by Zapatista Support Group Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand
The Wellington Zapatista Support Group unveiled an altar opposite the Mexican Embassy at 12.30pm Tuesday 08 June to commemorate some of those murdered by paramilitaries in the San Juan Copala autonomous community in Oaxaca, Mexico in recent months, and to demand that the Mexican Government give safe passage to the international humanitarian caravan that will again attempt to break the siege and deliver essential aid to the members of the community.
The blockade of San Juan Copala and the attack on the caravan delivering aid in April which resulted in the deaths of a Mexican and a Finnish human rights defender, bear an ominous resemblance to the recent Israeli attack on international groups attempting to deliver aid to a besieged Gaza.
Condemnations of both the blockade and the attack on an aid delivery to San Juan Copala have been made by the European Parliament, Amnesty International and scores of social groups and movements, to no avail.
A large international caravan of human rights observers and organisations, journalists, solidarity activists, and aid agencies is today on its way to San Juan Copala, and will attempt to break the blockade and deliver essential food, clothing and medicines within the next 24 hours.
In addition to unveiling the altar and handing out information, the Wellington Zapatista Support Group presented a letter to the Mexican Government, care of Mexican Embassy personnel, demanding:
- the Mexican Federal and Oaxaca State Government ensure the safe passage of the humanitarian caravan delivering aid to the besieged autonomous community of San Juan Copala;
- both governments take immediate action to protect the residents of San Juan Copola, and ensure that they have access to adequate supplies of food and water; as well as all necessary health care;
- an end to the siege of the community by the UBISORT armed paramilitary group, so that residents can move freely, communicate with the outside world and receive visits from humanitarian missions without fear of attack or reprisal;
- an independent investigation into the deaths of José Celestino Hernández Cruz, Alberta Cariño, known as Beatriz or Bety, Jyri Antero Jaakkola, Alejandro Ramirez, and Cleriberta Castro, with the results made public and those responsible brought to justice;
- the federal authorities prevent human rights abuses committed by members of UBISORT against local residents, and investigate the group’s links to members of the PRI, the governing party in Oaxaca, and bring all those implicated in human rights abuses to justice.
You can download a pdf copy of the flier given out at the protest here: 8Junflierweb.pdf
Please feel free to copy and distribute this information!