Oaxaca: Violent election day: 440 incidents, 92 arrests, injured, disappeared, and one killed

June 25, 2015

Foto @ Educa

Photo @ Educa

Election day on 7 June in Oaxaca ended with 440 incidents, 92 arrests, injured, disappeared, and one killed. 283 electoral booths were burned down, 26 robbed, 56 left uninstalled, and 75 suspended operations. Given these conditions, close to 300,000 votes were nullified.

The murder of José Alfredo Jiménez Cruz, brother to the former PRI mayor of San Miguel Chimalapa, in the Tehuantepec Isthmus was confirmed. He died after being shot outside an electoral booth. The Communal General Assembly of Álvaro Obregón denounced another shooting incident, while the General Assembly of Juchitán de Zaragoza denounced the invasion of an armed group that open fired, leaving six injured, three of them gravely. In Tuxtepec, relatives of the teacher Sandra Dianelle Herrera Castro, a union leader, denounced her forcible disappearance at the hands of the Secretary for National Defense (SEDENA). She is not listed in the official registry of the arrested.

Furthermore, during the early morning of 6 June, federal security forces displaced teachers’ occupations in the cities of Huajuapan de León, Tlaxiaco, Pinotepa Nacional, Tuxtepec, and Salina Cruz. Previously, the deployment of federal forces in the states of Chiapas, Guerrero, Michoacán, and Oaxaca had been announced, “to guarantee the citizens’ right to vote,” amidst the possibility of violent acts. Official reports indicated the arrival of 600 soldiers to Oaxaca. For this reason, 56 civil-society organizations called on the international community, given that “the violence seen in the electoral process, including 21 political assassinations during the campaigns, is worse than prior elections at the national level, being the product of impunity, corruption, violence, and collusion with organized crime, both on the part of the political parties and the three levels of government.” In another public communique, civil-society organizations from Oaxaca denounced the “climate of terror imposed by the Mexican State by means of the Army, the Federal Police, the Gendarmerie, and the Navy.” Lastly, some 24 electoral advisors from Oaxaca demanded that the president of the National Electoral Institute, Lorenzo Córdova Vianello, postpone the elections due to the “military siege,” and as long as political and economic conditions do not improve.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de Prensa de OSC de Oaxaca (Consorcio para el Diálogo y la Equidad de Género de Oaxaca, 6 de junio de 2015)

56 OSC hacen un llamamiento a la comunidad Internacional desde Oaxaca (Servicios para una Educación Alternativa, 7 de junio de 2015)

Un muerto y 440 incidentes enmarcaron elección en Oaxaca (Proceso, 7 de junio de 2015)

El diálogo fracasó, no puede haber elección en Oaxaca con cerco militar: Consejeros (Sin embargo, 6 de junio de 2015)

México: Atacan a balazos a la comunidad Gui´xhi´ro´- Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán, Oaxaca (Kaos en la Red, 7 de junio de 2015)

Desaparecen a lideresa magisterial (Noticias Net, 8 de junio de 2015)

Maestros y activistas sabotean comicios en Oaxaca; 88 detenidos por quemar urnas (La Jornada, 8 de junio de 2015)

Mexico/National: Controversial participation of Rigoberta Menchú as an electoral observer

June 10, 2015

Foto @ La Jornada de Jalisco

Photo @ La Jornada de Jalisco

The Guatemalan Rigoberta Menchú Tum, recipient of the Nobel Peace Price, visited Mexico from 26 to 30 May on the invitation of the National Electoral Institute, which paid $10,000 to the Rigoberta Menchú Foundatjon for the Guatemalan indigenous woman to be present to promote voting and liberal democracy. The INE confirmed that it spent said amount ($153,157 MX) after Menchú conceded in an interview that she had received $10,000 “as well as taxes.” The INE social communication coordinator reported that the amount had been transferred because “at the very hour a benefactor intervened,” explaining that, to pay for Rigoberta’s visit, the INE had taken these resources as a sort of payment for electoral training. The annual rate was said to be unknown.

In the first place, Menchú Tum was accredited as a foreigner by the INE council president Lorenzo Córdova Vianello, who had recently provoked a scandal after mocking an indigenous leader during a telephone conversation. This scandal led different organizations from Oaxaca to publish a communique demanding “the immediate resignation of C. LORENZO CÓRDOVA VIANELLO, who up to now has ostentatiously held the office of President of the [INE], due to his discriminatory and backward attitude toward indigenous people. His insults offend the dignity of the indigenous peoples of Mexico.”

Subsequently, Rigoberta Menchú participed in an event in Acapulco, Guerrero, to promote the vote, when a Guerrero youth interrupted the event to say that many different comunities such as San Luis Acatlán, her Nahua community of origin, are subjected to violence. She added, “Ms. Rigoberta Menchú, our indignation and rage cannot end, and I know you understand. One other thing: we cannot continue to ask for a minute of silence for the disappeared, because to request just a minute for each murder and each disappearance in the country or our own state, we would be remain silent eternally.” This intervention was met with great applause.

For more information (in Spanish):

Sobre las declaraciones de Rigoberta Menchú (Change.org, 29 de mayo de 2015)

Cooperó el INE con 10 mil dólares para estancia de Rigoberta Menchú (La Jornada, 29 de mayo de 2015)

¿Por qué el INE dio 10 mil dólares a Rigoberta Menchú? (Red Política, 29 de mayo de 2015)

Organizaciones civiles de Oaxaca exigen destitución inmediata del titular del INE (Educa, 26 de mayo de 2015)

INE acredita a Rigoberta Menchú como observadora electoral (Aristegui Noticias, 26 de mayo de 2015)

Consígueme a un indígena” (El Financiero, 29 de mayo de 2015)