Communiqué from VOCAL about the Armed Attack on the Caravan

Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca. April 29, 2010.

To the news media
To the peoples of Oaxaca
To the peoples of Mexico
To the people of the world


Armed attack on the Support and Solidarity Caravan to the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala, Oaxaca

On April 27, 2010, brutal state and paramilitary repression came down on the autonomy process being constructed in the San Juan Copala community. The Caravan was fired upon approximately 4 km before reaching the La Sabana community, where the road was blocked with stones. In this cowardly attack, around 15 paramilitaries at the service of the killer Ulises Ruiz Ortiz’s government used firearms of an unknown caliber that left the vehicles destroyed.

We are sorry to say that two comrades lost their lives in this paramilitary attack. They are CACTUS member ALBERTA CARIÑO TRUJILLO (BETI CARIÑO), whose death we deeply regret, and JYRI ANTERO JAAKKOLA, an international observer from Finland who belonged to Barco Stelle and ISI TULLI. He was a comrade who loved Oaxacan communality and volunteered to work with VOCAL on food sovereignty and climate change projects. We deeply regret the loss of our friend and brother JYRI. Both comrades died of bullet wounds to the back and the head.

Our comrade MONICA CITLALI SANTIAGO ORTIZ was wounded in the back by splinters from a rebounding bullet described as high-caliber by medical personnel of the IMSS Hospital. She was released on April 28 and her condition is completely stable.

Our comrades appeared today, April 29. At approximately 12:00 am DAVID VENEGAS REYES and NOE BAUTISTA JIMENEZ were able to get to the town of Juxtlahuaca. We hold Ulises Ruiz Ortiz and government officials at all levels responsible for anything that may happen to them on their way home. We call on human rights organizations and the news media to be vigilant.

David and Noe were in hiding in the hills with David Cilia and Érika Ramírez and have brought the news that these disappeared reporters of the Contralinea magazine are alive and need to be rescued. Érika Ramírez has not been wounded, but is dehydrated and weak. David Cilia has a bullet wound in his left foot and was grazed by a bullet in his waist. These are not wounds that put his life at risk unless he continues to go without food. We urge their immediate rescue.

Other comrades, including international observers who participated in the Caravan, are safe, although the details of their situation are not clear.


– that the government of the killer Ulises Ruiz Ortiz put an end to paramilitary attacks in the Triqui Region, and to the financing, arming and impunity of these paramilitary groups in our state;

– that the paramilitary blockade around the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala be withdrawn and that the autonomous indigenous communities be respected;

-that the physical and moral integrity of our comrades who were in the Caravan be guaranteed, especially that of RUBEN VALENCIA NUÑEZ, who was threatened with death;

-that the murders of our slain comrades ALBERTA CARIÑO TRUJILLO and JYRI ANTERO JAAKKOLA be punished;

-and that the immediate live presentation of the reporters Érika Ramírez and David Cilia be accomplished.

WE WISH TO THANK the people of Oaxaca, Mexico, the international community, and the social organizations, embassies, collectives, and groups for your visible solidarity and support, and we ask you to keep demanding the live presentation of the disappeared people and punishment for those responsible for their murders. We also ask you to demand an end to the conditions of violence imposed on the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala.

Oaxacan Voices Constructing Autonomy and Freedom (VOCAL)

Read the ‘VOCAL communiqué on the ambush of the Caravan to San Juan Copala