In the early hours of September 22nd, 2019, an armed group attempted to assassinate Cesar Luis Diaz, a member of the Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Peoples (CODEDI in its Spanish acronym) along with his family. Thousands of bullets were machine-gunned at his home in Santiago Xanica, Miahuatlan, he denounced.
According to the residents of the community and CODEDI, PRI politicians Ricardo Luria, Ermenegildo Martinez and Oscar Valencia would be responsible for the attempted murder.
“We have called for the intervention of the state and federal government but nevertheless they have turned their eyes away, they have become accomplices to these assassins, which reminds me that two years ago on February 12th they slaughtered three of our compañeros in the Cerro Metate Square; today they attempted again against my life and my family for which we urgently demand the immediate intervention of the state and federal government,” explained the victim, Luis Diaz.
He refers to the murders of members Alejandro Antonio Diaz Cruz, Ignacio Basilio Ventura Martínez and Luis Angel Martinez who were executed on February 12th, 2018 on the road when they were returning from a meeting with the state government. In addition to that, Abraham Hernandez González, Regional Coordinator of CODEDI in the Sierra Sur, was murdered on July 17th, 2018 and on October 25th of the same year they shot Noel Castillo Aguilar, also a member of the association.
Apart from these attacks, in 2018, three members of CODEDI were falsely accused of carrying a weapon and arbitrarily detained and the main leaders, general coordinator Abraham Ramirez Vazquez and CODEDI spokesman Fredy Garcia Ramirez, received threats because of their repeated reporting of illegal logging of trees in their region.
Faced with these incidents and the attempted assassination of Cesar Luis Diaz “[they blamed] the Government of the State of Oaxaca for not seeing to the multiple complaints of indigenous defenders.”
“We also want to state publicly that thanks to the action of the people and citizens of Santiago Xanica, we have today retained one of the hitmen who tried to slaughter my family,” added Luis Diaz, the CODEDI coordinator in the Santiago Xanica community.
For more information in Spanish:
Espacio Civil de Oaxaca denuncia 5 ejecuciones extrajudiciales, 4 detenciones arbitrarias y 3 allanamientos contra CODEDI en 2018 (Educa el 26 de octubre de 2018)
Denuncian atentado contra integrante de CODEDI en Xanica (Educa el 23 de septiembre de 2019)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Oaxaca: Denuncian detención arbitraria de un miembro de CODEDI (13 de febrero de 2019)
Oaxaca: fifth member of CODEDI is murdered so far this year (November 2, 2018)
Oaxaca: CODEDI Denounces Military Harassment and Persecution (August 13, 2018)
Oaxaca: Three Members of CODEDI Ambushed and Murdered (February 26, 2018)