Update on the Situation in Oaxaca. June 29th, 2006

Five weeks into their strike, the teachers remain camped out in the streets of downtown Oaxaca.

Radio Planton, the teachers' radio station, is back on the air, after being destroyed by police on June 14th.

Yesterday over 500,000 teachers marched in the 4th "megamarch" that has filled the streets of Oaxaca in the last month...this one even bigger than the previous marches.

The teachers have been in and out of negotiations, and a group of prominent civic leaders are now participating as well, acting as a sort-of civilian mediation team. The famous Oaxacan painter, Franciso Toledo, and some popular, left-wing priests are included in that group.

However, the negotiations have not been fruitful. Furthermore, the teachers (and a large part of Oaxacan civil society) continue to call for the resignation of Oaxacan governor, Ulisis Ruiz Ortiz, refusing to enter negotiations if the governor is involved, and insisting that they will only negotiate at the federal level.

The situation remains tense in Oaxaca. National elections take place this Sunday, July 2nd.

The teachers are insisting that, over the summer, they will make up the weeks of class time that have been lost because of the strike.

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