Oaxaca: new ambush in Triqui region leaves 3 dead and 2 injured

On Saturday 22 August there occurred an ambush in the Triqui region of the state of Oaxaca that left 3 dead and 2 injured.  The attack took place in the Santiago Juxtlhuaca-Putla de Guerrero highway, near the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copalá; the dead are Antonio Ramírez López, Antonio Cruz García, and Rigoberto Silvano González Ramírez and the injured Víctor de Jesús González and Alfredo Martínez González, all associated with the Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle-Independent (MULT-I).  According to Jorge Albino Ortiz, spokesperson for San Juan Copalá, the victims had been travelling through the region helping to prepare and organize a caravan of Triqui women and children that was slated to leave for the state’s capital city (Oaxaca de Juárez) the following day; the caravan was meant to meet with the UN High Commissioner to denounce the violent context they suffer.  The murders are being attributed to the Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle (MULT) and the Union for Social Welfare of the Triqui Region (UBISORT), both claimed to be paramilitary groups, although Rufino Juárez Hernández, leader of UBISORT, has denied responsibility for the attack on behalf of his group.

In light of the 22 August attack, the aforementioned caravan of women and children was suspended.  Marcos Albino, member of MULT-I who has been organizing a sit-in of Triqui women in Mexico City, asserted that, in place of the caravan, “we will carry out other actions; they will not succeed in immobilizing us.  We will continue in resistance, promoting dialogue and peace until death, if it comes to that.”

Following his denial of responsibility for the 22 August attack, Juárez Hernández made a call directed at MULT-I to promote dialogue toward the end of “avoiding more murders and detaining the agony of poverty and violence” lived in the region.  “The problem with our ethnicity,” he continued, “must be resolved among the indigenous, not through outsiders or foreigners unfamiliar with the situation who are mis-informed.” He added that “we respect that different organizations, political and religious groups want to intervene, but it must be said that it does not help at all if their false declarations provoke more violence and generate rancor among brothers who live together every day in the region.” For peace to be a possibility, he said, “there should be no PRI-cacique, nor PRD or radical-leftist, let alone insurgent projects or uprisings that would divide us more.”

On 23 August, Evencio Nicolás Martínez Ramírez, general secretary of government, and María de la Luz Candelaria Chiñas, prosecutor, announced that the solution to the situation of violence that prevails in the Triqui region “depends on them (the indigenous), not on the government or the State Attorney General’s Office.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Indigenous Triquis associated with San Juan Copala are ambushed (La Jornada, 22 August)

Three dead and two injured, outcome of paramilitary ambush (La Jornada, 23 August)

UBISORT denies responsibility for ambush of Triqui caravan (La Jornada, 23 August)

Peace in the Triqui region depends on the indigenous, not on us: authorities (La Jornada, 24 August)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: more violence in the Triqui region following the killing of Anastasio Juárez Hernández, leader of UBISORT and brother to Rufino Juárez Hernández (13 August)

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