Oaxaca: new ambush in Triqui region against individuals who had been granted precautionary measures by the IACHR

October 20, 2010

On Saturday 16 October there occurred yet another ambush in the northwestern Triqui region in the state of Oaxaca that left two dead–Serafín Ubaldo Zurita and Teresa Ramírez Sánchez–and two injured–Domingo Ramírez Ortega and Jordán Ramírez González.  Ramírez Sánchez and Ramírez González, ambushed on the road toward the community of Yosoyuxi, had been awarded precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in a 7 October decision that granted protection to 135 Triqui residents of the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copalá.  According to Reina Martínez Flores, spokesperson for the camp of displaced Triqui women located in the Zócalo of Oaxaca de Juárez, the groups Union of Social Welfare for the Triqui Region (UBISORT) and the Movement of Triqui Unification and Struggle (MULT) were to blame for this new aggression.

This attack comes days after thousands of MULT members and sympathizers marched in Oaxaca de Juárez to express their interest in promoting peace in the Triqui region.  The march, held on Tuesday 12 March, remained silent until the end, when all of a sudden came cries of “Long live the Zapatista Army of National Liberation!” and “What is it that MULT wants?” that met with the response “Peace.” In the rally held at the march’s close were presented delegates from 18 Triqui communities who are to participate in the dialogues organized Arturo Lona Reyes, bishop emeritus of Tehuantepec, and Romualdo Wilfrido Mayrén Peláez, coordinator of the Diocene Commission for Justice and Peace from the archdiocesis of Antequera-Oaxaca, with the Movement of Triqui Unification and Struggle-Independent (MULT-I).  Heriberto Pazos Ortiz, leader of MULT, announced that MULT would await MULT-I to advance in dialogue, a process that has met with challenges in light of the ongoing violence suffered in the Triqui region in recent months.  With relation to the number of people who participated in the marches organized by MULT on 12 October, Pazos Ortiz claimed there to have been “some forty-thousand militants,” but city officials estimate that in fact the marches were comprised of 10,000.

The same day 150 members of the Alliance of the Mexico Valley, the Front of Peoples in Defense of Land, the Movement of Indigenous Zapatista Artisans as well as Triquis marched in Oaxaca de Juárez to demand that the precautionary measures granted by the IACHR on 7 October for the displaced Triquis of San Juan Copalá be observed.

All of these developments come following recent revelations made in La Jornada that claim there to exist 11 deposits of “important metals” near San Juan Copalá; among them are two copper deposits, two iron deposits, as well as gold and silver deposits.

For more information (in Spanish):

Bulletin from the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala (17 October)

Urgent Action from Barca in light of recent violence (“Bartolomé Carrasco” Center for Human Rights, 18 October 2010)

Ambushed Triquis had precautionary measures from the IACHR (Noticias de Oaxaca, 18 October)

Two Triquis who were ambushed by armed group die (La Jornada, 18 October)

MULT marches for peace in the Triqui region (La Jornada, 13 October)

Triquis demand implementation of precautionary measures in San Juan Copala (La Jornada, 13 October)

MULT marches in silence; it claims to seek dialogue and peace (Noticias de Oaxaca, 12 October)

MULT flyer for the 12 October march

IACHR calls for the protection of 135 Triquis (La Jornada, 10 October)

IACHR demands that Mexico protect the residents of Copala (Noticias de Oaxaca, 9 October)

IACHR awards precautionary measures to Copala habitants (Noticias de Oaxaca, 9 October)

Mining avarice, background of San Juan Copala (La Jornada, 9 October)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala is dismantled (30 September 2010)