Solidarity Caravan to the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala

by VOCAL / CACTUS — published on Tuesday, April 27, 2010, before the attack against the caravan

Today, 26th of April 2010, San Juan Copala is besieged; the community does not have electricity, the water pipes have been cut, the schools have been shut down since January and there are no doctors. When the women leave the community in order to look for water and food they are hassled by paramilitaries. The constant control and the siege delimit life in the community. For this reason due to the permanent violation of elemental human rights, the climate of hostilities and to the continuous aggressions against the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala, we are organizing a Solidarity Caravan to cover and support the process of autonomous organization and self-determination of the Municipality of San Juan Copala.

Today, one part of the Caravan, consisting of the local commission of VOCAL as well as a group of Human Rights Observers from different European countries (Finland, Germany, Italy and Belgium), arrived in the city of Huajupan de Leon in order to head to the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala tomorrow.

Furthermore, tomorrow more people and organizations that are members of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) and of the section 22 of the teachers’ union of Oaxaca, as well as a broader delegation of international observers, will arrive.

The caravan’s objectives are providing active support to the self-organization of the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala and its struggle to unify the Triqui people, as well as contributing to avoid any kind of aggression against the Triqui community. The Caravan also aims to document and to break the media silence on the prevailing situation in the area. For this reason the Caravan is realized by comrades from the social movement in Oaxaca, with the participation of international Human Rights Observers and local Mixtec organizations, especially the Centre for Communal Support (CACTUS) and the network of radios and indigenous media from the Mexican South-East.

At the same time Rufino Juárez, head of UBISORT (local paramilitary group), declares to media that under no circumstances they would allow the entrance of any caravan and that they would not take responsibility for any possible occurrences. Given the circumstances, we hold the government of Ulises Ruiz responsible for any aggression any representative of the media or human rights observer could face. Hence, we demand Evencio Martínez and the government to guarantee the transit of the Caravan and the media without any trouble or threats like the ones coming from UBISORT.

We are calling for the media, the civil society and the general public to stay informed and alert about the Caravan and its journey across the Mixtec region of Oaxaca towards the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala.

We do not consider the struggle of the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala as being an isolated struggle, but rather as part of the struggle for land and territory that is going on throughout the state of Oaxaca against the violent appropriation carried out by the bad government and transnational corporations.

Oaxacan Voices Constructing Autonomy and Freedom (VOCAL)
Centre for Communal Support (CACTUS)
Commission of international Human Rights Observers
Network of radios and indigenous communicators of the Mexican South-East

Huajuapan de León, Oaxaca. April 26, 2010, Tel 9535322147

Background information in English:

Tension in the Triqui Region of Oaxaca.

Death Squads in Oaxaca

The autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala (Oaxaca)