Solidarity Caravan Attacked in Oaxaca, Mexico
Oaxaca Teachers Protesting in 2006
A solidarity caravan has been ambushed by pro-government paramilitaries in the Oaxaca region of Mexico
Two people were killed - a Mexican acitivist and a solidarity worker from Finland and three more are missing. The caravan was trying to get supplies through to the autonomous communuty of Triqui. Among those in the caravan were members of section 22 of the teachers' union SNTE. Because of the paramililtary blockade children in the area have not had any classes since January.
The Oaxaca state saw heroic struggles in 2006 led by teachers against a brutal government (see previous posts)
There follows a report which was posted on the Independent Media website:
A solidarity caravan travelling to the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala in the Triqui Region of Oaxaca has been attacked by UBISORT paramilitaries. 2 are confirmed dead, with at least 15 injured and 3 missing.
Oaxaca: Paramilitary attack leaves two dead and three disappeared
Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca
April 27, 2010
To the media
To the people of Mexico
To the people of the world
To the people of Oaxaca
Armed attack against the Caravan of Support and Solidarity with the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala, Oaxaca
Yesterday the realization of this caravan to the Triqui region, inside of our state of Oaxaca, was announced to the media. In this caravan there are comrades from the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), Section 22 of the teachers' union, Oaxacan Voices Constructing Autonomy and Freedom (VOCAL), CACTUS, members of MULTI (Independent Triqui Movement of Unification and Struggle), as well as international observer comrades.
As was already announced, the caravan left today, April 27, 2010, at approximately 11 AM from the city of Huajuapan de Leon, Oaxaca, with the goal of breaking the siege that the Autonomous Triqui Community finds itself in as a result of state and paramilitary repression against the process of autonomy which it is building inside this community. Violent paramilitary attacks have occurred at different moments during the autonomous process of San Juan Copala and have been directed by the paramilitary organization called UBISORT (Union for Social Well-Being in the Triqui Region) which in reality is presided over by Rufino Juárez Hernández and the MULT (Triqui Movement of Unification and Struggle Movement.)
Before the departure of the caravan, the autonomous president of San Juan Copala, Jesús Martínez Flores, placed responsibility for any attack on Evencio Nicolás Martínez, Oaxaca State Attorney General, Jorge Franco Vargas "El Chucky", State Interior Minister, and Carlos Martínez, local PRI candidate for the state congress. Also, he urged UBISORT and MULT to behave responsibly and with earnestness towards the peace negotiations for the Triqui people.
Approximately 100 kilometers before reaching La Sabana, the road was blocked with rocks, and that is where the cowardly armed attack began, by about 15 paramilitaries in the service of the murderer Ulises Ruiz Ortiz's government (the type of weapon is unknown), leaving vehicles destroyed, wounding a comrade, and leaving two people dead.
During the attack, some comrades escaped, hiding in the hill, and of those who don't know their way we are worried that they have been captured by the paramilitaries. Those comrades who as of now are disappeared are NOE BAUTISTA JIMENEZ, DAVID VENEGAS REYES, and DANIEL ARELLANO CHAVEZ, all of them members of VOCAL.
Regrettably, as information is coming in we know that two comrades lost their lives in this paramilitary attack; they are BEATRÍZ ALBERTA CARIÑO TRUJILLO, a member of CACTUS, and TYRI ANTERO JAAKKOLA, an international observer comrade from Finland. Both died as a result of gunshots.
During the events, comrade MONICA CITLALI SANTIAGO ORTIZ was wounded in the back by a gunshot and was attended to by medics in Juxtlahuaca.
Those who stayed in the area of the shooting were taken from the vehicles and brought to the hill to be interrogated; some were threatened with death and later were released on the highway. Comrade RUBÉN VALENCIA NUÑEZ, a member of VOCAL, was detained by paramilitaries who took his I.D., his cell phone, and threatened him with death, then let him go.
An ambulance came to the site of the events to attend to the wounded, but was also cowardly shot at by the paramilitaries, which forced it to leave. While they were leaving, they found a wounded comrade who they attended to, and to whom they confirmed the death of the comrades previously mentioned.
As a result of the confusion and uncertainty of the events, the location of the previously mentioned comrades is unknown, as is their physical and psychological condition.
WE ENERGETICALLY DENOUNCE:
That this armed attack is a product of the conditions of institutional violence and impunity that paramilitary groups enjoy in this region of our state. Institutional violence directed at the different manifestations of social struggle in Oaxaca, and specifically against the construction of autonomous processes.
This attack occurred in the context of the isolation and state of siege that the municipality of San Juan Copala lives under, where since January the children have not had classes, where the community does not have electricity, potable water, doctors, and lives under permanent paramilitary harassment as a result of the blockade they have established there.
That the murderer Ulises Ruiz's government end the paramilitary attacks in the Triqui region. As well, that he end the financing, arming and impunity that these paramilitary groups enjoy in our state.
The immediate return of our disappeared comrades.
To the people of Oaxaca, of Mexico, to the international community and the different social organizations, collectives, and groups, to visibly show your solidarity and support with the demand for the return, alive, of our disappeared brothers and for the punishing of those responsible. Also, we fraternally call on you to demand an end to the violent conditions facing the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala.
The live return of the disappeared comrades!
Punishment for the murderers of our comrades!
End the attacks on the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala!
End the paramilitary blockade that encircles this autonomous Triqui community!
Oaxacan Voices Constructing Autonomy and Freedom