On May 6, community members who had been blocking the entrance to the mining project Cuzctalán in the municipality of San José Progreso since March 16, were evicted by the State and Federal Police forces. Social movements and organization of Oaxaca, such as Oaxacan Voices Building Autonomy and Liberty (VOCAL), the Regional Human Rights Center “Bartolomé Carrasco Briseño” A.C. (BARCA-DH), and the Diocesan Commission for Peace and Justice, denounced the excessive use of force against the citizens demanding their right to the land, as well as the abuse and violation of the human rights of the indigenous communities.
Twelve members of the community were detained during the eviction and there was one injured policeman according to various sources. VOCAL stated in their denunciation that “according to information from those in the community, approximately 1500 police evicted the roadblock which was demanding the definite closure of the mine, 12 people were detained (their names are not known), 4 people have arrest warrants, and 5 communities are surrounded by police at the moment.”
It is important to remember that on March 14, 600 people affected by the Canadian mining companies Fortuna Silver Inc. and Continuum Resources Ltd. by way of their Mexican subsidiary Compañía Minera Cuzcatlán, decided to organize themselves to stop the advance of these mining projects. These companies cover 54,000 hectares in the town of San Jerónimo Taviche, municipality of Ocotlán. In an assembly they asked for the support of their representatives “to protect their territory”, a request which was denied by the municipal president. Faced with this, the decision to close “the mine, in an orderly and peaceful manner” was taken and carried out by 600 people by way of a roadblock, begun on March 16. Since March 20, they denounced that the roadblock has been constantly threatened by members of the Secretary of Public Security, the Secretary of National Defense, and the State Police in various police and military operations.
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