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Mexican Senate Decides to Retain Embattled State Governor

The Mexican Senate has decided not to remove the governor of Oaxaca state, which has been plagued by five months of violent protests sparked by a teachers strike.

The Senate voted Thursday to allow Governor Ulises Ruiz to remain in office. A special Senate commission formed to investigate the crisis released a report Wednesday recommending he stay in power.

The protests began in May when teachers walked off the job to demand better pay and school funding. The demonstrations turned violent when other activists critical of Ruiz joined the cause.

Several people have been killed during the protests, including a teacher gunned down Wednesday in Oaxaca City in a drive-by shooting. The violence has paralyzed the city's vital tourism sector.

The protesters have accused the governor of using heavy-handed police tactics to break up the strike.

They also accuse him of rigging the 2004 election that brought him into power.

Enrique Rueda, head of Oaxaca state's teachers union, says his striking members will return to work sometime this month.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.