Photojournalist Gustavo Vilchis: Oaxaca--Remembering the 2006 Uprising
Worldview (Chicago Public Radio)
Host: Jerome McDonnell
Last week, Reporters Without Borders announced that a local reporter in Oaxaca Mexico was beaten and psychologically tortured for 12 hours on the night of October 25th before being dumped outside the city.
The incident is one of many over the last two years in the after math of the 2006 grassroots protests in the southern Mexican city.
In late 2006, tens of thousands of striking public school teachers joined with indigenous, youth and labor organizations to launch a civil disobedience campaign in Oaxaca. Once just a teachers strike, the protests grew into a movement that took over the capital city with calls for Oaxaca’s governor to resign. Clashes between security forces and protestors resulted in the deaths of over two dozen protestors.
Among the dead was U.S. journalist Brad Will.
Over 2,000 people marched across the state capital in the dead journalist’s memory last month. In the U.S., protesters staged a hunger strike outside of Senator Hillary Clinton's New York office. The Mexican government marked the occasion by charging Oaxacan activist leaders with Brad's murder.
My next guest has a warrant out for his arrest and is worried that he’ll be charged with if he goes home. Photographer Gustavo Vilchis accompanied the dying journalist to the hospital.
Gustavo is in the U.S. promoting the book Teaching Rebellion: Stories from the Grassroots Movement in Oaxaca. It’s a collection of testimonies from participants in the Oaxacan social movement. The book also features Gustavo’s photography and his account of Brad Will’s murder.
We also spoke with Rachel Wallis, Board Member with CASA, Collectives of Support, Solidarity and Action (Colectivos de Apoyo, Solidaridad y Acción). They helped put together the book Teaching Rebellion and she interpreted for Gustavo.
Gustavo isn’t actually from Oaxaca. He’s from the Mexican state of Guerrero and Jerome asked why he went to Oaxaca to cover the protests...
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