Filed under: Community Organizing, Indigenous, Land, Repression, Southern Mexico
Communique regarding the recent attacks against members of the Binnizá community of Puente Madera, Oaxaca.
With rage and sadness, we want to share with everyone that on Friday July 14, at around 9:30pm, two inhabitants of Puente Madera were traveling in a red pointer headed for the Tehuantepec bus terminal to deliver two boxes of tostada shells, when near Rancho Los Caporales, a few meters from the Puente Madera junction, they were hit by a grey Jetta driven by a drunken Carlos “Chipa.”
This “accident” occurred just hours before the arrival of the Governor of the State, Salomón Jara, to the municipality of San Blas Atempa. There he was received by the Secretary of Administration, Antónino Morales Toledo, who is responsible for the conflict in Puente Madera, and for whatever else may happen in the future to the inhabitants of Puente Madera. He has created a campaign of criminalization, defamation, and hatred against the dignified struggle of Puente Madera, which has resulted in a series of threats, aggressions, and attacks against inhabitants of the community and of APIIDTT, by police and military forces, as well as people and organizations linked to organized crime.
Due to the magnitude of the impact, 31-year-old Juan Cortés Meléndez, instantly lost his life. Juan was an active compañero in the Community Assembly of Puente Madera, participating in the mobilizations and collective work projects in defense of our communal land, El Pitayal. May you rest in peace brother Juan.
In this fatal accident, the passenger, 17-year-old Kevin Alberto Solorzano Cortés, was seriously injured. As of today he has received two surgeries and is in an intensive care unit fighting for his life.
On July 19, the Municipal Agent, David Hernández Salazar, and the Community Secretary, Guadalupe Rios Maldonado, were returning from an activity in a pickup truck, when at around 3:30pm they were hit by a 3.5-ton truck just kilometers from the entrance of Puente Madera, near the marker for Tehuantepec.
While the truck they were traveling in was entirely destroyed, neither of the two suffered any injuries. At the moment, they are being released to be taken home in Puente Madera.
We call on everyone to be attentive to the situation in the Indigenous Binnizá community of Puente Madera, in the face of this series of events that has put at risk the physical and psychological well-being of the representatives and inhabitants of the community, in addition to a long list of threats, harassment, and defamation.
Enough of the criminalization, defamation, and attacks against Puente Madera!
You are not alone!
Justice for Juan Cortés!
To defend El Pitayal is to defend life!
From the Barricade in El Pitayal
Community Assembly of Puente Madera
Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Istmo In Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT)