From El Universal, Sept. 25, via Chiapas95:
A group of gunmen exchanged fire with protesters outside Oaxaca’s Camino Real hotel on Sunday, injuring two and forcing dozens of guests, residents and journalists to run for cover.
The shoot-out came hours after the U.S. Embassy in Mexico renewed a warning for U.S. citizens traveling to the southern city, where protesters have camped out for months.
The confrontation broke out after about 300 demonstrators armed with machetes, knives and pipes descended on the Camino Real searching for Oaxaca Gov. Ulises Ruiz, who they are demanding resign. They accuse him of rigging the 2004 election to win office and violently repressing dissent.
Around 30 protesters entered the hotel and searched room by room for the governor. Ruiz later said he had been at a restaurant near the Camino Real but never went inside the hotel. A group of about 40 men armed with sticks and guns then attacked and fired at the protesters outside the hotel’s front door. Some protesters drew guns and returned fire, creating panic among dozens of people in the street.
Zenen Bravo, a spokesman for the Oaxaca People’s Assembly (APPO) which is coordinating the protests, said one demonstrator was shot in the elbow and another had been beaten with sticks. Bravo accused the governor of being behind the attack.
Ruiz denied that, condemning the violence.
“We cannot tolerate these acts of vandalism and aggression against Oaxacan citizens,” he said.
The situation remained tense as night fell, with about 300 protesters still blockading the hotel.
Hours earlier, the U.S. Embassy issued an advisory saying, “U.S. citizens traveling to Oaxaca City should consider carefully the risk of travel at this time due to the recent increase in violence there.”