On April 23, two different sources published information about a military incursion in the indigenous community Chatina de San Miguel Panixtlahuaca, district of Juquilia on the coast of Oaxaca. Oaxacan Voices Building Autonomy and Liberty (VOCAL) denounced that “at nine in the morning, 15 trucks full of armed and hooded soldiers of the Federal Army arrived” surrounding the community “with roadblocks (… ) not allowing anyone to enter or leave, and in addition they began to search houses looking for weapons”.
On the website “Punto y Aparte” the operation was also mentioned as part of a “national campaign of disarmament”. Nevertheless, members of Section XXII stated that more than a routine campaign, the presence of 300 members of the military “with their faces covered” was actually related to the fact that they brought photos of “three people who they were searching for, in relation to a supposed guerrilla camp operating in the zone since 2000”. They fear that the state is being turned into a “laboratory for the Mexican Army, which has been ordered by Felipe Calderón to find and kill members of the Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR)”.
The operation seemed to have ended without anyone detained, but it left the population alarmed. VOCAL denounced in their communiqué that the military incursion is part of “the repression which the State and Federal Government continues carrying out against the communities, people, and organizations which rose up against the government of Ulises Ruiz in 2006, especially because in this community there was participation in 2006, when the uprising of the peoples of Oaxaca began”. In addition, they stated in the communiqué that the events are also related to the resistance the people have shown to the hydroelectric dam project “Paso de la Reina” and also to 3 other dam projects which are being built in the land of indigenous peoples of Oaxaca.
For More Information (In Spanish):
Ejército federal sitia la comunidad de San Miguel Panixtlahuaca, VOCAL (23/04/2009)
Militares ponen en estado de sitio a la población de San Miguel Panixtlahuaca, Punto y Aparte (24/04/2009)
Denuncian sitio militar en Panixtlahuaca; versiones de que buscarían eperristas, Centro Prodh (24/04/2009)
México: Informe sobre la militarización en Oaxaca, Red de información para organizaciones indígenas de México