Things in the Mexican City of Oaxaca are getting worse according to reports. Three policemen were abducted and beaten for a number of hours and an anti-strike teacher was murdered. Tourism is virtually dead in the once popular city. Leftist demonstrators are becoming more unruly as the days pass.
The violence raised fears the four-month-old standoff between protesters and Oaxaca state government could lead to a wider confrontation.
Thousands of state police have gathered outside the city in recent days, and helicopters and military planes have flown over the demonstrators.
About 2,000 leftists, labor activists and Indian groups have occupied the center of this historic city since May. They are demanding the resignation of Oaxaca Gov. Ulises Ruiz, whom they accuse of rigging the 2004 election.
The standoff began when teachers went on strike for higher wages, but it quickly mushroomed into a broad-based movement. Ruiz and local business groups have asked the army to intervene to end the standoff.
About 60 protest sympathizers seized the three policemen in Zaachila, a village six miles outside Oaxaca city, state police said Friday. They said the officers were kicked and beaten for about two hours before being released.
On Thursday, a teacher belonging to a group opposed to the strike was killed by two assailants who stabbed him in the neck with an ice pick, said Oaxaca state police official Victor Alonso Altamirano. Protesters deny they were involved.
This was once a thriving tourist town and the leftists have destroyed it in order to "save" it. This is a very bad situation for the Mexican government. They are going to need to go in and clean this up. The Mexican economy cannot afford to lose the kind of money that Oaxaca used to generate from the tourists. Someone is financing all this. The Mexican government should try to track down that money source.