Washington Post article on Oaxaca gets a beating

Critics said that the report is badly researched, and objected to the use of the word ‘riot’: “These “rioters,” as Ms Connelly [the author] would call them, maintained non-violent protest encampments for months, despite regular paramilitary attacks that took the lives of over 23 people,” says Jill Freidberg of Corrugated Films, a media production company based in the city. You can read comments on her crits below her blog post.
Although commending the article for capturing the colour and atmosphere in Oaxaca, local writer Matt Plavnick says: “Connolly’s use of the word “riots” throughout her article frames this struggle in such a way as to nullify efforts by the people of Oaxaca who peacefully protested for 7 months, from May 22 to November 25, against an oppressive government with a history of human rights violations.”
Connolly speaks to both expats and local business people during her assignment, which is a combination of travel writing and commentary, although the quotes used are weighted more towards the opinions of expats living in the city than locals – as, to be fair, are the criticisms.
“One year later there is still not enough accurate, reliable information circulating about what has happened, and what may yet happen, in Oaxaca. Connolly’s piece further serves to frustrate efforts to advance such information about the struggle in Oaxaca to the rest of the world. Oaxaca needs help reaching a point of comprehension and accountability regarding these events, and this will not be achieved through half-representations of recent history,” says Plavnik.
Freidberg adds: “As long as American travel writers continue to wring their hands over Oaxaca, implying that a non-violent social movement is to blame for the city’s lost charm, beauty and “authenticity,” while neglecting to educate readers about the true situation in this poorest of Mexican states, the discontent will continue to stir just below the surface, as it has done for 500 years.”
Read the article here, decide for yourself, and leave any comments.