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Oaxaca: Amor De Mis Amores

by Barbara Lopez, Beyond Chron (reposted)
The eruption of violence in the Southern Mexican state of Oaxaca comes as no surprise to those who are Oaxacans or familiar with the "state." The area has a long history of rebellion and as an ongoing site of negotiation between the agents of capitalism,inb its varying forms,most recently neoliberalism,and its indigenous communities' forms of governance and economic structures. Interestingly, Oaxaca was also the birthplace of Benito Juarez and Porfirio Diaz, both of whom were Mexico's most important presidents who in th1 19th Centurty pursued varying projects of modernizing Mexico.
The word "state" in some ways is inappropriate to apply to Oaxaca when considering the wikipedia definition of a state as "a set of institutions that possesses the exclusive legitimate authority." This evidently is not the case now where there is no legitimate or followed rule of law. Also, historically Oaxaca's 540 municipalities have always had a a degree of autonomy, many following the Indigenous customs and practices of the sixteen differing indigenous ethnicities. Of it's 3.5 million inhabitants the vast majority, 3/5ths are indigenous, with the remaining population mostly mestizos, a mixture of Spanish, French, and African.

While you would be hard pressed to find a Oaxacan not gleaming in regional pride, who and what is Oaxaca is an incredibly divisive and contested issue. With slogans by the leading popular movement, APPO(Popular Assembly of The Peoples of Oaxaca) proclaiming "we are all Oaxaca," it has never been more divided and fractured by ideological, racial and class divisions since the 1970s. Years ago, when I visited my family in Oaxaca, I noticed a lot more graffiti against the governor at the time, Ruiz. In conversations with friends, it was evident that there was a huge dislike of Ruiz whose repressive, corrupt government greatly interfered with Indigenous autonomy and also annoyed elites in his poor decisions such as destroying the historic zocalo (literally replacing the trees and uprooting colonial tiles). The PRI party (Institutional Revolutionary Party), after seventy years of rule, was loosing power and incredibly fractured with secret alliances to the right-wing PAN (National Action Party).

More
http://www.beyondchron.org/news/index.php?itemid=4071#more
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