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Jul 19, 23

Solidarity Campaign for the Freedom and Defense of Puente Madera

Call for solidarity with the Binnizá community of Puente Madera, San Blas Atempa, Oaxaca, facing state repression for the defense of their communal lands.

On July 20, 2023, another court hearing will be held in the case of our compañero, David Hernández Salazar. He has been accused of several fabricated crimes seeking to imprison him and halt his work as representative and spokesperson for the Indigenous Binnizá community of Puente Madera. In the same legal file are seventeen others from the community, all with fabricated crimes and arrest warrants.

David Hernández Salazar is the municipal agent of Puente Madera, member of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT), and also of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI). He has been active in the defense of land, territory, and human rights since 2017 when he joined the struggle against the extraction of material in Cerro Igú in the common use lands of El Pitayal. For that struggle, he was first imprisoned. Not long afterwards, he participated in the resistance against the electrical substation of the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA) again in the lands of El Pitayal. At that time, the young politician, Antonino Morales Toledo, emerged as a traitor to the community of San Blas Atempa, negotiating with SEDENA.

The struggle of Puente Madera was reactivated on March 14, 2021, when in an orchestrated assembly, the communal authorities of San Blas Atempa, in collusion with the then municipal president, Antonino Morales Toledo, sought to impose an industrial park in the common use lands of El Pitayal. The industrial park is officially known as a Pole of Development for Well-being (PODEBI) of the Interoceanic Corridor of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (CIIT).

In May of 2021, legal complaints were filed by the Secretary of Infrastructure Communications and Transport and the Municipality of San Blas Atempa against David and other inhabitants of Puente Madera. This was the first expression of criminalization and persecution. From that date forward, there has been a campaign of defamation, harassment, and threats against David, inhabitants of Puente Madera, and members of APIIDTT. This intimidation is being carried out by all three levels of government, political party organizations, politicians, and businessmen with interests in the installation of the industrial park.

As beneficiaries of the Mechanism to Protect Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, we have reported and denounced this series of incidents putting our physical and psychological well-being at risk. For example, there has been surveillance by armed people in the offices of APIIDTT in Juchitán searching for Mario Quintero, who has received constant death threats via telephone calls and text messages.

For this, we call on the Indigenous, social, popular, and human rights organizations, the national and international media collectives, to make visible and denounce these actions against Puente Madera and APIIDTT.

Equally, we ask those who are capable to give a solidarity donation to help cover the expenses needed in David’s case, as well as the 17 others facing charges in Puente Madera.

To those who can support, collaborate, or donate to the campaign and the dignified struggle of Puente Madera, you can get in touch with us here:

[email protected]

Telegram: @asamblea_istmo

From the barricade in El Pitayal

Community Assembly of Puente Madera

Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory—APIIDTT

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