05 February 2008

From the People Who Know More Than Me

To understand current events in Oaxaca, and their implications, I rely heavily on those with more experience here, more understanding for the complexities of the politics, both at the state and federal levels, and a (much) better grasp of the Spanish language. To this end, as you have seen on this blog, I give a lot of attention to the Oaxaca Study Forum and to the Oaxaca Study Action Group. Still, sometimes, the information doesn't all come clear at once.

Today the OSAG provides some clarity on what has turned into a tricky point. Was Alejandro Barrita Ortiz, the police official killed in Oaxaca last Wednesday, an officer of the civil service or not? (Click here for more background.)

Bob Stout posts an answer:

The bank police are trained police, part of the law enforcement system. Individual businesses pay the government, state or municipal, for their services. In Oaxaca they participated in the June bust up of the Section 22 sit in, various actions in October and November, and the November 25th assault.

Richard Grabman wrote:
Thanks, Nancy [Davies]. Your first post suggested you were talking about "seguridad privada" -- "rent a cops" -- or, in this case, hired guns. Policia industrial -- or the equalivalent (my familiarity is with DF, not Oaxaca) are civil servants, even if their posts and duties are for the benefit of private concerns.

Emphasis mine. Nancy Davies's original comments are here. She did recognize Stout in a recent correspondence on the group site for setting the record straight. I hope that helps clarify the point.