Mexico: Showdown in Oaxaca
October 6, 2006: Protestors in Oaxaca reported seeing more military helicopters and aircraft flying around the city. This has led to speculation that the Mexican government intends to "break up" the protest camps in the city. The protest camps feature street barricades, some of them described as being quite formidable. Reports like this (of increased Mexican military activity around Oaxaca) have surfaced before, but the bank bombings on Monday have increased tensions in the town. Protestors have occupied part of Oaxaca's city center city since May. The protests have cost the city of Oaxaca, a great deal of money. Oaxaca is a tourist spot, and tourists have been avoiding it because of the protests. One business group an estimated that the protests and occupations have cost Oaxaca $300 million in lost income.
October 5, 2006: A new U.S. law, authorizing the building of a 1125 kilometer-long fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, went into effect. This comes one day (October 4) after Mexico warned the U.S. that it may take the issue of a border fence to the United Nations. Mexico maintains that the proposed 1125 kilometer-long fence is an "offense" to Mexico. It is not clear what diplomatic form Mexico's protest might take in the UN. The warning is designed to embarrass the U.S. government.
October 4, 2006: A group of Mexican left-wing legislators said they will recognize PAN candidate, and president-elect, Felipe Calderon as president when he assumes office December 1. This is yet another defection from the leftist attempt to create an alternative government.
October 2, 2006: Bombs were tossed at two different banks in the city of Oaxaca. A previously unknown groups took responsibility for the bank attacks- the Armed Revolutionary Organization for the People of Oaxaca. No one was hurt in the attacks. A group of protestors also took over a local Oaxaca radio station.
September 29, 2006: Acapulco experienced a wave of violence in what looks like a continuation of "the turf war" over control of narcotics trafficking in the region. Four prison guards were murdered by three "armed assailants" in a shooting incident outside of a local jail. In a separate incident, a judge was murdered in his home.
September 24, 2006: Though the PAN's Felipe Calderon has been declared president of Mexico, and the PRD's Manuel Andres Lopez-Obrador appears to have accepted Calderon's victory, supporters of Lopez-Obrador and hard left political factions continue to agitate. If the leftists can link their distrust to Calderon to the U.S., all the better. Meanwhile. demonstrations occurred at 22 Wal-Mart stores in Mexico City. Leftists accused Wal-Mart of the "systematic violation of labor rights that the company is used to exercise against its employees" and to the "open campaign in favor of Felipe Calderón."
September 23, 2006: The U.S. State Department warned travelers of rising violence in Mexico. The State Department mentioned narcotics-related violence, kidnappings, and "execution-style murders" as threats in Mexico. The warning mentioned three areas as being particularly prone to violence: Mexico City, Nuevo Laredo, and Tijuana.
September 19, 2006: Mexican internal security troops and police increased their "presence" at regional airports and transportation facilities. The Mexican government is concerned that the "peaceful civil resistance" proclaimed by the PRD may spread throughout Mexico - and not remain peaceful.
September 16, 2006: The PRD (left wing) stated that it will continue its campaign of "civil resistance." The PRD still claims that the July election was fraudulent.