August 21, 2006

Mexico teachers grab Oaxaca radio stations, shot at

OAXACA, Mexico (Reuters) - Gunmen shot at a radio station
occupied by striking teachers on Monday, prompting protesters
to blockade streets, set buses on fire and take over radio
stations in the southern Mexican city of Oaxaca.

The early morning attack, which injured one person, was the
latest in a series that has killed four protesters in recent

Protesters demanding the resignation of Oaxaca state Gov.
Ulises Ruiz responded by blocking streets in the historic city
center with buses, setting some on fire. They also took over 12
private radio stations they consider hostile to their cause.
Others blockaded bus terminals and gas stations and about 2,000
marched through the city streets.

The teachers also ignored pleas to end their strike on
Monday, the first day of the new school year.

Mexico has been engulfed in a political crisis since
leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador narrowly lost a July 2
presidential vote and accused his conservative rival of fraud.

The teachers' strike predates the election but Ruiz has
charged Obrador's party of having links to the protesters.

Some 40,000 teachers, who are also striking for higher pay,
have been joined by Indian groups and students.

The conflict has severely damaged tourism to the region.
Last month, Oaxaca's annual Guelaguetza fiesta of music, food
and dancing was canceled when protesters set fire to the
festival stage and barricaded tourists into their hotels.