The Oaxaca Movement and New Media

Nancy Davies has a very interesting analysis of the impact of new media on the social movement in Oaxaca in the NarcoNews Bulletin. In brief, widespread use of digital cameras, independent online sources like NarcoNews, LaJornada, and others, and the APPO’s ability to hang on to control of Radio Universidad has closed off many of the traditional strategies of the repressive PRI governor. As independent news sources persist and proliferate, it becomes impossible for the governor to use agents provocateur, and to blame state-sponsored violence on the movement.

An excerpt:

In addition, camera and video brigades, of foreign and national journalists, have arrived in force. Everything gets shown, leaving the PRI and URO with no place to hide. Local movement people carry cameras and when an attack is threatened Radio Universidad sends out a call for everybody to come with video cameras and still cameras, to document what is happening –as they did with the June 14 attack on the zocalo. Each helicopter overhead shows up in a photo. URO’s ability to lie about who has the weapons and who shot whom, has been destroyed. Every video and every still, furthermore, finds its way onto the internet, the international news, the national news, the local news –all the way down to the streets where the videos play on screens perched on boxes on the sidewalk, for every passerby to see.

This, as much as anything, explains why the PFP wanted to close down Radio Universidad. And their failure may signal the end for Ulises Ruiz and the PRI precisely because it was captured by independent media and is being replayed again and again on the streets of Oaxaca and across the globe.

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