Oaxaca: threat of massacre in San Juan Copala is denounced

September 20, 2010

During the morning of 13 September, a group of 500 heavily armed men occupied the municipal palace of San Juan Copalá, where they presented an ultimatum that demanded the eviction of 100 families within 24 hours.  As has been denounced by the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copalá: “A group of 500 armed men entered the vicinity of San Juan Copala, took the municipal palace, and opened fire, resulting in the injury of María Rosa Francisca, 35 years of age.  Now it has become known that more than 100 families who continue to live there must be evicted by the community, for if they aren’t, they will be killed.”

On 16 September, 24 civil organizations from Finland sent a petition to the president of Mexico, the judiciary, and the Senate requesting that the respect for human rights be guaranteed in San Juan Copala, and that the paramilitary siege maintained in the region be ended.

For more information (in Spanish):

Urgent call to detain the genocide against the Triqui people of San Juan Copala (communiqué of the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copalá, 13 September 2010)

Paramilitary encirclement of the Oaxacan municipality of San Juan Copala is denounced (La Jornada, 16 September 2010)

MULT and UBISORT threaten to massacre all the residents of the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copalá (communiqué of the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala, 15 September 2010)

“The killings in San Juan Copala uphold a dictatorial situation” (Press release/Los Amigos de Jyri Jaakkola,16 September 2010)

For an end to the massacre in San Juan Copala (Press release of the AGRARIAN INDIGENOUS MOVEMENT ZAPATISTA-MAIZ, from the MEXICAN ALLIANCE FOR THE SELF-DETERMINATION OF PEOPLES [AMAP] and UCIZONI, 16 September)

3 women said to be injured in Copala (E-Consulta Oaxaca, 17 September)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Distrito Federal: visiting Mexico, the parents of Jyri Jaakkola demand justice for the case of their son and that of Bety Cariño (6 September 2010)

Oaxaca: new ambush in Triqui region leaves 3 dead and 2 injured (1 September 2010)

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)