On Saturday 23 October Heriberto Pazos Ortiz, leader and founder of the Movement of Triqui Unification and Struggle (MULT), was killed in Oaxaca de Juárez. The killing of Pazos Ortiz, who in 2003 was also co-founder of the Party for Popular Unity (PUP), which is considered the only indigenous political party on the American continent, comes less than two weeks after a march carried out in Oaxaca de Juárez by thousands of MULT members and sympathizers to promote peace in the Triqui region of Oaxaca and a day after the killing of Catarino Torres Peresa, the general secretary of the Committee for Citizen Defense (Codeci), in the city of Tuxtepec. Torres Peresa was one of the first prisoners from the Oaxacan teachers’ movement linked to the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO); he had also been imprisoned in the federal Center for Social Readaptation of the Altiplano, in Almoloya de Juárez, in the state of Mexico.
In light of the murder of Pazos Ortiz, the political leadership of MULT has denounced that the attack that killed the MULT leader was a “surgical operacion that came from the State.” It expressed its fear that a higher level of violence could be experienced in the Triqui region as a result of the killing. Following the attack, MULT sympathizers blocked roads and principal streets in Oaxaca de Juárez. Gabino Cué Monteagudo, gobernor-elect of Oaxaca, attended the funeral of Pazos Ortiz and there expressed his solidarity with MULT members, promising that he would not allow “the unspeakeable attack to go unpunished” once his administration takes power on 1 December. “Aggressions against social activists and leaders, like the killing of Pazos Ortiz, enormously degrade the social fabric,” he added.
For more information (in Spanish):
Social leader Catarino Torres is killed in Oaxaca (La Jornada, 22 October)
The execution of leader and founder of MULT in Oaxaca is reported (La Jornada, 23 October)
MULT: attack on Pazos could find bring about escalation of violence in the region(La Jornada, 24 October)
The killing of Heriberto Pazos will not go unpunished: Gabino Cué (La Jornada, 24 October)
Gabino Cué promises that his government will investigate the killing of Pazos Ortiz (La Jornada, 25 October)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):