The demonstrations actually started on Friday the 8th with the Transpeninsular highway shut down for about an hour - almost as if some the Jornaleros were anticipating Saturday's events after the scheduled meeting with Luis Enrique Miranda Nava, Subsecretario de Gobierno with the leaders of the Jornaleros fell through. Miranda Nava who it was hoped would be open to talks on the slave labor conditions and low pay was a no show - which rubbed the Jornaleros the wrong way, a snub of the worst sort. Some agencias have reported that Miranda Nava had commented that the meeting wasn't necessary. It was then that some Jornaleros initiated moving huge cement blocks to blockade the Highway - and interestingly as Zeta points out, there seemed to be rift in the organization and communication within the Jornaleros with some of the leadership objecting to violent protest, and another faction if not entirely promoting it, gave it a wink and a nod.
- Ensenada, San Quintin: Saturday, May the 10th:
|Courtesy El Mexicano|
7:00am: El Mexicano reports an attempted burning down of one of the ranches (see Frontera's update below) by a group of Jornaleros. PEP officers who attempted to stop this group were met with rocks thrown at them injuring at east three officers. Municipals likewise were attacked, with the Chief of Police of Ensenada and his two body guards and vehicle injured and damaged by rock throwing. State and Municipal Police retreat leaving behind the armored vehicle "tiburon", which is destroyed and burned by the protestors. During the course of events, a number of other police units are also burned and destroyed. Here is a video of the initial confrontation between Jornaleros and police in San Quintin:
This group of Jornaleros take refuge in different colonias: colonia Nuevo San Juan Copala (home to a large majority of the Triqui indegenous group), colonia San Ramon, and colonia La 13. The area is surrounded by Army, State Police and Municipal Police.
9:07 am: Riots and violence breakout throughout the area, reports are coming in that clashes have broken out between the Triqui Jornaleros and State Police who have stormed their homes in the colonias; reporters and photographers who are attempting to document the events are also pelted with rocks. Here is a video of injuries received by the Jornaleros which has been circulating on the internet - are those live ammo shells?
|Courtesy El Mexicano|
9:27am: The Command headquarters at Vicente Guerrero is burned, Transpeninsular Hwy. in Ejido Diaz Ordaz blocked and two patrol units burned.
9:28am: Frontera reports the situation in San Quintin has turned critical, Transpeninsular Hwy @ Punta Colonet is blocked.
- Tijuana: This evening at the Glorieta de Cuauhtemoc there was a demonstration in solidarity with the Jornaleros by teachers, the MRE and the Union de la Juventud Revolucionaria.
It was early afternoon when order was restored, however it is unknown what impact Saturday's demonstrations will have on the upcoming talks of May the 13th with Miranda Nava. It is also unknown when the next outbreak of violent demonstrations in the San Quintin area will occur and what measures the ranch owners, authorities and others will take against the Jornaleros for participating in Saturday's demonstrations.
UPDATE/EDIT: Frontera itemizes the damage and injuries from yesterday's riots. There is no mention of the Jornaleros attempting to burn down a ranch (Rancho Seco) which prompted the owners to call the PEP (State police) and request assistance. According to one of the leaders of the Jornaleros, Justin Herreno, there was a confrontation between the owners of Rancho Seco and a group of Jornaleros pertaining to firing some Jornaleros. The owners did call the PEP for back up. Herreno said that when the PEP arrived, they shot rubber bullets at the crowd of workers where women and children were present which basically catipulted into more heated emotional demonstrations throughout the morning and early afternoon.
Regarding the injuries, thirty people were injured including women and children. Amongst those injured is a 14 year old who was seriously injured; waiting for the update on his condition. More coverage and photos on Frontera's sidebar.
05/12 : Updates - two articles from CNN and Proceso.
One of the main concerns I am hearing from Mexican people is that if the Government will not act to help the Jornaleros and meet their basic demands is that the Jornaleros and others will turn to more extreme measures to seek remedies. Others are worried over repercussions which the Jornaleros may suffer because of the riots - which will only worsen matters. Here are two National reports, with the most recent accounts of injuries, arrests and damages from last weekend's riots in San Quintin:
According to Lucila Hernandez of the Alliance, the people in the colonias which were raided by the police were caught off guard and surprised - keeping in mind that these people were not involved in the Rancho Seco affair. From their perspective then, the police raided for "no reason" - these raids included entering at least five homes where women, children and the elderly lived, and as we all know now, beatings and rubber bullets were sprayed on the Jornaleros.
We keep receiving different numbers of injuries, but this is the second time Proceso has printed that 70 people were injured, 60 of these are Oaxacans, 7 are still hospitalized because of their injuries and 2 of those in the hospital are in serious condition.
As far as the 11 people who were arrested, 4 of those were minors who were released. 3 of the initial eleven are from Oaxaca and have had their bail set at 7 MILLION pesos each. One other person's bail has been set at 500K pesos.
The reality of the situation is that, "There is social tension, a serious situation exists in the south of the city of Ensenada, Baja California" according to Antonio Heras. Although the problems of the Jornaleros goes back years and years - still, Heras notes the state government has been late if not altogether refusing to listen to their demands and the police over re- action on last Saturday can be considered barbaric and repressive, devoid of protocol. More of this interview here.
UPDATE/EDIT 05/13: This morning local news sources are reporting in TIJ two human heads located in a cooler and a little 4 year old boy and his mother shot. The little boy is dead. On Monday, there were multiple killings in Tijuana - and these are just the tip of the iceberg since this year's start. The Jornalero story has taken precedence over the other violence in Baja California which is mounting daily. Over the next few days will post where we are at with executions.