19 June, 2006

Trouble in Oaxaca

A news search for the term "oaxaca" is informative: following a teacher's union strike in Oaxaca City, three thousand cops attacked demonstrators, apparently opening fire on the crowd and killing up to eleven people. There are zero wire service reports about this; the only place it's being discussed is in places like Pacifica, NarcoNews, Indymedia, etc. I only got this from my friend Nancy who happens to live there. One presumes that stories like this go unreported all the time. Just banal, routine violent repression of working people.


The LA Times  has a story, though it seems oddly hewn to me.

The sad thing is there probably just aren't very many wire service reporters or stringers on the ground. So close but so far away. Doing an incredibly quick and dirty nexis search on [oaxaca and business] I couldn't find anything that wasn't about immigration or food except a single article about some gung ho solar-energy entrepreneurs. Business is the daily bread of journalism in areas that aren't cultural centers or regular political focal points, and if people aren't thinking about doing business with a particular region, editors lack the incentive to maintain at least stringer contacts there. I think if this sort of thing went down in, say, Seoul, you'd probably here a little more about it.

But as a secondary effect your diagnosis probably holds. I'm not sure we always hear about these things here . 

Posted by Saheli

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

I live in Mexico City, and these strikes have been in the news for weeks, front pages too. It's not so much that working people are repressed, though that's true, but that US media cares very little for news fron countries less wealthy than the US, unless the headlines include the terms "vacation", "massive death toll", "war", or "cheap hot sex".

Also, those public school teachers are striking to demand higher wages, which can't be paid because the gov't doesn't have the money on hand. Mexico needs more money, and strikes certainly do not help. See San Mateo Atenco for more news on recent pointless strikes. 

Posted by Fernando

it would have been helpful context if that news story had talked about the buying power of US$8000 a year in oaxaca, median household income, etc. fernando's statements are hard to check.

well anyway, oaxaca is in the south. icky.


Posted by hibiscus

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