Federal Police retreated from the Mexican city of Oaxaca yesterday, after protesters put up a fight.

The Federal Police was brought in to “restore peace and order,” yet no one from Oaxaca really asked them to be there. The rector of the local university, which has 30 000 students, said: “We cannot consent for the campus to be an object of occupation. I want to ask the federal government to be sensitive in its solution to the problem.” According to law, it is the rector of the university who is to ask for police assistance – he never did so in this case.

Sympathizers of the Oaxaca protesters have increased in number. In Mexico City, yesterday, protesters blocked traffic to demand that police retreat from Oaxaca.

The conflict in Oaxaca has been going on since May, when teachers went on strike to demand wage increases, with locals joining in to support them. The protests were then violently challenged by the federal government and by local governor Ulises Ruiz.

Cf: Protest at Mexican Consulate in Response to Weekend Violence.

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Map of Oaxaca. (c) 2004 Tony Burton.

The protests in Oaxaca have been going on since May of this year. This weekend, the city has been plagued by state violence, with several people being killed, including a journalist with IndyMedia. The violence continues this week with federal police threatening protesters.

As a response to this weekend’s bloodshed, a demonstration was organized in front of the Mexican Consulate in Montreal yesterday.

Here’s a short report I prepared for today’s edition of The Morning After on CKUT Radio:

[odeo=http://odeo.com/audio/2285602/view]