Oaxaca Civil Unrest Grows as Another Group Begins Voicing its Discontent
Zócalo Taken by Protesters for the First Time in Six Months as Government Workers Enter the Scene Over New Social Security Law
By Nancy Davies
Commentary from Oaxaca
April 26, 2007
The bureaucrats did what the APPO didn’t: On Wednesday, April 25 they broke the police barricades and entered the Oaxaca zócalo.
More than 2,000 delegates from the Sindicato de Burócratas, which I interpret to mean the office workers and administrators’ union, in a rage over the new Social Security law for government employees, shoved aside the barricades and the police guarding the zócalo. They strung their anti-ISSTE reform banners on the kiosko, and denounced their union leader Joel Castillo. They repudiated him for trying to impose agreement to the pension law which will affect all government employees.
In the auditorium “Ricardo Flores Magón,” located in Oaxaca, tempers got hot when the subject of the new law was introduced. A security guard tried to hold back the Secretary of Finances, Angeles Bautista Santana, when she was insulting the union leader, which provoked other delegates to intervene and all hell broke loose. According to Las Noticias chairs went flying through the air. Several people were wounded amid shouts of “Ya cayó,” referring not to our governor Ulises Ruiz but to the new ISSSTE law. Castillo fled out the back door where he was pursued by the enraged delegates.
There has not been a general assembly for the Administrative and Office Workers (Bureaucrats) Union since last October, hence no consultation at the base about accepting the news guidelines for pensions.
The union marchers headed to the zócalo where the police (only the handful normally present when URO is not expecting the APPO) without arms and riot gear, tried to put the iron mesh barricades into place. The police were shoved aside and the barricades were knocked flat.
This is the first time a march has broken the police barricade since last November 25 when the APPO and the government faced off in the now famous battle which led to massive arrests and imprisonments. The APPO could not retake the zócalo at that time, and it has been guarded against marches ever since, along with the plaza of the Santo Domingo church.
The recent passage of the law of ISSSTE is a step backward in the social security system and a blow to workers. Calderón and the federal congress reduced benefits to the pension system, leaving most workers to depend on their private life savings in the future when they will be drawing their pensions. The retirement age has also been raised.
Future workers (students) along with the present ones will participate in the strike on May 2, along with the march on May 1, whose trajectory is as yet unknown.
Click here for more Narco News coverage of Mexico
Lea Ud. el Artículo en Español
Narco News is funded by your contributions to The Fund for Authentic Journalism.
Please make journalism like this possible by going to The Fund's web site
and making a contribution today.
- The Fund for Authentic Journalism
For more Narco News, click here.