Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca. April 27, 2010
To the news media
To the peoples of Mexico
To the peoples of the world
To the peoples of Oaxaca
Armed attack on the Support and Solidarity Caravan to the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala, Oaxaca
Yesterday, an announcement was sent to the news media about the Caravan headed for the Triqui Region in our state of Oaxaca. Caravan participants include members of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), Section 22 of the teachers’ union, Oaxacan Voices Constructing Autonomy and Freedom (VOCAL), CACTUS, members of MULT-I (Independent Triqui Movement of Unification and Struggle), as well as international observers.
As announced, the caravan left the city of Huajuapan de León, Oaxaca, at 11:00 a.m. on April 27, 2010, with the aim of breaking the siege around the Autonomous Triqui Community, a manifestation of state and paramilitary repression on the process of autonomy being built in this community. The violent paramilitary attacks have occurred at different times in San Juan Copala’s autonomous process and have been led by the paramilitary UBISORT organization (Social Welfare Union of the Triqui Region), now presided over by Rufino Juárez Hernández and MULT (Triqui Movement of Unification and Struggle).
Before the caravan left, the autonomous president of San Juan Copala, Jesús Martínez Flores held the following people responsible for any aggression whatsoever against it: Oaxaca State Attorney General Evencio Nicolás Martínez, Oaxaca Minister of the Interior Jorge Franco Vargas, ”el Chuky”, and PRI party legislative candidate Carlos Martínez. He also demanded that UBISORT and MULT behave responsibly and take the Triqui people’s peace talks seriously.
About 100 Km. from the entrance to La Sabana, the road was blocked with stones, and that’s where the cowardly attack began with firearms whose caliber is as of yet undetermined. The attack was perpetrated by around 15 paramilitaries at the service of the government of the killer Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, destroying the vehicles, wounding one comrade, and killing two others, according to initial reports.
During the attack, some comrades escaped, running into the mountains. Their location is unknown and it is feared that they have been captured by paramilitaries. The disappeared comrades are NOE BAUTISTA JIMENEZ, DAVID VENEGAS REYES, and DANIEL ARELLANO CHAVEZ, all members of VOCAL.
We have just received information about the two comrades who lost their lives in this attack. They are CACTUS member BEATRÌZ ALBERTA CARIÑO TRUJILLO, and an international observer from Finland, JYRI ANTERO JAAKKOLA. Both were shot dead.
During the attack, our comrade MONICA CITLALI SANTIAGO ORTIZ was shot in the back and has received medical attention at Juxtlahuaca.
Other people at the scene of the shooting were forced out of the vehicles and taken down the mountain to be interrogated. Some received death threats before being released on the highway. VOCAL member RUBÈN VALENCIA NUÑEZ was detained by paramilitaries who took his voter registration card and cell phone and threatened him with death before turning him loose.
An ambulance arrived at the scene to give medical attention to the wounded, but it was also fired upon in a cowardly paramilitary attack, causing it to leave. As it was leaving, the medics came to the aid of a wounded comrade, who confirmed the deaths of the two previously mentioned comrades.
Due to confusion and uncertainty regarding the events, it has been impossible to ascertain the whereabouts or the physical and psychological situation of the previously mentioned comrades.
WE EMPHATICALLY DENOUNCE the fact that this armed attack is the product of the conditions of institutional violence and impunity enjoyed by paramilitary groups in this region of our state and directed against different expressions of the social struggle in Oaxaca, specifically the construction of autonomous processes.
This aggression takes place in the circumstances of isolation and the state of siege imposed on the municipality of San Juan Copala, where children have been deprived of their classes since January. Furthermore, the lights have been turned off and the community has no access to drinking water or medical personnel. It is subjected to permanent harassment from military troops that have set up a roadblock just outside the town.
— that the government of the killer Ulises Ruiz put an end to all paramilitary attacks in the Triqui Region, and to the financing, provision of arms, and impunity enjoyed by these paramilitary groups in our state;
— and assure the immediate presentation of our disappeared comrades.
WE CALL ON:
the people of Oaxaca, Mexico, and the international community and different social organizations, collectives and groups to make a visible show of solidarity and support, demanding the live presentation of our disappeared brothers and punishment of the responsible people. We also ask that you demand an end to the conditions of violence imposed on the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala.
Punishment for the murders of our comrades!
An end to the attacks against the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala!
An end to the paramilitary blockade around this autonomous Triqui community!
Oaxacan Voices Constructing Autonomy and Freedom