On 8 February there occurred a violent confrontation between residents of the communities that neighbor Zimatlán de Lázaro Cárdenas (municipality of Putla Villa de Guerrero) and San Sebastián Nopalera (municipality of Santa Lucía Monteverede) in which died Rafael José Cruz Sánchez, Juan Hernández Cruz, and Hermenegildo Jiménez Paz from Zimatlán and murieron Pedro Cruz Santiago, Nabor Bautista, Carlos Hernández Bautista, Eloy Bautista Caballero, and Sabás Santiago Barrios from Nopalera. The total count of injured is 13 on both sides; two children who were with their father Rafael Cruz Sánchez during the confrontation are reportedly missing. Following a police incursion, five individuals were detained, all of whom originate and reside near Nopalera. A number of firearms and more than two thousand cartridges were decommissioned.
This confrontation was not the first to be had between this communities, for in July 2010 a group from Nopalera attacked Zimatlán, with the result that a man from the latter community was injured. In response to this aggression, the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR) granted precautionary measures to the residents of Zimatlán, demanding that the Mexican State protect the integrity and life of its inhabitants. The general secretary of government of Oaxaca reported that units from the state police, the State Agency of Investigation, and the Army would engage in patrols in the area toward the end of preventing future confrontations. The conflict dates back to when in 2006 the communities of Zimatlán and Nopalera jointly resolved an agrarian conflict and did not agree on how to divide the land.
For more information (in Spanish):
- Proceso: Number of dead in conflict between villagers in Oaxaca rises to eight (09 February 2011)
- Proceso: Oaxaca: land conflict leaves two dead, 11 injured, and 2 children missing (09 February 2011)
- Milenio: Confrontation over land in Oaxaca leaves four dead and six injured: SSP (09 February 2011)
- La Jornada: Commando group attacks community in Oaxaca, despite precautionary measures of the IACHR (09 February 2011)
- NSS Oaxaca: Economy in Zimatlán de Lázaro Cárdenas in agony due to invasion (25 January 2011)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):