by Scott Campbell
On Saturday, July 31, around 50 individuals from various collectives and organizations in the city of Oaxaca blockaded Calle Benito Juárez in front of the federal courthouse for two hours to protest the escalating aggression against the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala. Initial reports from the region indicated that 400 paramilitaries from the state-backed Union for the Well-Being of the Triqui Region (UBISORT) have entered the autonomous municipality accompanied by 300 Oaxaca state police in an effort to crush the autonomous project underway in San Juan Copala, a municipality of 70 families who have been under siege by UBISORT and the Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle (MULT) paramilitaries for seven months.
Protesters demanded an end to the siege, an end to state-backed paramilitary aggression, the immediate exit of paramilitary, police and military forces from San Juan Copala, implicated Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz as the one responsible for the violence, and expressed their support for the autonomous municipality. After two hours the blockade was lifted and a march made its way through town to the city’s central plaza.