Enrique Rueda Pacheco, leader of the Oaxaca teachers union Section 22, resigned Feb. 18, saying he was the victim of a dirty campaign against him. He charged the state government with betrayal in failing to follow through on agreements signed in October to end the teachers’ strike in Oaxaca, instead setting up a new union local, Section 59, controlled by the state’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). (Prensa Latina, Feb. 18)
Days before stepping down, Rueda Pacheco had publicly reiterated his support for the Popular People’s Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO), the grassroots coalition the emerged in alliance with the striking teachers last year. He charged that more than 200 local schools were under control of “charrismo sindical” (institutional labor corruption). (APRO, Feb. 1 via Chiapas95) APPO also issued a statement calling for continued “unity in action” with Section 22 and expressing total repudiation of Section 59, which it said “represents the executing arm of tyranny against the popular movement, and specifically against the democratic teachers of Section 22.” (APRO, Jan. 31 via Chiapas95)
Violence continues in the restive state. On Jan. 25, some 60 PRI militants with clubs and firearms violently broke up a popular assembly in the municipality of San Antonino Castillo Velasco, reports the local “Flor y Canto” Indigenous Rights Center. According to the report, 11 were wounded and 13 detained by thugs loyal to the municipality’s “official” mayor. (APRO, Jan. 25 via Chiapas95)
At the start of the year, relatives of prisoners detained during the Nov. 25 federal crackdown in Oaxaca set up a protest camp outside the Miahuatlan prison in Oaxaca City, vowing to stay there until all the jailed APPO supporters are released. Another encampment outside a prison 40 kilometers away in Tlacolula has also been established. (El Universal, Jan. 2)
See our last posts on Mexico and Oaxaca.