Mexico: Statement Against Repression From the Central Valleys of Oaxaca

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This communique comes from a group of community members and collectives in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, Mexico. It speaks to the ongoing organizing around land defense and community self-determination in Oaxaca, along with the repression such movements and communities are facing.

To the Human Rights Organizations

To the Anti-authoritarian Collectives

To the People in Struggle and Resistance

To the Committed Activists

To the People in General

Since 2006 in Oaxaca, a grassroots movement has been active with compañeras and compañeros of different walks of life—professionals, campesinos and campesinas, workers, housewives, young students and non-students—that struggle for a common cause: a better world.

The result of 2006 we already know, some opportunistic groups positioned themselves in the state government of the assassin Gabino Cué through nefarious political parties. But the society, far from these opportunistic groups, has continued organizing, resisting and rebelling against projects of death and dispossession wherever they are found.

We have accompanied our compañeros and compañeras of the central valleys of Oaxaca. Without taking our foot off the pedal, we have been concretizing certain projects that concern us as communities in struggle. We do not trust the arrival of the new government and the so-called “fourth transformation”. Far from rejoicing and celebrating, it is time to double down on our organizational efforts with those who do their organizing work from below.

From those present on December 9th at the KRUZ space in San Juan Chilateca, Ocotlán—organizations, collectives, people, activists—we share and denounce the latest events, aggressions and threats against our compañeros and compañeras.

We denounce the illegal detention of our compañero Josué Sernas García on part of the municipal authority of Santiago Matatlán, Tlacolula. His illegal detention is the result of his involvement in the struggle against mining for more than three years. His community and municipality were concessioned by a mining company without consultation with the people of the community.

Compañero Josué Sernas García has worked in defense of human rights and has been a strong critic of projects of dispossession. Furthermore, he is an important cultural worker and he organizes in defense of public education. We extend our solidarity to him and his family members.

We denounce the attempt by private individuals to dispossess a fraction of land in Yahuín de San Juan Chilateca this past Sunday November 25th. This took place amidst a political conflict, which started from the imposition of an authority, at the order of the ex-local politician Eva Diego Cruz, one of the principle operates of the company Fortuna Silver Mines. This company is already working a mining project in San José del Progreso, Oaxaca.

We denounce the aggression against a compañero of the community of Ocotlán de Morelos. The aggression took place while he was in a conference presenting information about mining concessions that exist in the community and a recent spill from a Custcatlán Mining dam. Armed men threatened the compañero and he was told, “If he continued with his educational work the aggressions would take place against his family.”

We also denounce the attempt to forcefully impose a fraudulent election for municipal authority in the community of San Dionisio del Mar.

On December 9th, while armed groups and state police were stationed on the outskirts of the community, a fraudulent “extraordinary assembly” was organized, in spite of the majority of the community having rejected it.

This aggression against the autonomy and free determination of San Dionisio del Mar was prepared by the IEEPCO, the state government, in coordination with all political parties.

All of this in order to impose authorities willing to grant permits so that in the Barra de Santa Teresa—where the communities of San Dionisio and San Mateo del Mar are located along with the municipal agency of Álvaro Obregón of Juchitán—the largest wind farm in Latin America can be built. With this project, the people are being dispossessed of their territory and their ancestral forms of life.

We also denounce the irresponsible manner in which the federal and state governments have acted in the face of the toxic spill from the Fortuna Silver Mines dam in San José del Progreso. The spill contaminated the Rio Coyote and the fresh-water well of the community of Magdalena Ocotlán.

This spill happened on October 7th and after more than two months, there has not been any response from the authorities to the contamination and much less sanctions on this despicable mining company.

Those signed below pronounce:

We are enraged against those who have attacked us and those who continue to allow such attacks to happen.

With the inability of the official institutions to function, we will continue coordinating with the communities of the central valleys of Oaxaca, preparing the people’s defense by all legal and legitimate means.

End the criminal politics against the people that resist megaprojects!

Enough of the aggressions against those that fight for land and territory!

The earth is not for sale. It is loved and defended!

Autonomy and free determination for our peoples!

Signed:

Colectivo Autónomo Espacio KRUZ

Grupo de Investigación- Acción Autónoma Autónoma

Medio de comunicación Alternativo Ala Sur

Community members from:

San Juan Chilateca

Magdalena Ocotlán

San Antonio Castill Velasco

Ocotlán de Morelos

Tlacolula

La Asamblea Oaxaqueña por la Diversidad Sexual

 


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Voices in Movement
Voices in Movement publishes translations and analysis – both contemporary and historical – to share strategy, solidarity and histories of resistance across imaginary divisions of nations and borders, drawing insight from struggles of below and to the left, where the heart is. They also author Revuelta Comunitaria, a semi-regular column on It's Going Down addressing social struggles and political repression in the territory of so-called Mexico.