Photo @ Sol del Istmo
On 2 March there occurred a confrontation among residents of Álvaro Obregón, a community pertaining to the Juchitán de Zaragoza municipality. According to the denunciation of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT), “persons linked to the mayor of Juchitán, Saúl Vicente Vázquez, and to COCEI and PRI leaders, attacked the Communal General Assembly of Álvaro Obregón its communal council,” an act that, according to some media, resulted in at least twenty persons injured and one flipped vehicle.
Local elections were held on this day: “they were giving 500 pesos in exchange for election IDs and they were promising $1500 the next day, when they showed up to the event organized by Saúl Vicente on 8 February, where a party leader was to be nominated,” as the public denunciation noted. Continuing: “after a meeting in a particular house, there was carried out this ‘pretend’ elections.” On 8 December 2013, the Communal Assembly elected its communal council, communal police, and council of elderly advisors according to its uses and customs.
The Communal General Assembly of Álvaro Obregón affirms that it was meeting in the central plaza, agreeing on the membership of the communal council, when “a group of persons who found themselves in the election held by Saúl Vicente initiated an attack against those who found themselves in the plaza, using gunshots, stones, and sticks. They attempted to take City Hall by force and a confrontation followed, for the people who were at the General Assembly repelled the attack, leaving several comrades hurt,” they noted in a denunciation. After the attack, “one of these persons went to the house of the commander of the Communal Police to drench him in gasoline and attempt to set him on fire. Later, they tried to kidnap the son of the Communal Agent,” notes the communique. In the end, units from the Navy arrived and performed a search for firearms.
For more information (in Spanish):
Comunicado 04 de marzo: Álvaro Obregón continuará con la defensa y autodeterminación de su territorio, ante cualquiera que la amenace(Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo de Tehuantepec en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio, 4 de marzo de 2014)
Acción Urgente del Centro de Derechos Humanos Tepeyac del Istmo de Tehuantepec (3 de marzo de 2014)
Comunicado 02 de marzo de 2014: Con balas, intenta Saúl Vicente imponer autoridad municipal en Álvaro Obregón (Blog de la Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio, 3 de marzo de 2014)
Comunicado de prensa Ucizoni condena agresión contra el pueblo de Álvaro Obregón (Semanario Evidencias, 3 de marzo de 2014)
Aseguran amenazas de muerte de empresa Gas Natural Fenosa (El Imparcial, 1 de marzo de 2014)
Zafarrancho en Álvaro Obregón (Sol del Istmo, 3 de marzo de 2014)
Asamblea general comunitaria no valida resultados de elección de Álvaro Obregón (Página 3, 3 de marzo de 2014)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Oaxaca: “The Isthmus at the Crossroads” Seminar (20 August 2013)