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Bomb Blasts: Terror Visits Mexico City

With the backdrop of an election in which the defeated leftist opposition maintains the elections were stolen in a corrupt system, as well as the current violence in Oaxaca, multiple bombs exploded in Mexico City, including the Federal Electoral Tribunal and the PRI party headquarters.

Homemade bombs exploded early Monday at the Federal Electoral Tribunal, a bank branch and the headquarters of the former ruling party in the country's capital.

Police deactivated a fourth explosive before it went off at a second bank branch and were inspecting a backpack found outside an outlet of the Mexican restaurant chain Sanborns.

There were no injuries and no immediate claims of responsibility for the bombs, which were widely dispersed across the city. Emergency officials received two telephone calls shortly after midnight warning that bombs were about to be detonated.

The explosions shortly afterward damaged an auditorium at the headquarters of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI. They also shattered windows and caused minor damage at the bank, electoral court and nearby businesses and residences - rattling nerves in Mexico, which has been besieged by protests since its polarizing July 2 presidential elections.

While no group has yet claimed direct responsibility, Stratfor reported that the local leftist group heading up the current crisis in Oaxaca disavowed responsibility for the blasts.

The leader of the People's Popular Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO), Flavio Sosa, announced in a radio interview Nov. 6 that his group is not responsible for three explosions that occurred at banks in Mexico City.

More resembling the IRA than al-Qaeda, homegrown terror has nonetheless reared its ugly head in Mexico, seemingly independent of the terror wielded by the beheading drug cartels that reach up to and beyond the US-Mexico border.

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Even without the possible meddling of Hugo Chavez in the "uprising" in Oaxaca, I am not at all surprised with recent events. As mentioned, in the Stratfor article, even if the explosions in Mexico City are not connected to the events in Oaxaca, history leads one to a possible conclusion that such terror was brewing.

Simply looking at the disputed election results between Calderon and Obrador, and the subsequent popular protests in Mexico City, follow-on violence and unrest was to be expected. Additionally, el Presidente Vicente Fox Quesada has largely ignored the economic plight of the Mexican people, leading in part to the large numbers of Mexicans entering the U.S. illegally, only to send billions of dollars back home to their families.

But beyond that, indigenous uprisings (some might call it "terror") have plagued the south of Mexico for over 30 years. I remeber being in Puerto Vallerta in around Christmas in 1973. Back then it was pure and pristine. But one of the things I remember most was waking early to walk on the beach with my wife and encountering a soldier walking patrol armed with some type of automatic weapon.

Prior to becoming President of Mexico, Luis Echeverría as Minister of the Interior used force to quell guerilla activities and more. I didn't know it then, but this was a time in Mexican history known as the Dirty War

So to that background, you need also to add the Zapatista led Rebellion in Chiapas, adjacent to Oaxaca, in 1994.

The Zapatista uprising - which exploded on January 1, 1994, the eve of the inauguration of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) - challenged an image of Mexico that had been peddled for months in the halls of the U.S. Congress in an effort to gain approval for the historic trade pact. According to the NAFTA lobby, Mexico was a modern, youthful nation, eager for change, and unencumbered by the chains of its own history, the centuries of rural poverty and oppression.

Regardless of whether Chavez' hand is in this, or if it is simply a boiling over of anti-government sentiment following the last election, or if this truly represents a symptom of a greater problem, the socio-economic inequalities that plague Mexico, the situation should be watched closely by the United States. An unstable Mexico could have serious consequences on our border security IMO. I guess that living so close to the "action" makes one a bit more sensitive about such things.