Plenty of Blame to Go Around for Turmoil in Mexico’s Oaxaca

Guadalajara, MEXICO -- The tense situation that appears close to resolution in Oaxaca, Mexico, began in May with a teachers' strike, a fairly regular event. But with the unleashing of an authoritarian crackdown the following month on the striking teachers, it descended into an open revolt against the governor of one of the Republic's poorest and most corrupt states. The nearly six months of unrest has left at least 16 people dead and the state economy in shambles. And while some of the parties in the conflict -- namely the teachers and a left-wing group backing their demands -- have drawn some sympathy, seemingly everyone involved shares a portion of the responsibility for the debacle.

"It's not that one side is completely clean and the other completely violent," said Fred Rosen, a columnist with The Herald Mexico.

Although most of the Oaxaca teachers have returned to the classroom and the governor recently declared the conflict over, the state still simmers as a coalition of farmers, students and leftists protesting under the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO) banner are still active in both Oaxaca and Mexico City. Members of the Federal Preventive Police (PFP) continue patrolling the state capital. APPO and the PFP clashed Nov. 25 in a dustup that saw a number of hotels and government buildings burn in the historic state capital of Oaxaca de Juarez.

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