Franc Contreras, the correspondant for NPR and BBC was in Oaxaca and witness the clashes that took place at the Univesidad Autonoma Benito Juarez in Oaxaca City. Franc was on Imagen News on Thursday evening October 2, describing what he saw and heard. It was very violent. To listen go to www.imagen.com.mx/news APPO celebrated its "triumph" over the Federal Preventive Police and called on the population to reinstall the barricades around the city. The APPO called for a "Mega Marcha" a city wide march on Sunday to show the "Federal Government that the people of Oaxaca will resist the PFP." After listening to Franc Contreras narration of the events that took place on Thursday, it has become quite clear to me that the City has been taken over by different groups (APPO, PRI, and Teacher’s Union..) which can be very violent, and that clearly want this conflict to go on beyond December 1st. I understand those who protest against the PFP, and support the APPO and their cause. However, there has to be a point in which the federal government has to step-in to protect the rest of the population. Should the APPO supporters continue to take refuge at the University? Should APPO continue to illegally hold-on and broadcast from the University’s radio station? Should the Federal Government allow APPO to return and take over downtown Oaxaca City?
Following is description of what happened on Thursday in Oaxaca, sent by Franc Contreras.
"Today I witnessed violent street battles between federal police and students at the local university. The police came in an apparent attempt to remove the protestors from the university, where the protestors control the local radio station, Radio Universidad. The police used water canons and tear gas. The protestors threw big rocks and molotov cocktails. I saw several people seriously injured, at least one of them a photo journalist for the Mexican daily El Universal. A home-made bomb went off near us. It was filled with large metal nails. The photog mentioned above stood right near me when a cluster of nails gorged deep into his right side. THe police took him away in a helicopter.
It was the most intense violence here since Sunday, when the federal police were sent to break-up the 5-month-long demostrations aimed at removing Governor Ulises Ruiz from office.
All this lastest for hours. Finally, the police were forced to retreat. AT this moment, thousands of people are in the streets near the university celebrating their victory over the police. Many in that crowd support the APPO, Asemblea Popular del Pueblo de Oaxaca."