Oaxaca: David Hernandez Salazar, Community Defender, Freed Following Detention in Tehuantepec Isthmus


On January 17th, David Hernandez Salazar, a community defender from the Binniza community of Puente Madera, was arrested. This arrest occurred when he was going to his work as head at the Patria elementary school, in Tehuantepec, Oaxaca. Presumably, members of the Oaxaca State Prosecutor’s Office detained him and took him to the city of Oaxaca, however “at this moment we are at the Tehuantepec Deputy Prosecutor’s Office, requesting information regarding his whereabouts, without receiving an answer, as they told us that they know nothing”, the Assembly of the Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT) reported.

To demand his release, the inhabitants activated a road blockade on the Pan-American federal highway near the community of Puente Madera, which belongs to San Blas Atempa. In this area, the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wants to build an industrial park. The members of this community, led by David Hernandez, have opposed it, alleging that it would affect a community natural area. “The only requirement is that we are not going to allow them to build the industrial park in the area where life is for us, and that is why they have arrested our colleague David, because he opposes that megaproject”, they said.

Hours later, through a statement, the APIIDTT reported that David was safe and in good health and thanked the solidarity and support of the indigenous, social, human rights, collective, free and alternative media or whatever it is called, and individuals before the arrest of the defender.

“We hold ourselves responsible for the illegal detention of David Hernandez Salazar, the climate of violence, violation of our rights and any measure of pressure, defamation, threat and aggression against our representatives of Puente Madera, the agencies and the people of San Blas Atempa, and our regional organization APIIDT”, the organization said.

For more information in Spanish:

Tras protestas, liberan a David Hernández, agente municipal de Puente Madera y opositor al Corredor Interoceánico (Educa Oaxaca, 18 de enero de 2023)

Protesta en el Itsmo de Oaxaca:exigen liberación de líder comunero(NVINoticias, 18 de enero 2023)

¡LIBERTAD A DAVID HERNÁNDEZ SALAZAR! (Facebook, 17 de enero 2023)

Detienen a defensor zapoteca que lucha contra el corredor interoceánico; asambleístas bloquean y retienen camión con franceses (Chiapas Paralelo 18 de enero 2023)

Detienen a defensor comunitario en el Istmo, organizaciones exigen su liberación (EDUCA, 17 de enero 2023)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Environmentalist and Rio Verde and Paso de La Reyna Defender, Filogonio Martinez Merino, Murdered  (October 28, 2022)

Oaxaca: denuncian hostigamiento y criminalización en contra de la defensora Lucero Rivero Ortiz (September 19,

2022)Oaxaca: Territorial and Afro-Mexican Peoples’ Defender Humberto Valdovinos Murdered (June 4, 2022)

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