Oaxaca: MORENA-affiliated Triqui leader kidnapped and executed

February 5, 2015

Foto @ Contralínea

Photo @ Contralínea

On 11 January, Julián González Domínguez, leader of the International Network of Oaxacan Indigenous Persons (RIIO) and representative of the Movement for National Regeneration (MORENA) in the Triqui region, was murdered after an armed group forcibly removed him from his home in the La Brama Paraje Pérez community in the Santiago Juxtlahuaca municipality.  The RIIO state coordination expressed that Julián González, founder of the Movement for the Unification of Triqui Struggle (MULT) and MULT-Independent (MULT-I) was subsequently found in the same municipality with two gunshot wounds in the head.  It added that the leader had received death-threats owing to agrarian conflicts in the region.

It should be noted that González Domínguez was the point-man for organizing the visit of Andrés Manuel López Obrador to the Tlaxiaco municipality on 24 January.  His wife had previously been awarded precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

For more information (in Spanish):

Asesinan a líder triqui, impulsor de la autonomía (Contralínea, 13 de enero de 2015)

Ejecutan a líder de Morena (Noticias Net, 13 de enero de 2015)

La Mixteca, Oaxaca, asesinan dirigente de MORENA (Regeneración, 11 de enero de 2015)

Comando asesina en Oaxaca a dirigente triqui afín a Morena (Excelsior, 12 de enero de 2015)

Oaxaca: the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copalá is dismantled

September 30, 2010

On 13 September, a group of 500 heavily-armed men entered the Municipal Palace of San Juan Copalá, occupying it with fire.  There, they presented an ultimatum demanding the removal of 100 families from the municipality within 24 hours.  In the following days, given rumors of a possible massacre, the Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle-Independent (MULT-I) made public a number of denunciations regarding the violence: on 18 September were killed David García Ramírez and Paulino Ramírez Reyes, MULT-I sympathizers.  The same day were disappeared Eugenio Martínez, Jordán González Ramírez, María Agustina Flores y Susana López Martínez, all residents of the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copalá.  Jorge Albino, member of the autonomous municipality, warned during the weeked of 18 September that the residents of San Juan Copalá no longer had “either food or water,” claim confirmed by Joaquín Rodríguez Palacios, general sub-secretary of governance in Oaxaca, two days later.  On 19 September, authorities of San Juan Copalá made yet another call for the organization of another humanitarian-support caravan for the residents of the autonomous municipaliy.

According to declarations made by Jorge Albino (MULT-I), on 20 September militants from MULT (Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle) and UBISORT (Union for the Social Welfare of the Triqui Region) entered San Juan Copalá at mid-day and began to burn 100 homes, causing the MULT-I sympathizers still residing in the community to flee. On 23 September, all had fled, with entire families displaced.  MULT declared publicly not to have participated in these acts.

On 20 September, 10 Triqui women and 9 children began a hunger strike in the Oaxaca de Juárez’s Zócalo in protest of recent events, while residents of the autonomous municipality held protests outside the Secretary of Governance in Mexico City and a rally in front of the Oaxaca State Attorney General’s Office.

At the same time negotiations aimed at reducing the violence lived in San Juan Copala that had been called by the Catholic Church failed.  Only one MULT representative came to the proposed meeting arranged by Arturo Lona Reyes, bishop of Tehuantepec, and the legal adviser of the Archdiocese, Wilfrido Mayren Peláez.  MULT-I initially responded by saying that it was not in principle opposed to such negotiations, although it established pre-conditions for such: “the cessation of violence and aggression, as well as guarantees for the life and integrity of the residents of San Juan Copala; the presentation with life of the disappeared, in addition to permitting human-rights and civil-society organizations access to the region, so that they can verify the conditions lived in the community.”

In light of this alarming context, Amnesty International released an urgent action demanding that the Oaxaca’s state government and the federal government investigate the aggression and sexual violence directed against two Triqui women on 7 September, as well as other aggressions against the residents of San Juan Copalá, and that their basic rights be observed.  Similarly, the Ecclesiastical Observatory and the Bartolomé Carrasco Regional Center for Human Rights (Barca) declared that, in case that violence continue unabated in the Triqui region, primary responsibility would lie with the state and federal governments.  Gabriela Juárez, execuive secretary of the Ecclesiastical Observatory, observed that “we are outraged by what has happened in San Juan Copala, because while our brothers are being ravaged, the government celebrates the bi-centennial, as though they wanted us to forget about the violence.”


In contrast, in declarations published in La Jornada on 25 September, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, governor of Oaxaca, claimed there not to be paramilitaries, dead, or disappeared in San Juan Copalá: “That is merely an invention of those who claim such [to exist].” The governor also rejected calls for public security forces to resolve the conflict, declaring that “the problem is one of different ideologies […] that will be solved if the three groups come together to promote dialogue and accords.”

For more information (in Spanish):

The destruction of Copalá (La Jornada, 27 September)

In Copala, there are neither dead nor paramilitaries: Ulises Ruiz (La Jornada, 26 September)

MULTI demands a cessation to violence in San Juan Copala (La Jornada, 22 September)

Triqui children and women begin hunger strike against paramilitary siege (La Jornada, 21 September)

Ulises Ruiz is called on to stop “genocide” (La Jornada, 21 September)

Triqui people call for an urgent caravan against armed attacks in Copala (La Jornada, 20 September)

Second murder in one day of MULTI members in Copala (La Jornada, 20 September)

Residents of San Juan Copala demand protection from public-security forces for the autonomous municipality (La Jornada, 18 September)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: threat of massacre in San Juan Copala is denounced (20 September)

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

Oaxaca: new ambush in Triqui region leaves 3 dead and 2 injured (1 September)

Oaxaca: mujeres triquis denuncian contexto que padecen (20 de agosto)

Oaxaca: new ambush in Triqui region leaves 3 dead and 2 injured

September 1, 2010

On Saturday 22 August there occurred an ambush in the Triqui region of the state of Oaxaca that left 3 dead and 2 injured.  The attack took place in the Santiago Juxtlhuaca-Putla de Guerrero highway, near the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copalá; the dead are Antonio Ramírez López, Antonio Cruz García, and Rigoberto Silvano González Ramírez and the injured Víctor de Jesús González and Alfredo Martínez González, all associated with the Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle-Independent (MULT-I).  According to Jorge Albino Ortiz, spokesperson for San Juan Copalá, the victims had been travelling through the region helping to prepare and organize a caravan of Triqui women and children that was slated to leave for the state’s capital city (Oaxaca de Juárez) the following day; the caravan was meant to meet with the UN High Commissioner to denounce the violent context they suffer.  The murders are being attributed to the Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle (MULT) and the Union for Social Welfare of the Triqui Region (UBISORT), both claimed to be paramilitary groups, although Rufino Juárez Hernández, leader of UBISORT, has denied responsibility for the attack on behalf of his group.

In light of the 22 August attack, the aforementioned caravan of women and children was suspended.  Marcos Albino, member of MULT-I who has been organizing a sit-in of Triqui women in Mexico City, asserted that, in place of the caravan, “we will carry out other actions; they will not succeed in immobilizing us.  We will continue in resistance, promoting dialogue and peace until death, if it comes to that.”

Following his denial of responsibility for the 22 August attack, Juárez Hernández made a call directed at MULT-I to promote dialogue toward the end of “avoiding more murders and detaining the agony of poverty and violence” lived in the region.  “The problem with our ethnicity,” he continued, “must be resolved among the indigenous, not through outsiders or foreigners unfamiliar with the situation who are mis-informed.” He added that “we respect that different organizations, political and religious groups want to intervene, but it must be said that it does not help at all if their false declarations provoke more violence and generate rancor among brothers who live together every day in the region.” For peace to be a possibility, he said, “there should be no PRI-cacique, nor PRD or radical-leftist, let alone insurgent projects or uprisings that would divide us more.”

On 23 August, Evencio Nicolás Martínez Ramírez, general secretary of government, and María de la Luz Candelaria Chiñas, prosecutor, announced that the solution to the situation of violence that prevails in the Triqui region “depends on them (the indigenous), not on the government or the State Attorney General’s Office.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Indigenous Triquis associated with San Juan Copala are ambushed (La Jornada, 22 August)

Three dead and two injured, outcome of paramilitary ambush (La Jornada, 23 August)

UBISORT denies responsibility for ambush of Triqui caravan (La Jornada, 23 August)

Peace in the Triqui region depends on the indigenous, not on us: authorities (La Jornada, 24 August)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: more violence in the Triqui region following the killing of Anastasio Juárez Hernández, leader of UBISORT and brother to Rufino Juárez Hernández (13 August)

Oaxaca: new information-update on San Juan Copala

May 29, 2010

Since the 27 April attack on a civil observation mission en route to the municipality of San Juan Copalá in the Triqui region of Oaxaca by presumed members of the group Union of Social Welfare for the Triqui Region (UBISORT), several distinct voices have denounced the events. On 12 May, a number of special rapporteurs from the UN claimed that “we are profoundly concerned about the deterioration of the situation of human-rights defenders in Mexico.” The European condemned the 27 April attack and demanded that “federal, state, and local authorities do all that is possible to identify, arrest, and judge those responsible for these murders.”

Amidst the present humanitarian crisis suffered in San Juan Copalá, representatives of the autonomous community announced on 13 May that another humanitarian-aid caravan would be organized, this one constituted by at least 300 participants. Initially slated to take place in late May, it was for some reason delayed until June 8. In homage to the two activists who lost their lives in the attack on the caravan in April, the new convoy will be named “Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola.” Jordge Albino Ortiz, a representative and member of the Movement for Unification and Triqui Struggle-Independent (MULT-I), noted that the “humanitarian conditions” lived in San Juan Copalá are at the moment “extreme,” given that residents of the community continue to be encircled by members of UBISORT.

Indeed, authorities of the community recently requested the intervention of the International Red Cross and its Mexican counterpart, so that they detail the ongoing humanitarian crisis in San Juan Copalá. The Diocese Commission on Justice and Peace from the Oaxacan archidiocesis and the Carrasco Briseño Regional Center on Human Rights, or Barca, demanded the “immediate” presence of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) in San Juan Copalá, given the “grave human-rights violations” experienced in the municipality.

An alarming development that occurred recently was the kidnapping and subsequent release of 11 residents of San Juan Copalá on 14 May, presumably by members of UBISORT. The detained were 6 women, 3 girls, 2 boys, and an infant, all of whom had been participating in a larger group from the autonomous municipality that were taken while returning to their community from the city of Santiago Juxtlahuaca. They were ambushed by armed men in La Sabana; according to their testimony, the men fired in the air, threatened them with death, and stole their money and goods.

Serious doubts exist regarding the security situation of those who would participate in the new caravan. Rufino Juárez Hernández, leader of UBISORT, announced that “not even the minimal [security] conditions” exist for a new convoy and that hence “lamentable events could occur.” He added that the presence of observers “with blue eyes and long hair” would not resolve the situation in the region, and that “there is no security for people to travel [here].” Evencio Nicolás Martinez Ramirez, secretary of governance in Oaxaca, warned on 13 May that “whoever attempts to come near the Triqui region puts herself at risk.”

For more information (in Spanish):

OHCHR Press Release on situation in Mexico (12 May)

Triquis announce new humanitarian caravan to Copala (La Jornada, 17 May)

Another humanitarian convoy will attempt to cross the paramilitary encirclemente of Copala (La Jornada, 18 May)

Red Cross is requested in San Juan Copala (El Universal, 18 May)

CNDH asked to come to San Juan Copala (El Universal, 17 May)

UBISORT detains 11 women and children from San Juan Copala in the Triqui sierra, it is said (La Jornada, 16 May)

UBISORT released women and children (La Jornada, 17 May)

Those who go to Triqui region put themselves at risk (La Jornada, 14 May)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Information-update on observation-caravan attack (3 May)