Friday, April 6, 2007

In Oaxaca, Women Rise

By John Gibler. Spring 2007

Putting their personal lives on hold, women in the Mexican state of Oaxaca helped shut down the government, took over a TV station, and stood up to police violence.

“Everything is the movement,” says Patricia Jimenez Alvarado, looking at me across her kitchen table. “You don’t have a personal life anymore.” She leans her face into her open palms, and weeps.

Jimenez, in her mid-forties, is a thesis advisor at Oaxaca State University by profession. But the government of Oaxaca accuses her of being an “urban guerrilla.” Her house and car have just been broken into and searched. She regularly receives text-message death threats on her cellular phone. A warrant has been issued for her arrest. And for the first time in her children’s lives, she has missed their birthdays—several months ago she sent her children to live with her sister-in-law to keep them safe.

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