This is an e-mail I received a couple of weeks ago from a friend whose family lives in Oaxaca. What follows is my humble attempt at translation:
Surely by now you have all heard about the incursion/repression of the PFP [Federal Preventive Police] in Oaxaca. The reason I’m writing this e-mail is to tell you that it is not true that the PFP has returned peace to the state, as [President] Fox and some media are saying. My people are going through the worst moments of their lives. The conflict is not the fault of a few ‘louts, thugs or idlers’ (among other commonly used descriptions); the movement arose from perfectly valid motives such as better wages, living conditions, etcetera. This has now gone beyond any leader. Today, nobody wants to go outdoors and people are afraid of being killed. Meanwhile, Ulises [the governor of Oaxaca] maintains his refusal to stand down.
I want you to take a look at Oaxaca and judge what's happening objectively. Don’t be satisfied with what’s being said on television. Yesterday, for example, Denise Maerker interviewed the leaders of the APPO [Popular Assembly for the People of Oaxaca], the teachers and Abascal [the Home Secretary]. She questioned the former and asked nothing of the Home Secretary. Her duty, in my opinion, is to give information about how things happen, not point fingers or make accusations (it was obvious whose side she was on).
Please give this some thought. Why hasn’t Fox sent the PFP to places such as Chihuahua, Guerrero or Michoacán, where drug traffickers have free reign to instil fear in the citizens? Those are places where I believe a firm hand is necessary, not this intimidation of the people of Oaxaca.
Finally, my friends, I leave you to reflect. I feel that it is my civic duty to inform you (my family is living through this, I’m not making it up) and I ask for your moral support.
Translated by El Pinche Británico