Beneath the Surface: Mexico

Posted on January 30, 2014

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Laughing, chanting, waving banners the marchers arrive at the city center. They are tired but despite the deepening chill they are exhilarated. Their demands for reform have attracted thousands, their insistence that the governor resign reverberates throughout the state. They do not see the federal police until it is too late. Snipers atop buildings fire tear gas grenades. Huge tanks move forward as grenadiers carrying shields and wearing visored helmets, gas masks and leg armor surge against the crowd. A few youths try to defend themselves with slingshots and pyrotechnic rockets but the police sweep over them, indiscriminately beating everyone they come into contact with—demonstrators, shopkeepers, street vendors, women getting off work. Screams echo against the convent walls, sirens shriek, bloody and devastated men and women are thrown into piles, stomped on and beaten and carried to prisons. When the tear gas finally dissipates the next morning the governor strides through the city center as workmen with power hoses wash away the blood. ‘Oaxaca,’ he boasts, ‘is safe for tourists!’
“Everywhere one goes one feels the resentment—in the churches, in the cantinas, in private homes. Everything in polarized, the society is very divided. No longer is there any dialogue.”
Guns are on their way.

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Posted in: Life in Mexico