This weekend, I had a couple of Mexicans staying with me via a hospitality site and we talked a lot about my upcoming trip to Chicago and Mexico. And in agreement with the news, they advised me to stay away from Oaxaca because of the protests after the Mexican election. There's apparently a dispute between teachers and other civil employees and the state as well, causing a lot of disruption.
For those who haven't followed, Mr Lopez Obrador, the current mayor of Mexico City, is refusing to accept defeat in the election held on 3 July 2006. In the best Hugo Chavez tradition he is disputing Mexico's electoral process and demanding to be made president. He's organizing massive street protests in Mexico City and Oaxaca, firing up the crowds with statements such as "Never more will we accept that an illegal and illegitimate government is installed in our country" and threatening to set up a parallell government structure. In a country not that many years away from an effectively military-political dictatorship this is both incendiary and worrying. The Foreign Office is advising caution on travels to Mexico because of this.
So, Mr Obrador is messing with both my travels and Mexico's future.
On the advise of Olivia and Eloy, I'm now not going to Oaxaca. So far I'm a little undecided about where to travel instead, but I am leaning towards Pachuca. It's their home city and they are speaking highly of it. Or to the city of Taxco, which I never made it to during my last visit. It's beautiful and has lots of crafts and other arts.
I really should make up my mind about where to go, as I need to get in touch with hosts and try to find couches to sleep on.
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