During the night of Thursday 29 July was killed Anastasio Juárez Hernández, designated municipal agent of San Juan Copalá by the Union for Social Welfare of the Triqui Region (UBISORT) and brother to the director of the organization, Rufino Juárez Hernández. According to his brother, Anastasio was killed by gunfire while in his house, located in the center of San Juan Copalá, although representatives of the administration of San Juan Copalá claim the murder to have taken place elsewhere, in Juxtlahuaca. Juárez Hernández blamed the killing on leaders of MULT-I–José Ramírez Flores, Miguel Ángel Álvarez Velasco, Eugenio Martínez López, and Jesús Martínez; he has also accused Alejandro Encinas, deputy of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), the Catholic Church in Oaxaca, Section 22 of the Oaxacan teachers’ union, and the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) of being the “intellectually responsible” for the murder. Surprisingly, he also extended responsibility for the murder to Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, present governor of the state, whom others have indicated as having strong ties to UBISORT.
Representatives from the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copalá affirmed that Anastasio was killed in the city of Juxtlahuaca following a conflict among PRI-members regarding control of the municipal government there; it is understood that the conflict also involved taxi-drivers and local merchants. At mid-day on Friday 30 July, between 100 and 300 units of the State Agency of Investigation (AEI) and of the State Preventive Police (PEP) entered the autonomous municipality, as they claimed, to “support the prosecutor and investigators to find the corpse [of Anastasio].” Representatives of the autonomous municipality asserted, for their part, that the police were accompanied by 400 “heavily armed” men from UBISORT, and that both groups “entered with guns blazing,” resulting in the injuring of two girls, aged 15 and 17, and two arrested. Authorities also denounced that members of MULT joined the attack; they have claimed that the goal of this incursion into San Juan Copalá was to bring the body of Anastasio to the autonomous municipality to make it seem that it had been the residents of Copalá who had killed him.
In a communiqué, the Regional Center for Human Rights Bartolomé Carrasco Briseño (Barca) repudiated the police incursion into San Juan Copalá, calling on civil human-rights organizations to “manifest their rejection of this aggression against the autonomous municipality.” Referring itself to the caravan that attempted to reach San Juan Copalá on 8 June, Barca declared that “it is contradictory that, when security-measures were requested so that the Bety and Jiry [sic] humanitarian caravan could enter to leave basic-goods, the state did not fulfill its responsibility and impeded that the mission be allowed to continue.”
For more information (in Spanish):
Anastasio Juárez, municipal agent of San Juan Copala, is killed (La Jornada, 31 July)
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