TO THE TRIQUI PEOPLE
TO THE PEOPLE OF OAXACA
TO THE PEOPLE OF MEXICO AND THE WORLD
TO THE MEDIA
TO THE SOCIAL, CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS
The Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala informs the general public of the following recent events which occurred in the community of San Juan Copala.
Before dawn on September 13, at approximately 4 AM, more than 500 men, heavily armed with AK-47s, AR-15s and machine guns, from the Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle (MULT) and the Union for the Social Well-Being of the Triqui Region (UBISORT), coming from 20 MULT communities and 4 UBISORT communities, violently took over the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala and the Autonomous Municipal Palace. From the municipal palace, the former military barracks and the hills surrounding the area, paramilitaries fired and shouted at the same time, slogans like, “Long live MULT!,” “Long live UBISORT!,” “Long live Rastrojo!,” “Death to the autonomous!,” “Death to MULTI!,” “Death to José Ramírez Flores!,” “Death to teacher Miguel Ángel Velasco!,” “Death to Jesús Martínez Flores!,” “Copala now belongs to MULT and UBISORT,” and “You have until tomorrow to leave the community or be massacred like dogs!” During this invasion and violent attack, our comrades María Rosa Francisco, 35, and María Rosa López, 55, were wounded. The first was wounded in the ankle and calf on the left side and the second at the top of her left leg.
On September 15, UBISORT and MULT celebrated the bicentennial and centennial in the Autonomous Municipal Palace of San Juan Copala, an event which was videotaped and narrated in Spanish by Gabino Ávila Martínez from Cuyuchi Copala, a MULT paramilitary and activist who participated in taking the Autonomous Municipal Palace together with UBISORT, who is also the right-hand man of Rufino Merino Zaragoza and a tax-collector for the municipality of Santiago Juxtlahuaca, an area governed by the Popular Unity Party created by MULT, while more than 500 heavily-armed men from MULT and UBISORT watched over the inhabitants of the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala from all sides. That afternoon, our comrade Macaria Merino Martínez, 85, was wounded by MULT and UBISORT paramilitaries when she peeked out of the door of her home, receiving an AK-47 bullet in the top of her left ankle.
Before dawn on September 18, at 4:30 AM, our comrade David García Reyes, 25, was murdered by MULT and UBISORT paramilitaries in the atrium of the Catholic church when he tried to leave the community.
Before dawn on September 19, at 4 AM, our comrade Paulino Ramírez Reyes, 28, was murdered inside of his home, located just a few meters from the Catholic church, by MULT and UBISORT. Paulino was the son of Antonio Ramírez Flores, 72, a main moral leader and founder of the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala in Santa Cruz Tilapa, who was murdered on August 21 in Yerbasanta together with comrades Antonio Cruz García, 39, and Rigoberto Ramírez González, 40, while they were preparing for the “Third Peace Caravan” that was to leave Huajuapan de León, Oaxaca, for Mexico City on August 23. Also on September 19, our comrades Eugenio Martínez López, 65 and a moral leader and founder of the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala, Jordán González Ramírez, 33, María Augustina Flores, 54, and Susana López Martínez, 21, were disappeared.
On September 20, at 3 PM, MULT and UBISORT paramilitaries set fire to and destroyed more than 100 houses belonging to leaders and supporters of the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala, severely burning Pablo Velasco Dorantes, 16. Pablo Velasco is one of the sons of teacher Miguel Ángel Velasco, a main leader and founder of the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala. As well, our comrade José Gonzalo Cruz, 100, was disappeared.
Finally, we inform you that the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala has not ceased to exist and will not cease to exist because we have the backing and support of the people and various Triqui communities.
MULT and UBISORT can rob and burn our houses, but they will not intimidate us, we are stronger than ever!!
The MULT and UBISORT’s cowardly actions of robbing and burning our houses shows just what cowards they are!!
We will not be defeated by PRI paramilitaries nor by the pseudo-leftist murderers of MULT!!
We will not be defeated by the PRI paramilitaries of UBISORT!!
We will not be defeated by the murderer Ulises Ruiz Ortiz!!
Long live General Emiliano Zapata!!
Long live our leaders and comrades killed by MULT and UBISORT!!!
Long live our comrades who gave their lives and blood for our struggle!!!
Long live the autonomous peoples of Mexico and the world!!!
Long live our courageous women and children!!!
Long live the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala!!!
JESUS MARTINEZ FLORES
President of the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala
September 21, 2010
This post is also available in: Spanish