The Mexican government on Monday publicly promised to end the violent conflict in the southern tourist city of Oaxaca, where protestors are trying to oust their state governor.
"We absolutely commit ourselves to resolving the problem of Oaxaca before this administration ends its mandate on Nov. 30," Ruben Aguilar, spokesman for Mexican President Vicente Fox, said on Monday. Fox is due to hand over his power to president-elect Felipe Calderon on Dec. 1.
Over the weekend, Oaxaca state Governor Ulises Ruiz was seen in public in local Camino Real hotel for the first time in months. Protestors then assembled outside the hotel to chase him.
Later, about three dozen men attacked and fired at the protestors, and some protesters drew guns and returned fire. One man was shot in the arm in the fire exchange, which also scared away dozens of tourists, residents and journalists on the street.
Meanwhile, Ruiz is due to meet President Fox later on Monday in an attempt to resolve the conflict after his talks with the protesters ended fruitlessly last week.
Ruiz wants Fox to send federal police to end the protests lasting for months.
A teachers' strike asking for higher wages in Oaxaca months ago evolved into a conflict demanding Ruiz's resignation, which killed five people.