Oaxaca: Triquis return to their communities following 16 months of sit-in

Triqui girls during the press-conference @ La Jornada

The Triqui indigenous people from the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala pertaining to the Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle-Independent (MULTI) called on society to participate in a caravan on 23 January so as to return to their communities after having been displaced 16 months previously by paramilitaries from the Union for the Social Welfare of the Triqui Region (Ubisort).  They had been maintaining a sit-in in front of the Palace of governance in Oaxaca de Juárez since the time of their displacement.

The communiqué read at the press conference expressed that “we have reached some agreements with the state government, and this leads us to think that there exist favorable conditions for our peaceful return to our homes.  We do not understand this to be a provocation.”  The return to their communities was agreed to after 23 work-tables held with the state and federal governments so as to continue with the provisional measures dictated by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in their favor.  Reina Martínez Flores, spokesperson for the organization who read the communiqué, clarified that the agreements were reached with the state government only because “the federal government has not demonstrated an actual interest in attending to our demands.”  There was added as well that “We are convinced that this is the only way to strengthen our culture and conserve our history; that our differences in reality do not exist, and that hatred comes from where it has always come: from the powerful, who are assisted by some indigenous persons who have lost their dignity and honor and so lend themselves to cultivating pain among our people, in exchange for some coins.”

In other news, on 1 January there was released an interview in the magazine Contralínea in which a supposed member of the armed group that attacked the caravan that sought to enter the ceremonial center of San Juan Copala to provide humanitarian aid to the besieged populace accuses Antonio Cruz García (also known as Toño Pájaro) and Rufino Juárez Hernández as being the principal perpetrators of the action.  Cruz García was then the “commander” of Ubisort, and he is now at the front of the armed group that since September 2010 has occupied San Juan Copala.  Juárez Hernández was at the time of the attack the political leader of Ubisort; he is now being held on other charges.  In the assault of 27 April 2010 died Alberta Cariño Trujillo, director of the Center of Communal Support Working Together (Cactus), and the Finnish human-rights observer Jyri Jaakkola.  Beyond this, that day there were more than a dozen injured, and two activists and two Contralínea journalists went missing for 60 hours.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del retorno de desplazados a San Juan Copala (Blog Municipio Autónomo de San Juan Copala, 15 January 2012)

Planean regresar a sus comunidades, triquis expulsados hace 16 meses por paramilitares (La Jornada, 15 January 2012)

¡Si vienen, nos los chingamos! (Contralínea, 1 January 2012)

Triquis volverán a Copala el lunes 23 (Oaxaca ya.com, 14 January 2012)

Paz, pide MULTI a MULT; regresan a San Juan Copala (Noticias net, 15 January 2012)

Llaman mujeres triquis de Copala a la paz al MULT (Noticias net, 16 January 2012)

Regresan Desplazadas a San Juan Copala y hacen un llamado de Paz (Frida Guerrera, 15 January 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: justice demanded for San Juan Copala (14 December 2011)

Oaxaca: Eurodeputies in the case of Cariño and Jaakkola (17 October 2011)

Oaxaca: Heriberto Pazos Ortiz, leader and founder of MULT, is killed (26 October 2010)

Oaxaca: the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala is dismantled (30 September 2010)

Oaxaca: new ambush in Triqui region against individuals who had been granted precautionary measures by the IACHR (20 October 2010)

Oaxaca: following the caravan “Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola” to San Juan Copalá (21 June 2010)

Distrito Federal: visiting Mexico, the parents of Jyri Jaakkola demand justice for the case of their son and that of Bety Cariño (9 September 2010)

Oaxaca: Attack on observation caravan–2 dead and 4 missing (29 April 2010)

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