Statement from San Juan Copala regarding the ambush, calling for a second caravan


May 11, 2010

Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala, Oaxaca

We will NOT look for you among the dead,
We will continue to walk together, now with your intercession,
until the complete liberation of your people, our people”


Comrades of the media, we have called you together at the request of the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala. As the bearers of the voice of our people, we want all the people of Mexico to hear directly from us what happened on the 27th of last month and what continues to happen in our community.

That day, a group of criminals who call themselves the UBISORT social organization cowardly and treacherously murdered two human rights observers who were part of the caravan that departed from Huajuapan de León and who attempted, in a peaceful manner, to observe the criminal harassment which our people have been subjected to. The murderers, obeying the orders of he who hides his criminal face in the halls of government, have cut the drinking water and electricity and have obstructed the entry of food and teachers into the community, causing our children’s basic level classes to be suspended and for the health center’s medic to be forced to abandon the town. This is how the powerful in this country seek to put down the resistance and the quest for a dignified life for indigenous communities in Mexico.

We admit that in our region there are residents who, renouncing their culture and denying their history, serve the interests of the powerful who have always sowed division amongst us with the one goal of expelling the legitimate heirs to these lands in order to appropriate their natural wealth. As residents of San Juan Copala, we know who committed these crimes, and we know not only because of all they have done to us before but because they are the same who in the days before the caravan made public threats in the media. They are the same who obstructed the passage of the comrades from San Salvador Atenco, they are the same who, with brazen statements to some media outlets, are now trying to blame us for their criminal actions.

It is necessary to clarify that the Autonomous Municipality project of San Juan Copala was not created on a whim, on the contrary, because we know and love our history, it is an agreement of communal assembly that arose with the intent of pacifying the region through an indigenous government which rules through uses and customs without the interference of political parties and organizations, as we are convinced that a government which LEADS BY OBEYING will bring forgiveness, reconciliation and peace to our peoples in order to achieve the social development that we so desire. We want those who govern us to walk with us with a deep respect for our mother earth, our culture and our indigenous cosmovision; because of this we issue a fraternal call to our brothers and sisters who walk with the dignity of being indigenous to let us strengthen the communal assemblies, as it will be those which, sooner rather than later, will carry the fate of the region and expel from our grounds those who, believing us incapable of thinking, make decisions without ever consulting the people, they are those who, in the end, foster division and violence.

We demand that the Mexican state punish those responsible for all the crimes committed in the Triqui region, particularly the murders of our comrade Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola and we ask all of you to assist us in denouncing this state of injustice and watching to see that there is no impunity.

Finally, and as a result of the grave state of injustice and despair which we endure in the Municipality of San Juan Copala, we have asked the Diocesan Commission of Peace and Justice and the Bartolomé Carrasco Regional Human Rights Center to assist us in convening another humanitarian and observational caravan, making provisions for all the security measures and coordinating with all the national and international human rights organizations interested in corroborating the situation we live under in San Juan Copala, we need everyone in order to reach the political agreements that will definitively break the paramilitary, economic, political, social, media and starvation siege which is confronting our town.

We send a hug to our brother Omar and reaffirm our commitment to never give up, because the future that we yearn for is near. We know and believe that the night is darkest before the dawn.

Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala