Filed under: Communique, Indigenous, Repression, Southern Mexico, The State
Communique from the Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Rights (CODEDI), denouncing the recent detention, harassment, and threats carried out against members of the organization in Oaxaca
To the People of Oaxaca
To the People of Mexico and the World
To the Social Organizations
To the National and International Human Rights Organizations
To the Free and Paid Media
On Saturday, July 24, Josué Sánchez and Cristóbal Ramírez Cruz (spokesperson for CODEDI), were arbitrarily detained by the municipal police of Santa María Huatulco, in the neighborhood of Veinte de Noviembre. The patrol car was numbered A-0005, but didn’t have plate numbers. The police said they were responding to “A citizen report of suspicious activity.”
Our compañeros identified themselves to the police. With their faces covered and without saying a word, the police called for backup, resulting in the presence of three patrol cars. The supposed commander, who had his face covered the whole time, “approached them and said that they were going to take them to police headquarters in the municipal seat.”
The compañeros complied. Before arriving to the place known as “El Crucero,” the police stopped to interrogate them again, asking about some supposed weapons. When they found nothing, they continued on toward the municipality of Santa María Huatulco. When they arrived, the patrol cars did a U turn, and headed towards the airport.
Before arriving to “El Crucero,” they turned off onto a dirt road where unknown people were waiting for them. These people were dressed in civilian clothing, and were totally alien to the police force, seemingly belonging to organized crime.
These people violently threatened the compañeros, asking them for weapons that they supposedly had. The compañeros continually responded that they didn’t have any weapons. They were turned over to the police, “to be seized.” The compañeros were taken back to the municipal seat where the police charged them with a fine. The commander told them, “In order to pass through Santa María Huatulco, you will have to pay, nobody passes through here for free.” This is a clear sign that we live in a narco-state.
In a world where the state, municipal, and police authorities–those who supposedly watch over the security of the citizens–work hand in hand with organized crime, there can be no security for anyone. As communities of the Southern Sierra, Coast, Istmo, and Central Valleys of Oaxaca, we make an urgent call to the Federal Government to investigate the authorities of Santa Maria Huatulco, led by Dr. Geovani Gonzales, along with the municipal police, for their ties to organized crime and for extorting the population.
As Indigenous peoples, we will not allow ourselves to be exploited and intimidated in this way. We have endured more than 500 years of injustice and attacks from capital. We are here to demand respect for our right to autonomy, our right to a dignified life, our right to live in peace. We are tired of the fact that the authorities who claim to obey the law and protect the citizens, are the ones who orchestrate these types of actions.
We call on the social organizations, solidarity collectives in Mexico and the world, as well as the human rights organizations, to be attentive to whatever aggression our compañeros might suffer. We hold responsible Dr. Geovani Gonzáles, the municipal police of Santa María Huatulco, the State Government of Oaxaca led by Alejandro Murat, and the Federal Government, for whatever act of harassment, threat, or repression carried out against those make up the Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Rights (CODEDI).