Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, Mexico — In the aftermath of last months deadly police assault protesters have taken re-occupied the center of the city, making tourists show identification at makeshift checkpoints, smashing the windows of quaint hotels and spray-painting revolutionary slogans. For the most part police have been keeping out of sight and tourism is down 75%, costing the city millions of dollars. Thousands are camped out in the city's main plaza, sleeping under tarpaulins. Speakers declare the revolution has arrived in Oaxaca, while excited debates and meetings are held daily.

The revolutionaries are not unopposed. At 9:15 PM Saturday night about 25 masked “paramilitares” carrying “cartuchos” (military grade high powered automatic weapons) arrived at Radio Universidad and fired shots in an attempt to gain access to the station and shut down the transmitter. Despite loosing the signal for less than an hour the station's occupants were able to hold of the attackers. A portion of the confrontation and chaos was broadcast sending dozens of nearby supporters to the scene.

The university station also serves as a food and supply distribution point so there were a number of women and children there at the time. The station has served as a voice piece for the radicals and was most likely attacked for that reason.