Oaxaca: Conflict in Mixe Region between Inhabitants of San Pedro and San Pablo Ayutla and Tamazulapam del Espiritu Santo Continues

MixePhoto @ Red TdT

Last June, in the framework of the commemoration of the second anniversary of the armed attack, perpetrated against residents of San Pedro and San Pablo Ayutla, the Gobixha Human Rights Integral Defense Committee (Codigo DH in its Spanish acronym) and the National Network of Civil Organizations All Rights for Everyone (Red TdT in its Spanish acronym) visited the affected area.

The “attack” occurred on June 5th, 2017, the result of an agrarian conflict between the people of San Pedro and San Pablo Ayutla and Tamazulapam del Espiritu Santo. During the conflict “Luis Juan Guadalupe lost his life. In addition, six people were injured by gunfire and four women were held and tortured by local authorities.”

Through a statement, the organizations announced that: “Two years after these events, we found that Ayutla Mixes do not have a connection to their spring (Jënanyëëj), because their water and pipe system was destroyed, causing lack of the vital fluid, mainly affecting children and older adults, who have consistently presented profiles of gastrointestinal diseases.” According to the statement, also, “attacks and disqualifications against defenders have been present, including Elena Gil, academic and defender of the Ayuuk language and culture, who has repeatedly received death threats, as well as other people in  the community who have been victims of aggressions and intimidation in order to silence them, details of which we reserve because of the fear they show.”

They mentioned that according to official documents “27 families of the community have been stripped of their homes and land by an agrarian invasion of more than 200 hectares that seeks to cross the boundaries recognized by both communities.”

In addition, they informed that, in the disputed spring “an installation has been built unilaterally by the state authorities, according to the complaint of the local authorities, to replace the one that was allegedly dynamited on August 25th, 2017 by Tamazupalam and that may collate with archive photos. Given these facts, the state authorities such as the Secretary General of Government (SEGEGO) and the Attorney General of the State of Oaxaca, have ignored and progress is unknown on the complaints filed, violating the right to security and physical integrity of the residents of Ayutla, and her access to justice, with investigations related to the law.”

Currently, Ayutla is still without water despite more than 30 meetings and a “historic agreement” between the two communities [which was denied by the Ayutla authorities]. Also, it should be remembered that recently, the General Secretary of Government (SEGEGO) sent the State Water Commission (CEA in its Spanish acronym) to reconnect the water to Ayutla.

Codigo DH and the Red TdT called:

  • “To the State Government to give priority to the solution to the agrarian conflict and guarantee at all times access to justice for victims, security against the risk of violence and new dispossession, as well as respect for the history and documents that keep the memory of the boundaries between both communities.
  • To the General Secretary of Government, we demand that you adhere to the agreements signed and recognized by both communities, including May 2018, to avoid new acts of violence and dispossession towards settlers who have suffered repeated violations of their human rights. We also demand the cessation of attacks and disqualifications against defenders.
  • To the State Water Commission to guarantee the completion of water reconnection works for Ayutla. It has been more than two years without a drinking water service that violates their human right to water and health, mainly for children and the elderly.
  • To the Attorney General of the State of Oaxaca, to continue with the investigations for the clarification and punishment of those responsible for the acts perpetrated on June 5th, 2017, guaranteeing at all times free access to their victims’ information.
  • To the Secretary of Public Security of the State of Oaxaca, to guarantee the security and help the population of San Pedro and San Pablo Ayutla given the risk of future aggressions.
  • To national and international Human Rights organizations to be aware of the events that may arise in the following weeks.”

For more information in Spanish:

Para Ayutla no hay fiesta, ni agua; solo duelo, injusticia y riesgo de más violencia ante la inacción gubernamental (Codigo DH, 18 de julio de 2019)

Sin solución conflicto por agua en zona mixe (Imparcial Oaxaca, 26 de julio de 2019)

Justicia y agua, para Ayutla (NVI Noticias, 26 de julio de 2019)

Denuncian inacción gubernamental en Ayutla (Red TdT, 18 de julio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Enfrentamiento entre pobladores en la región Mixe. (June 8, 2017)

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