We have spent almost the entire day sitting on our front porch, picking up bits and pieces of the story from various friends who have seen us and stopped by. A few clarifications:
* shots were fired in front of the palacio by the police. As well as tear gas to disperse the crowds. At no time did the police fire directly into the crowd.
* the crowd dispersed, running away from the tear gas. Most sought shelter in the neighboring Catholic church, located on the square. The Police followed them in and arrested them. This is an illegal action by the Police.
* this did not happen at the current "invasion" that many of you know about. That is a perfectly legal, peaceful protest village set up on federal land.
* all of these events took place at the newer, second invasion that is located on private property, which is an illegal action.
* the owner and Cancun police arrived with a legal order for the squatters to vacate the property 10 days ago. When it wasn't complied with, the Cancun police were sent over to enforce it.
* it appears (from witness reports and our local paper, Por Esto, that a prominent family on the island and even relatives of the Mayor are the instigators of all of this.
* wednesday morning, at approximately 2:30 AM, is when the police arrived to get the people off the land. They were met by about 300 families wielding rocks, pieces of wood and machetes.
* about 60 people were arrested. The rest fled into the night. The people who were arrested are required to post a 15,000 peso bail to be released.
* at some point, the time frame is unclear to me, the squatters also tried to set up residences on the Hacienda Mundaca park property in the center of the island. Everybody on the island knows that that is not federal land and certainly not someplace that just a few people can take over and claim as their own.
* as far as I know, none of the current problems and demonstrations/protests has anything to do with people being unhappy about tourism being down because of the H1N1 virus.
* when they found out that the police were on their way to vacate them, the leaders of the second squat tried to enlist the help and support of the neighboring first squat. These people, who are doing a legal action, refused to help, get involved or support an illegal action. As a result, their lives and homes were threatened by the new group. Most of the homes built there are made of wood. The new group went so far as to threaten to start a fire there, which, with the ocean breezes, would rapidly spread and potentially wipe out the entire encampment. That was a very serious threat and not to be taken lightly.
That's about all I know for now. Or at least all I am willing to publicly print.