May’s annual teacher’s strike is in full swing. The union, Section 22, with membership of around one million, is the largest union in Latin America. Not everyone seems to realize that Section 22 members are all primary teachers working in the public school system,, and not all primary school teachers are members. Furthermore, not all Section 22 locals are militant. All that being said, the Oaxaca teachers who are members of Section 22 make their presence known on an annual basis.
Judging from the signs posted around the Chedraui, my neighborhood super market, this year Section 22 and militant Triqui have joined together.
“Jail Ulyses. Murderer. Political Prisoners. Freedom.” Is what the sign in front of Chedraui reads. Ulyses is the former governor. Apparently democratically ousting him from office wasn’t enough.
I’m quite sure the political prisoners referred to are Triqui. The teachers are not looking for improved working conditions this year. Another sign pleads for autonomy in the pueblos.
In 1948 state authorities disbanded the municipality of San Juan Capola, which was the start of Triqui loss of autonomy. Conflict began and continues to this day.
On April 27, 2010, a humanitarian caravan, which was allegedly bringing supplies to Triqui trapped behind barriers set up by their own people was attacked. Bety Cariño, a human rights activist, was murdered along with the Finnish observer Jiri Jakkola.
This year some of the Triqui are saying before the caravan left the city of Oaxaca they had met with Ulyses Ruiz. For me this implies, since Ruiz is a murder who knows what the allege humanitarian caravan was up to.
Down at the Zocalo the tents are pitched. Who knows how long the Triqui and teachers will be entrenched. At the Chedraui they’ve shut down the mall, only a few determined businesses have kept their doors open. But no tents are erected. I think they’ll be gone by tomorrow.
Xoxocotlán is having a rodeo (jaripeo). Xoxo (pronounced Hoho), as it’s more often called, is a pueblo on the outskirts of the city of Oaxaca.
June 2, 3,4 and 5 they will embrace their origins. Events will include carreras de caballos (horse races) and pelejas de gallos (fights of roosters - cockfights) This is one event I won’t be attending. I don’t like roosters, but I’m not up to seeing them tortured.