Armed police move in on Oaxaca protests

At least eight people have died in the clashes.

At least eight people have died as police shot at protestors and broke down barricades, after five months of protests in the city.

Protests began in May, with teachers striking to demand the resignation of Ulises Ruiz, the state govenor. The teachers have been backed by an umbrella organisation, the Popular Assembly of Oaxaca Villages (APPO). The teachers won the support of students and local people who barricaded much of the city including public buildings. Flights to Oaxaca have been cancelled, and around 4,000 armed federal police are now beleived to have been deployed around the city.

The protestors have suffered violent treatment at the hands of the police, with at least eleven others injured by police gunfire, on top of at least eight dead. Among the dead is Will Bradley Roland, a journalist from New York Indymedia, who was shot in the chest on Friday, and Mexican teacher Emilio Alonso who died after receiving three gunshot wounds.

The teachers have voted to return to the classrooms today, but protests against Ruiz, and the recent police brutality, are expected to carry on. Ruiz maintains that he still has control over Oaxaca, despite all uniformed police patrols having been pushed off the streets in June.

Around 10,000 people are said to be protesting at the barricades, and are intent on defending the city against the federal police.