Oaxaca Journal, V.4

By    Thursday December 28, 2006

Police Navidad

Twas X-mas night in Oaxaca and all through the town,
not a teacher was stirring (they're in jail, not around).
The graffiti of protest has been covered with paint
and police roam the streets to enforce that it's quaint.
All barricades gone, tear gas dissipated,
burning buses removed and encampments have faded.
It's like nothing has happened,
Gov'nor Ulises pretends,
no cheating, nor violence, he'll declare 'til the end.
But the people know better, they'll never forget;
and the deeds of Ulises will haunt like the debt
that won't ever be paid, though would ease with his leaving,
and return of the money that he took with his thieving.
Then maybe, just maybe, things would start to be right,
and the wronged of Oaxaca might enjoy X-mas night.

Photo: La Noche de Rábanos (Radish Night),
December 23, 2006. An event that has taken place
annually at Oaxaca's Zacalo for over a century,
with artisans carving everything from nativity scenes
to effigies of governor Ulises out of radishes.
Photograph © 2006 Peter Kuper.

This is the fourth installment of a regular communiqué from
Peter Kuper, a cartoonist and illustrator whose work has appeared in numerous newspapers
and magazines, including Mad, where he has drawn Spy vs. Spy for the last decade. Peter's recent books include Sticks and Stones, which won the Society of Illustrators Gold Medal in 2005, and his graphic novel adaptation of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. Kuper's coming-of-middle-age graphic novel, Stop Forgetting To Remember, will be published by Crown in July 2007.