August 20, 2008
After the deaths of two indigenous campesinos August 5 in Santiago Lachivía, a community located in the San Carlos Yautepec district, the Union of Indigenous Peoples and Communities of Yautepec (UPCIYO, Unión de Pueblos y Comunidades Indígenas de Yautepec) assembled the “Caravan in Solidarity with the Indigenous Community of Santiago Lachivía” on August 18, 2008.
SIPAZ conducted an interview with Evaristo Belleza Avila, the Communal Lands Commissioner of Santiago Lachivía in Oaxaca, in which he describes the events of August 5. He describes the community’s shock and confusion at the violence and expresses the need for an explanation from the governor and State Attorney General. He stated, “Right now we are hoping that there will be justice and that our government takes into consideration our request and our complaints.” A second interview was conducted with Leobardo Vasquez Hernandez, the ex-Communal Lands Commissioner of Santiago Lachivía, who gives a broad explanation of the historical context of the community.
To hear the SIPAZ interviews with Evaristo Belleza Avila and Leobardo Vasquez Hernandez (in Spanish) click on the link below:
Oaxaca: “Caravana en Solidaridad con la Communidad Indígena de Santiago Lachivía”; Entrevista de SIPAZ (SIPAZ, 14/08/08)
Oaxaca: Military Operation in Santiago Lachivía leaves two dead and one wounded; Urgent Action (SIPAZ, 19/08/08)
August 19, 2008
According to the Centro Prodh, on August 5, twenty military personnel arrived unannounced at the community of Santiago Lachivía, located within the San Carlos Yautepec district, in the southern sierra of Oaxaca, and shot several rounds into the air after which the majority of people in the area, who were working on a communal plot, attempted to flee, looking for safe cover. Two were left dead and one wounded as a result of the attack, according to the Communal Lands Commissioner Evaristo Belleza Ávila and later confirmed by the Attorney General’s Office of the State of Oaxaca (PGJE). However, in his initial statement Alberto Quezada, State Director of Public Security, confirmed that he was only aware of “one death in Lachivia (committed by) personnel in military uniform.”
In addition, anonymous government sources confirmed that there had been military presence in the region carrying out anti-organized crime operations. Immediately after the incident the military personnel searched those present and after failing to find any arms or drugs, they left the scene without any further explanation.
The Union of Indigneous Peoples and Communities of Yautepec Oaxaca (UPCIYO), Tequio Jurídico A.C. and Transparency for Local Development A.C. circulate an urgent action.