Political violence the norm in Oaxaca, Mexico

The southern Mexican state of Oaxaca has experienced an increase in violence between anti-government leaders and the local government in recent weeks. Is this the start of a new revolution?

On July 4, Oaxaca citizens will head to the polls in statewide elections. Robert Donnely, a program associate at the Mexico Institute said that political instability frequently precedes elections in the region.

Land disputes are common place in southern Mexico and are one of the main causes of continual violence in the region.

“Titles are in question, that is really one of the main drivers of violence in the south,” said Donnely.

The people of Oaxaca previously declared their autonomy and are finding themselves in a continual struggle for local political power in what is mainly a land dispute.

“It’s most important to frame these incidents being very cognizant that elections are coming up on July 4,” said Donnely.

There is often political instability in the region and Donnely said that while the violence is really all politics, the region is remote and for locals, the struggle is important.