Gabino Cue, the outgoing governor of the Mexican state of Oaxaca, was forced to return to his state from a lavish wedding in neighboring Guerrero state after police action left at least six dead and 51 wounded in the town of Nochixtlan.
The governor later confirmed that his administration had given the green light to the operation to clear the highway of a blockade erected by striking teachers.
In a hasty press conference Sunday night, Cue said the blockade had been impinging on the right of mobility for the past week and needed to be
Cue also claimed that the police who participated in the action were unarmed and carried only their helmets and shields.
The National Security Commission also claimed in a statement released late Sunday that police did not use live ammunition nor clubs during the police attack on striking teachers.
Video shot by witnesses and media outlets, however, clearly show police with guns and in at least one instance, police can be seen and heard firing live ammunition.
The statement audaciously claimed that those images were “totally false” and that the gunfire could have only come from “outsiders” who attacked both the demonstrators and police.
The National Security Commission was later contradicted by Federal Police Commissioner Enrique Galindo Cevallos who said there were indeed police carrying guns with live ammunition but that they were only there “at the very end of the event, when we were told there were armed civilians firing.”
He also stated that the police “lamentably had to use force, something we don’t like to do.”
Demonstrators gave a very different version of events. According to those present during the police operation, the gunfire came from police and began early on during the clash, not toward the end as suggested by Galindo.
During a press conference, the Federal Police commissioner also claimed that the victims of the police attack received prompt medical care and that ambulances were dispatched to treat the wounded.
This too was contradicted by eyewitnesses who said the police commandeered the local hospital in Nochixtlan and only allowed fellow police officers to be treated while demonstrators languished nearby in a makeshift clinic.
Cue denied that police were responsible for the deaths of six people and instead suggested “radicals” and “infiltrators” were behind the violence.
Filed under: Mexico Teachers Protests