Today is Day Three of my time in Oaxaca with the Witness for Peace delegation, and I´m exhausted.
Wonderfully enough, I´m also finding it hard to write in English at the moment. My fingers want to type in Spanish, especially with this Spanish keyboard in front of me: ¡ñññññññ! 😉
Qué suerte que me regresa la lengua. Pero, no estoy seguro que yo lo diga correctamente. Ah, bueno.
Anyway, the past few days have been intense. We gone through nonstop meetings with teachers, lawyers, organizers and political analysists. The topics have covered everything from torture and forced disappearances, to globalization and NAFTA, to the proposed Merida Initiative and methods of counteraction. To tell the truth, I didn´t expect the delegation to be nearly as informative and professional as it has been. We still have four more days ahead of us, and I´m already about halfway through my notebook, with enough notes to not only support my independent study but to also write about three different articles.
Some of the most important information I´ve gained so far–aside from more detailed context of the economic and social situations that provoked the 2006 conflict–are names and facts to contrast with the information in my newspaper sources. For example, I have numbers of those imprisoned or disappeared, as well as names. I have the names of Mexican politicians who supposedly lobbyed U.S. Congressmen with the mistruth of the APPO being a guerilla movement. I also have the demands submitted by the teacher´s union to the government in May 2006.
The most difficult part will be coming back from this trip and processing the information in such a way that it can be used both in my independent study and my 1500-word article for Journalism Workshop (and submission to a publication, ojalá). The brainstorming is already beginning.
Tomorrow, we leave for the campo, or countryside, in Juxtlahuaca and San Juan Mixtepec for a brief stay with families. The goal there is to get out of the tourist city and into the region hit the hardest by poverty and migration.
I´d better be on my way to the next meeting, with an indigenous women´s group called Flor y Canto. This will probably be the last time I access a computer until I get back, so hasta luego.