade every night -- said he
was going back as soon as the wound closed -- absolutely

just days before there was a delegation of senators visiting to determine
the ungovernability of the state -- they got a taste -- the call went out
to shut down the rest of the government -- dozens went walking out of the
zocalo city center with big sticks and a box full of spray paint -- they
took control of 3 city buses and went around the city all morning visiting
local government buildings and informing them that that they were closed
-- and we appreciate your voluntary cooperation -- and they filed out
preturbed but still getting paid -- shut -- as they pulled away from the
last stop 3 gunmen came out and started shooting -- 2 buses had already
pulled away -- mayhem -- 10 minute battle with stones and slingshots and
screaming -- one headwound -- another through the leg -- made their way to
the hospital while the fighting continued -- shout out on the radio and
people came from all parts -- the gunmen were around the side of the
building -- they got away -- they were inside -- no one sure -- watchful
-- undercover police were reported lurking around the hospital and folks
went running to stand watch over the wounded

what can you say about this movement -- this revolutionary moment -- you
know it is building, growing, shaping -- you can feel it -- trying
desperately for a direct democracy -- in november appo will have a state
wide conference for the formation of a state wide assemblea estatal del
pueblo de oaxaca (aepo) -- now there are 11 of 33 states in mexico that
have declared formation of assemblea populares like appo -- and on la otra
lado in the usa a few -- the marines have returned to sea even though the
federal police who ravaged atenco remain close by -- the new encampment in
mexico has begun a hunger strike -- the senate can expell URO -- whats
next nobodies sure -- it is a point of light pressed through glass --
ready to burn or show the way -- it is clear that this is more than a
strike, more than expulsion of a governor, more than a blockade, more than
a coalition of fragments -- it is a genuine peoples revolt -- and after
decades of pri rule by bribe, fraud, and bullet the people are tired --
they call him the tyrant -- they talk of destroying this authoritarianism
-- you cannot mistake the whisper of the lancandon jungle in the streets
-- in every street corner deciding together to hold -- you see it their
faces -- indigenous, women, children -- so brave -- watchful at night --
proud and resolute

went walking back from alejandros barricade with a group of supporters who
came from an outlying district a half hour away -- went walking with angry
folk on their way to the morgue -- went inside and saw him -- havent seen
too many bodies in my life -- eats you up -- a stack of nameless corpes
in the corner -- about the number who had died -- no refrigeration -- the
smell -- they had to open his skull to pull the bullet out -- walked back
with him and his people

and now alejandro waits in the zocalo -- like the others at their
plantones -- hes waiting for an impasse, a change, an exit, a way forward,
a way out, a solution -- waiting for the earth to shift and open --
waiting for november when he can sit with his loved ones on the day of the
dead and share food and drink and a song -- waiting for the plaza to turn
itself over to him and burst -- he will only wait until morning but
tonight he is waiting for the governor and his lot to never come back --
one more death -- one more martyr in a dirty war -- one more time to cry
and hurt -- one more time to know power and its ugly head -- one more
bullet cracks the night -- one more night at the barricades -- some keep
the fires -- others curl up and sleep -- but all of them are with him as
he rests one last night at his watch

uro= Ulises Ruiz Ortiz "governor" of the state of oaxaca
planton= sit in, vigil, encampment
zocalo= central plaza

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