This is my response to Nancy's article. I should tell you that her response to what I say below was to offer substantial agreement...


Thanks for the clarity, Nancy. I know you’ve been working on this for some time, and I’m glad you figured it out. I will link to your analysis in my next Newsletter. With your permission, I will excerpt from it for my faq page. I’ll let you know when it’s up so you can check it.

One thing: we are in some disagreement about the outcome of the Zócalo. While I share the anger of most Oaxaqueños over the methods and the secrecy by which it was achieved, and by the obscene amount of funds taken away from other, more immediately needed and more fundamental projects, my observations tell me that more people are using the Zócalo, and that generally people approve of how it turned out.

As to the garbage problem, I see only a little more littering now than I did last year. You might take the level of littering (as well as the level of bad graffiti) as a reflection of the level of disaffection of the people from their government, and that seems to be increasing all the time. In Naples Italy, there is a tradition of littering as a statement about that very thing: a sort of “you don’t want to rule in our interest, well fuck you, here’s what we think of that”. Of course, some of it really is indifference to aesthetics and hygiene, which reflects a lack of education and awareness, although I agree that it is not a case of “those people are slobs”.

As to “too little and too late” Toledo, I have never viewed him as other than a self-aggrandizing pompous gadfly. His initiative for Carmen Alta plaza put about a hundred Triqui families out of business. He owns the properties that house all his “charities”, and almost all the funds for running the activities within come from the state government. He is a running buddy of Alfredo Harp and Jose Murat. He fired Fernando from IAGO for daring to organize a conference in which people spoke out against him and PROAX, his wholly owned mouthpiece. He made a big deal about McDonald’s, but was curiously silent about the new Burger King. I just don’t trust the sumbitch.

In any case, your explication of the political relationships in Oaxaca added immensely to my storehouse of knowledge. Nice work. Thank you. Stan