Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Baltimore Crime

The Sun writes more on the killing of 14-year old Bernard Simon on his porch within the housing projects of Cherry Hill, South Baltimore. His death, the 21st juvenile killed in Baltimore City this year, is "part of a unsettling trend in the city."

Three brothers are being arrested and charged with attempted murder and attempted armed robbery for the botched hold-up of an off-duty officer in which two of would be attackers were shot.

Anne Arundel County police are seeking 23-year old Ronald Francis Dawson II of Glen Burnie for the killing of 18-year old Taveon Jawon Watson on Friday. Dawson's picture is in the print edition, but I can't find it online.

An Ellicot City man Michael F. Zemanick, 53, of Ellicot City is guil for stealing about $4,500 from a Howard County bank. As his 7th robbery conviction in less than ten years he is going to jail for a mandatory 10 years. Zemanick "It's the insanity of the addiction."

A North Carolina man, Ramon Pena, pleaded guilty to hauling some 170 pounds of cocaine on I-95.

Mark Vincent Dyson, 18, pleads guilty to two counts of homicide by motor vehicle for killing two 16-year old friends while driving under the influence of alcohol in 2005. He will serve 18 months in Carrol County Detention Center.

The 18-year old Phillip M. Carter of Baltimore pleaded guilty to two brutal assaults in Baltimore, including one on a 73-year old Sun reporter. He faces up to 30 years at sentencing.

A Woodlawn woman is held in the fatal stabbing of her boyfriend.

An Arbutus man surrendered to police for a spate of robberies, and an Ex-Bakery employee is guilty of embezzling $88,000 in Howard County.

Albert Givens is going on trial for the fifth time on the murder and sexual assault his friend's mother, 55 at the time of her death, in Arnold, Anne Arundel County 15 years ago.

Baltimore County is putting police dogs closer to the community.

A Harford Country sherrif's deputy died in a car accident while on duty.

In politics, two Anne Arundel County Democrats who have not conceded their loses in recent local elections for the state house of delegates are going to court to appeal for a paper ballot recount.

In the Queens borough of New York, Mayor Bloomberg has met with the Rev. Al Sharpton and community leaders. He defended Sean Bell, recently killed in a barrage of 50 bullets fired by 5 officers on his wedding day, and said the number of shots fired at unarmed men "unacceptable."

In international crime news, University of Michigan professor Juan Cole says crime in Iraq is so bad it looks like "the seventh level of hell." Meanwhile, Federal Police in the Mexican state of Oaxaca have been battling for control of the state capital city with local protesters who threw the state governor and other local police and politicians out of power over their brutality and corruption.

This post is a try-out for the popular Baltimore Crime web log on crime reports from Baltimore City.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Battle Rages in Oaxaca Over the Weekend

What was supposed to be a peaceful eight-mile march to the Oaxaca City Center from the offices of the repudiated Governor of Oaxaca Ulises Ruiz ended in violent confrontations that spiraled into a five hour battle between police and protesters this past Saturday. These confrontations began less than an hour after the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO) encircled the Federal Preventative Police (PFP in its Spanish intitials) for a "48 hour peaceful siege" of the PFP encampment in the Zocalo.

The offices Nueva Izquierda, the organization which the APPO leader Flavio Sosa represents, was attacked by a truck full of gunmen Sunday night. While 14 people slept in the offices, taking refuge after the "PFP Offensive" described in the text and links below, the attackers rammed the truck through the front door and burned the building (shown to the left after the fire as Octavio Velez saw it). According to La Jornada, thirteen of the those present inside at the time of the attack managed to escape. One has been classified as "diappeared." The low intensity war in Oaxaca is getting intense.

The Mexican League in the Defense of Human Rights has come out with a cronology of the events in Oaxaca on Saturday, saying that the PFP, specifically "police aggression, were "responsible" for the battle this past weekend. The report also talks about threats, provocation and violence by plain clothes "PRIistas," supporters of the Institutional Revolution Pary (PRI).

The authentic John Gibler (who recently published an article for Miami Herald's Mexican partner El Universal) reports today on Democracy Now, that police detained some 160 protesters and that there are unconfirmed reports of 3 protester deaths. What is known is that some two or three hours into the battle, police fired live rounds at protesters, in addition to massive amounts of teargas. Protesters also burned government buildings and broke windows on private business around the city, though it was unclear if certain business were specifically targeted or why.

Gibler also relays reports, confirmed by the director of the Hospital General Dr. Felipe Gama, that "plain-clothes gunmen, like the paramilitaries that have killed with impunity in the last months, entered hospitals around the city looking for injured protesters." Other witnesses claim that the gunmen threatened hospital staff with guns drawn and dragged some protestors from the hospitals.

The 160 people arrested were subjected to brutal beatings with batons and teargas fired at them from close range. Tear gas canisters fired at close range by the PFP have already killed one person in Oaxaca previously, and also killed Alexis Benhumea this past May in San Salvador Atenco.

The APPO also published a report on the confrontations, translated into English by Narconews. They identify some of the actors in the round-ups and arrests as Oaxacan ministerial police, which the PFP recently declared "out of control" for their violent, vigilante attacks and detentions of APPO members and others opposed to the government of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz.

During such "spontaneous" detentions, APPO supporters have endured torture at the hands of their kidnappers.

Gibler also reports that the APPO planned to reinstate their encampments at 8 AM this morning. I will be listening to Radio Universidad, which seems to be affected by some incomplete jamming of their signal, for updates. "La Doctora" is saying that there has been a "complete suspension of all constitutional rights in Oaxaca."

UPDATE: Radio Universidad is reporting that the PFP has threatened to invade the station in execution of a search warrent that has supposedly already been ordered. I have no confirmation yet of the warrent to search the radio station on the campus of the Benito Juarez Autonomous University of Oaxaca. The radio announcersare calling for people to make an encampent in University City and to be prepared defend once again the autonomy of the university. Unlike US American universities, autonomous universities in Latin America are off limits to federal and state police unless they are called on campus by University administrators.

Nancy Davies has just published from Oaxaca an account of this weekend's events on Narco News. She writes:
At about 5:00 the PFP began to react to the protesters. In my opinion, there were some young people present who wanted to go beyond verbal insults and attack the PFP so as to drive them from the zocalo. Furthermore, there is no doubt that some of the protagonists were infiltrators who sparked the physical fighting. During this time the APPO, by way of radio broadcasts. was asking for a pacific and calm protest. Given that there had been sexual abuse of Oaxaca women by police the day before, and that the numbers of the PFP had increased, it did seem inevitable that confrontation would erupt. By 2:00 the usually busy pedestrian streets were deserted, and virtually all the shops surrounding the zocalo were locked.

After about an hour of the show-down, the PFP began to shoot at the demonstrators. The state ministerial police and the PFP began moving into some specific areas such as the Llano Park, Crespo Street, the Abastos Center, and other points. In this sweep they arrested approximately forty, including twenty women. Several were wounded. There were no warrants or official causes for arrests other than possible affiliation with the APPO or with barricades.

The PFP together with state police had been waging this ongoing detention against the members of the social movement in Oaxaca. Vans carrying police in civilian clothes, as well as other PFP forces, were carrying out massive detentions in several places in the city, including in front of the University, against citizens who were not carrying identification...

Battles were waged up and down the seven or eight blocks to the north and south of the zocalo, until they reached the ADO bus station on the main street of Niños y Heroes de Chapultepec. Ironically, the bus station was crowded with tourists trying to flee the embattled city while the Government forces were dedicating themselves to making the city once again “safe” for the business and tourist industries. The teargas followed them to the bus station.

At the same time, the esplanade of Santo Domingo church was cleared and burned of APPO tents and tables.

In the face of the overwhelming attacks, the APPO decided to retreat from the field, which happened around 10:00 PM, ... Many people took refuge in friendly homes and were able to avoid the police sweeps.

Meanwhile, blockades had been placed on the super-highway Cuacnopalan-Oaxaca, in the municipality of Nochixtlán, located about 80 kilometers from the state capital, and in the toll booth of Huitzo, some 25 kilometers away, to try to impede the entrance of APPO sympathizers into the city. It is difficult to say how many people were prevented from arriving. For those already in the city, the so-called Radio Ciudadana was broadcasting advice to government followers to throw hot water and muriatic acid from their roofs onto APPO sympathizers. The radio broadcasters have been identified as Alexis and Marco Tulio, affiliated with the PRI.

“Be careful,” Radio Universidad explained, “there are many PFP who are electrifying the wires on the roads. The PFP are in unmarked vans. This is the seventh mega-march, bring your placards, your slogans, be ready but don’t fall into provocations.”

Marches have occurred almost daily in the past week. Maintaining a steady drumbeat, although not a loud one, women marched against the sexual assault of a woman by the PFP. Students marched against the presence of the PFP in Oaxaca, and more students from the Technological Institute of Oaxaca protested the detention and the torture of their peer, Eliuth Amni Martínez Sánchez, suffered at the hands of the federal agents during the confrontation on Monday, November 20. Martinez Sanchez was located in Tlocolula Prison, thrown onto the floor of a cell in, missing one fingernail, with a severe head wound, a broken nose and a broken kneecap. The lawyers who found him obtained his transfer to a hospital. Thereafter, students from the Technological Institute demanded that the Institute honor its commitment to close down if violence against students continued. The Institute is now closed.
Sunday night, the time of writing this commentary, the radio is announcing that there is a possibility of another battle and to defend the barricades around Radio Universidad, whose signal has been steadily interrupted by government blocking.

At this time Radio Universidad is saying that there has been an attack on the medical team at the Siete Principes area (the medical school area). Last night, the voice of “La Doctora” announced that the PFP and state police had entered the hospital dressed as medical doctors, and then were able to arrest patients. The radio is also announcing a march for Monday morning to protest the situation.

Not spoken is that only a week remains before the inauguration of Felipe Calderon as the president of Mexico. Today a meeting of member APPO states took place in Mexico City.

According to Radio Universidad, the PFP has taken many of them out of state, as far as Nayarit and to La Palma prison in the state of Mexico (where prisoners of the PFP operativo en San Salvador Atenco last May are still held).

In other news, the Oaxacan and Mexican prosecutors have reportedly decided to ignore prosecution of the shooters caught on tape firing the fatal shots that killed Bradley Will. They are reportedly hoping to prosecute the APPO members that escorted him to the hospital in ambulance, under the theory that the shots that hit him in the chest, fired by local police and politicians, did not kill him. Rather APPO members are said to have fired the fatal shots on him later as he lay bleeding. The theory is so ridiculous, contrary to witness reports, news from mainstream sources like El Universal, and contradictory to the photo and video of Will's murder that the politically motivated prosecution of APPO members for Will's death seems unlikely to be successfully carried out.

Al Giordano also talks about the difficulties of authentic reporting on Oaxaca street battles. CNN has also reported on the confrontations, describing them as an APPO riot. BBC has yet to write about this past weekend in Oaxaca. Neither of these sources ever published the names of photos of Brad Will's killers, insisting (contrary to reports in the Mexican media) that the shooters were "unidentified." With consistently poor reporting from these English language sources, I have generally avoided taking much information from them without confirmation in the Spanish language press.

For Background Information, I am reprinting a passage about the origins of the conflict below. It is taken from an article I wrote as Mexican Federal Police arrived in Oaxaca and took over the Zocalo city center.

Friday October 27th was the bloodiest day in the ongoing uprising in the Mexican state of Oaxaca.

Nancy Davies writes for NarcoNews
The dead have now been identified as Emilio Alonso Fabián, Bradley Will and Eudocia Olivera Díaz. The fourth reported death, of Esteban Zurita López, is at the center of accusations by both sides of the conflict, with each blaming the other.
Brad Will was a filmmaker from New York Indymedia killed while his camera recorded by police and paramilitaries according to locals. Diego Enrique Osorno, writing for Narco News, identifies Emilio Alonso Fabián as a teacher from the Los Loxicha region and Esteban López Zurita a resident of Santa Maria Coyotepec where one of the paramilitary attacks occurred.

Many analysts now believe that the October 27 attacks were part of an escalation planned by members of the repudiated Oaxacan government to draw the federal government into the conflict against the APPO and other protesters.

These murders occured as part of a massive coordinated attack by armed, often masked, individuals reportedly working for state political parties. Calling themselves "neighbors" they "acted with impunity" attacking protesters with firearms. Mexican Press has identified as active participants in the murder of Brad Will, the cheif of police (Seguridad Publica) of Santa Lucia del Camino, Avel (sic) Santiago Zárate, the chief of personel of the PRI affiliated City Council, Manuel Aguilar, and a local elected Delegate of the PRI, David Aguilar Robles.

However, the whole time that the violence against the protesters built up into "low-intensity warfare," the federal government threatened to send forces, which locals interpreted as a way to repress the Oaxacan people as the PFP had done in Atecno (where the Federal Preventative Police killed two young people, beat many others, deported foreigners, raped female prisoners, and hold more than 30 political prisoners to this date).

The PFP had not come until now for several reasons. One has to do with the fact that Oaxacan Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz is from the Institutional Revolution Party (PRI) and President Vicente Fox is from the National Action Party (PAN). Fox and the PAN were unwilling to dirty their hands on behalf of an opposing political party, especially before elections or while Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the Party for Democratic Revolution (PRD) contested the victory of PAN candidate Felipe Calderon. The accusations that Calderon won the election fraudulently also explain why the federal government and the PAN will not pressure Ulises to step down. If Ulises, whose election victory has been contested as fraudulent, is thrown out of power by a popular uprising, then a dangerous precedent has been set for all of Mexican society as far as the political parties are concerned.

Al Giordano of Narco News also points out that the mathematics of a police repression in Oaxaca are different than Atenco. While the PFP sent about 3,000 agents into Atenco, a town of several hundred, the city of Oaxaca is inhabited by half of a million people, several thousand of which appear to be ready to fight at the barricades. The only thing worse than not sending in federal forces would be sending the forces in only to see them get chased out.


This all started as a routine labor strike by Section 22 of the Mexican teachers union (often referred to in Spanish language press as "el magisterio") and escalated into a state-wide revolt after state police tried to violently evict the encampment of striking teachers on June 14.

The teachers union and the newly formed Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca made the ouster of unpopular governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, widely considered to have won the election by fraud, their primary demand. As violence by police, paramilitaries and mercenaries escalated, the protesters began barricading their neighborhoods in self-defense. For example, after the Radio Universidad radio station used by the teachers union was attacked, protesters responded with a wave of radio station takeovers. But the protesters also began organizing to put their demand into action, declaring Gov. Ulises "banned" from Oaxaca, seizing government buildings and chasing out politicians from the local and state governments.

Violent attacks had for months been escalating against protesters, in what protesters said was part of Gov. Ulises Ruiz Ortiz's repressive Operation Iron ("Plan Hierro"). Brad Will himself documented this with an article a week ago called "Death in Oaxaca". With the murder of the indigenous teacher Panfilo Hernandez, the death toll was at 9 for the protesters. Meanwhile, political parties and the commerical Mexican media were reporting that the protesters were killing people, often without saying the name of the supposed victim or the time and place of the supposed killing. The killing of dissident teacher Jaime René Calvo Aragón, (who argued for the teachers to return to classes) was blamed by the government on protesters, while protesters blamed the government or paramilitary mercenaries of the PRI of killing the teacher as a pretext to repress the protestors, as reported by La Jornada.

Reporting on this situation has been non-existent on BBC and CNN, though BBC ran a story on the killing of Brad Will, mis-identifying him as William Bradley. This line by the AP is typical of English language press "Fox, who leaves office December 1, resisted repeated calls to send federal forces to Oaxaca until Saturday, a day after gunfire killed a U.S. activist-journalist and two residents."

Of course, they fail to mention the fact that the shooters have been identified and linked to local politicians and police officials, according to the Mexican commercial press. This intentional lack of reporting shows how they want to show the story that the troops are returning to roses by residents who are sick of protesters. If the facts contradict that analysis, then those facts are left out of the article.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Iranian UCLA student tazered mercilessly

By now almost everybody has heard (and seen on YouTube) Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a UCLA student, get tazered mercilessly by University of California police for not showing his ID in the UCLA library in Los Angeles.

Max at IdeasForAction has links to other stories on the attack and some facts about tazering provided by Naomi from University of Michigan.

Roig was tazered once, luckily the Miami plainclothes police that hit him were not using the tazer correctly, they were pulling the trigger threateningly so much that it had no charge left when they used it on Roig. I saw that the tazer left Roig with a slight electricity burn that he said felt like a bug bite.

Tabatabainejad seems to have been hit much harder, causing him to screen in pain, frantically telling the police "I said I would leave" while he was most likely unable to move because of the effects of the electrical shock.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Haiti Update: New Blog, Quigley on Jean Juste...

For almost a year my primary focus as a blogging journalist was the situation in Haiti since the February 2004 coup that chased President Jean Bertrand Aristide from the island (by armed US-Americans working for the embassy).

Well, Brian Concannon of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti now has his own blog, which features a call to support Haitian priest Gerard Jean Juste by Bill Quigley, a Loyola, New Orleans law professor and amazing human being.

Jean-Juste was one of many prominent supporters of Haitian poor who were beaten and jailed after the coup on falsified charges. He, like many others, was considered a "prisoner of conscience" (or political prisoner) by Amnesty International. There was never any evidence against Jean Juste, (he was out of the country when the murder he was accused of committing occurred, and the murder victim was a family friend). People have speculated that his arrest was a preemptive move to keep Jean Juste, a popular political leader, from running for president against the coup supporters.

The coup government was voted out of power in favor of Lavalas movement candidate Rene Preval anyway, but many prisoners remain incarcerated. While Jean Juste was freed temporarily to seek cancer treatment in Miami (after an international campaign to prevent him from dying in prison), he is on his way back to Haiti currently, where he could still potentially face the bogus murder charges.

The letter from Bill Quigley begins as follows:
Friends of Pere Jean-Juste:

It is time again to ask for your support for Pere Jean-Juste.

Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste has completed a series of chemotherapy treatments in Miami and is hoping that he will receive permission from his doctors to return to Haiti in the next couple of weeks. When he returns to Haiti, Fr. Jean-Juste still faces pending criminal charges and the possibility of being returned to prison. Fr. Jean-Juste is prepared for whatever the government does when he returns.

However, there is another problem. It is with the Church.

Read More

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Palestine to Oaxaca

Max at IdeasForAction published on Sunday the English version of the COMMUNIQUÉ FROM THE POPOULAR ASSEMBLY OF THE PEOPLE OF OAXACA and his own analysis of the situation.

ZapaGringo RJ also has an interesting follow up on his piece "Zapatismo and the Levant", with a letter from Jamal Jumá,
Coordinator of the Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign.

an excerpt...
The Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign Honors the Martyrs of Oaxaca

Jerusalem, November 3, 2006: In this dreadful Autumn of death and destruction, the Palestinian and Mexican people are united more than ever in a common history, mourning and struggle.

In Palestine in the last 48 hours a new massacre has been perpetrated. 20 martyrs from the refugee camp of Beit Hanoun have been added to the hundreds of victims that have been killed since June, when the Occupation forces launched another ruthless offensive in the Gaza Strip.

In the same way, since June the Mexican government has started to use all the destructive force of its military against the 70,000 educational workers in the state of Oaxaca who struggle for their rights. The same government that followed the demands of the US government to send its soldiers to invade and massacre the Iraqi people today turns these weapons against its own people in defense of imperialist interests.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Another Battle in Oaxaca? Not Yet.

Nancy Davies, writing for Narconews from Oaxaca, has two important pieces of news confirmed by La Jornada.

First of all, a protest "megamarch" is underway from Ciudad Universitaria to the Oaxaca City Center. Busloads of people have been coming down from Mexico City, San Salvador Atenco and other parts of Mexico to participate with the Oaxacans. Davies also writes that "During the night helicopters brought military troops into the city," apparently citing Radio Universidad as a source.

While Radio Universidad is asking people to act nonviolently, Davies predicts that "the Sixth Megamarch will be another face-off between the peoples and the government forces."

In another act of paramilitary aggression, "this morning a student from the Technological Institute in front of Radio Universidad was shot in the chest. His name is Marcos Manuel Sanchez Martinez. He is still alive and receiving medical care." Radio Universidad reports this is part of a pattern of early morning attacks.

La Jornada On Line updates us on the "Megamarch" at 12:46 Oaxaca time, saying that the 1.5 kilometer march is advancing calmly toward the 5-mile march´s first stop at the Santo Domingo Church (the group originally planned to stop first at the Gov. Ulises Ruiz´ house.

\La Jornada estimates the march´s length at two kilometers. Meanwhile federal police installed razor wire fences around the Oaxaca City center (Zocalo). Perhaps in response, the march did not attempt to enter the Zocalo to avoid confrontations.

Stay tuned to Radio Universidad (Spanish), La Jornada (Spanish), La Luchita (English) or Narconews (English and Spanish) for this story as it develops.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Body Count Gaza or The Daily Shrapnel

Zein El-Amine has been reporting on Lebanon with a piece he calls "The Daily Shrapnel," but the real body count has been in Gaza.

While North America's leftist have been fixated on the violence and uprising in Oaxaca, Israeli forces have killed some 42 people in Gaza since Wednesday. In the most dramatic violence, Hamas radio called on local women in Beit Hanoun to rescue local militants who were held up in a mosque by an Israeli seige. As a march of the women entered the mosque and took the men out, dressing them in women's clothing. Israeli police fired on the crowd, killing two women, and injuring ten people including a Palestinian cameraman. That brings the death count in Gaza due to the Israeli military to 300 since June.

These reports also talk about the terrible living conditions, lack of electricity and water, as well as a de facto curfew keeping people off of the streets. An interview on Democracy Now with American Amy Lowenstein talks about the conditions in Gaza hospitals among other things.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Oaxaca Update: War Escalates and Brad Will's Killers

All photos shown in this article are taken from La Jornada

As the tear gas clears from the failed attempt of the Mexican Federal Preventative Police (PFP in its Spanish initials) to enter University City in Oaxaca (according to the protesters) or simply take down the surrounding barricades (according to the PFP spokespeople), Radio Universidad reports that many more federal police vehicles have been seen coming from the area around Puebla towards the city of Oaxaca. "While we won the battle" la doctora says on Radio Universidad "there are many more to come. Now is the time to organize even better."

Confrontations around Ciudad Universitaria
Nancy Davies with Narco News says that the PFP has begun to invade the Autonomous Benito Juarez University of Oaxaca (a violation of Mexican law). La Jornada confirms that confrontations in the area around the University City neighborhood have injured at least three people, including a photographer from El Universal and a reporter from Radio Libre. The University rector is demanding that the PFP (Federal Preventative Police) withdraw from the area of the University.

KeHuelga Radio
in Mexico City is carrying Radio Universidad online. Listen for Spanish language updates from the South of Monster City (Ciudad Monstruo) according to Enemigo Comun. They are asking for students to come defend University Radio and their university and to bring (large bottle) rockets and empty bottles and reporting that gas bombs are being dropped by PFP helicopters.

At 2:38 PM EDST are reporting that state and federal police are attacking barricades again around University City with the help of PFP helicopters. There is also a burning bus put up in defense of the University. They are also asking for Oaxacans who aren't near University City to go to the Zocalo to divide the police.

At 2:40 they announced a police retreat, but at 2:45 they said that they police trucks were returning and that there is a person suffering from a serious head trauma that urgently needs the help of a Red Cross Ambulance. At 2:54 they repeated this call, and reported that paramilitaries were trying to plant weapons on the university campus.

They also reported that two of the PFP trucks had been taken out of service, and they called Oaxacans to bring paint thinner to the lines (which can be used to ruin the electrical system of the trucks) and oil, filthy water, or paint to cover their windsheilds. Oaxacans are also urged to throw these liquids from the roofs onto federal forces.

Police are reported to have been seen in the University City area wearing shirts with the logo of Chedraui, a large chain of Mexican supermarkets.

At 3:10 Baltimore time, Radio Universidad is asking doctors and other health professionals with the public hospitals of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) to call in and let everyone know if they are safe places for protesters to receive specialized treatment like surgery. According to the announcers, as late as yesterday the hospitals were safe and were trusted, but there is now reason for concern.

Mexican version of CNN is reportedly saying the the PFP are not entering in University City. At 3:18 EDST the police helicopters are throwing tear gas grenades at homes indiscriminately. A reporter for channel 40 spoke over the radio to say that she has not been kidnapped by Radio Universidad as some had thought. An El Universal reporter spoke to the announcers to say he has been giving the real information about what is happening, so that the Oaxacan people know he is working honestly.

A PFP truck is said to be burning near the "Cinco señores" gas station, as the Radio Universidad Announcers asked listeners to detain a specific patrol car (whose number was announced) because it contains people who had been taken prisoner off of the street.

At the Avenida Ferrocarril police are said to be withdrawing at 3:27 EDST. At "5 Señores" police are also said to be withdrawing as one of their trucks burn and as the helicopters throw tear gas "indiscriminately."

A protest in Mexico City is marching down reforma to the PFP headquarters, threatening to blockade the buildings surroundings until the university in Oaxaca is no longer under attack.

A local child is said to be having serious respiratory problems near University Radio, though an ambulance cannot be found.

La Jornada is following today's events in Oaxaca closely. The PFP is telling the media that it will not enter the university campus, though the Radio Universidad is announcing that some already entered, cutting the chains on a gate in the are of the School of Sciences.

The Minister of the Interior (Secretaría de Gobernación) has made an order for the PFP to withdraw, according to Radio Universidad. The Radio is telling protesters, who have the police surrounded, to open one lane for police to withdraw, to see if the order is for real or a bluff. Though another announcer is threatening to hold the police hostage until the political prisoners are freed.

Police are withdrawing from Cinco Señores though helicopters continue to drop tear gas at 3:48 EDST.

An APPO spokesperson is asking Oaxacans to allow PFP forces to withdraw from the city toward the airport, as per an announcement of a withdrawel by the Minister of Interior. Radio Universidad announcers ask repeatedly "what about our prisoners?"

As the protesters at the barricade of Cinco Señores celebrate on air, the announcers put "Venceremos" on air and ask people to stay firm and remember that "this was just a battle, we still can't sing our victory songs until Ulises Ruiz leaves Oaxaca."

Students from the front lines have been recounting the almost four hours of "resistance" that ended with a retreat by the Mexican (PFP) on Radio Universidad. Others are on the air to tell the names and the stories of the injured or those in police custody.

Juan Trujillo also has been reporting from Meixco City by way of Radio KeHuelga.

Greg Berger has a good discussion of the aftermath of the battle at the Ciudad Universitaria in the City of Oaxaca.

The recap of the day by the Jornada confirms the police retreat and also has several interesting details that I missed, including injuries to journalists of Proceso , El Universal and Radio W by projectiles that the protesters threw. There were also "least 15 buses in flames" as barricades in front of the University.

Brad Will's Killers

Amy Goodman reports on Democracy Now (as a result of research by El Milenio and Noticias de Oaxaca) the killers of New York journalist Bradley Will were not in custody as the Santa Lucia city coucil president, Manuel Feria of the PRI party (same party as the governor), had announced. John Gibler, who has also written for Left Turn, reports that the killers were still only blocks from the murder scene as late as yesterday.

La Jornada says that two of the five men filmed committing the murder Abel Santiago Zárate, a local politician ("regidor") with the PRI party, and Orlando Manuel Aguilar Coello, Zarate's chief of security and also with the PRI, have been arrested and charged today. Presumably the El Milenio report pressured the Oaxacan PRI government to arrest the murderers. However, John Gibler says today that there has been no proof offered to journalists that the men are actually in custody, and he hopes to find evidence today of their whereabouts.