The here and now... and what and why

Complacency is a trap. At least that’s what I was thinking when I up and left the comfort of a Yankee prep school gig, where I taught music, amongst other things, for 28 years. There was also that life long career as a composer, musician and artist.

First, it was a year in St. Thomas, USVI, working as a reporter and shooting photography and then, a year in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Time passed.
More time passed and a year back in the Athens of America followed by a hasty return to Oaxaca where it is all happening.
A couple of years in San Sebastian Etla and now, just down the road in San Pablo Etla. Life is good.

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For additional photography please visit my flickr page.
You can find my music on Jango (World & latin - Worldbeat) and at iTunes and most online stores.
¡Soy consciente de todas las tradiciones del Internet!
If you are coming to Oaxaca, please contact me for tours or advice.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo
The view from Corazon del Pueblo

The hereafter re me

My photo
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Musician, photographer, videographer, reporter, ex-officio teacher, now attempting to be a world traveler

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Down on the blockade

Hacienda Blanca is one of the key points of blockade, a bloqueo, by Seccion XXII, and is just down the road from me.  I have gotten caught in it a few times, but today I just went down to check it out.  The reason it is key is because it is really the only entry point to the city from the north, for instance, from Mexico City.
It is just after the intersection of the toll road and the non-toll road to the north and so... a perfect place to stop traffic or in this case, to control the flow.
And this is how they shut it down.
It appeared like no commercial traffic was being let through, but normal cars and vans were being allowed both northbound and southbound, but northbound was a single lane.
Southbound seemed to be two lanes.
Those guys were directing traffic and doing a good job.  I think the traffic lights were out.  And of course, not a cop anywhere in sight.  People have been commenting on the lack of police presence and it was certainly true at Haciend Blanca today.


Run this article through a translator.  It pretty much says it all.


Jeffrey said...

How long has this been going on? And can you explain in simple English what the blockade is supposed to accomplish? It looks like by stopping all commercial traffic that a lot of businesses are going to be hurt, right?

Anonymous said...

The photo under "And this is how they shut it down" looks very much like they have stooped to using human shields.

Christopher Stowens said...

First, Jeffrey, there are no simple ways to explain what is going on here. There are too many layers and threads. The teachers are at the forefront, but there is a litany of issues including, indigenous rights, oil, corruption, just to scratch the surface. It's complex and this is a sophisticated culture in terms of having thousands of years of conflicts and negotiations.

Secondly, no, not human shields. That's not the mindset here. Remember, marches, protests and blockades are pretty much an everyday thing here.

Anonymous said...

I am sure it is not an everyday thing to have 9 people killed as they were in Nochixtlan last week. Whatever their mindset is, the people incorporated into this roadblock are there to deter another attack as on June 19. Hopefully there will be no more bloodshed.

Jeffrey said...

When protests and blockades become routine ways of expressing economic grievances, then the culture needs to change if it wants some progress. I don't know how sophisticated it is to crap in the middle of your living room to complain about rental prices (to use a crude analogy). Making other regular citizens suffer because you are not getting what you want does not seem sophisticated.

By the way, Christopher, I completely understand your point about the issue having multiple layers and no simple explanation. The paragraph above is just an attempt to reduce a layer or two.