- Father Alejandro Solalinde @ EE
On 30 December, Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerre, director of the migrant house Hermanos en el Camino in Ixtepec, was detained for approximately five hours in the Mixe community of Nuevo Santiago Tutla. Solalinde has reported that this community is terrorized and controlled by a cacique known as José Raymundo.
He explained that he went to this community to visit the Fuentes Bonifacio family, who are the parents of one of the police assigned to him by the Oaxacan Secretary for Public Security. Upon arriving to the locale, some twenty uniformed men carrying high-caliber weapons impeded his journey, demanding that he identify himself and explain the reason for his visit. Subsequently they jailed him and organized an assembly during which they interrogated him. According to the father, “They sounded the bells so that the residents would come to an urgent assembly; I asked why they were there, but the cacique startled the people but in light of his stubbornness I opted to return to the municipal agent. There, the secretary of the municipality said that to free ourselves he had to sign a document that denied that we had identified ourselves and that the guards carried arms. I refused to sign my name to lies. Yes, I feared for my life, but what is happening in the community is very serious, given the violation of the right to free movement on the part of a group that carries heavy weapons and intimidates local people.”
The Commissioner of the State Police, Cesar Alfaro Cruz, reported that local units of the state security forces responded by rescuing the father; the operation was carried out under the authority of San Juan Mazatlán, though other sources claim that the action was carried out by federal police. Solalinde has now submitted a denunciation to the agent of the Public Ministry for these happenings.
Non-governmental human-rights organizations have expressed their solidarity with Father Solalinde, demanding that the Oaxacan state-government put an end to the impunity exercised by cacique groups which, protecting themselves by means of “uses and customs,” violate human rights.
For more information (in Spanish):
Carta abierta del Pbro. Alejandro Solalinde sobre su retención ilegal en la zona Mixe de Oaxaca (Cencos, 5 January 2012)
Padre Solalinde denuncia retención por cacique local (El Economista, 2 January 2012)
Denuncia Solalinde: cacique somete con armas a un pueblo (La Jornada, 1 January 2012)
Padre Solalinde denuncia que cacique somete al pueblo de Nuevo Santiago Tutla, en Oaxaca (Zona Franca, 1 January 2012)
Pobladores encarcelan al padre Alejandro Solalinde en Oaxaca(Proceso, 31 January 2011)
Policía comunitaria retuvo a Solalinde al detectar a sus escoltas armados (Milenio, 1 January 2012)
Encarcelan al padre Solalinde (Zócalo Saltillo, 1 January 2012)
Padre Solalinde denuncia retención por cacique local (NSS Chiapas, 2 January 2012)
Pobladores retienen al padre Solalinde; es rescatado por federales(Animal político, 1 January 2012)
Rescatan federales al padre Solalinde (Vanguardia, 1 January 2012)