EZLN and Indigenous Mexicans Demand Release of Yaqui Tribe Leader
Mario Luna, Yaqui activist in the Mexican state of Sonora fighting for water rights. (Photo: RevolucionTresPuntoCero)
15 September 2014
Both groups assert leader Mario Luna was framed by the Sonora government.
The Mexican guerrilla group Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN, for its acronym in Spanish) and the Native Mexican Culture Congress (CNI) demanded on Monday the release of Mario Luna, leader of the Mexican Yaqui tribe.
Both organizations released a joint statement in which they assert that Luna was arrested for his fight against the Independence Aqueduct, built in the Mexican state of Sonora, and along a vast area that belongs to the Yaqui tribe.
The powerful “have failed in killing our people. Like seeds we keep growing. They tried to kill us with guns and, because they failed, then they tried to kill us with diseases and again they failed. The powerful have used several ways to wipe out indigenous people,” reads the statement.
Last week, the tribe members announced that Luna was detained by several men dressed as civilians and travelling in unidentified cars.
Later, the authorities said the officers who detained him were carrying out an apprehension order that was issued against Luna on June 14, 2013 by the Third Justice of the First Criminal Court of Hermosillo Sonora.
Luna was charged with kidnapping and robbery for a series of events that occurred June 8, 2013 during a roadblock when a person drove through a Yaqui barricade at a Sonora highway to protest the construction of the aqueduct.
However, Luna and the Yaqui tribe denied the charges. After being accused, Luna ran away to Mexico City, but he returned to Sonora several months later.
Luna, according to the EZLN and the CNI, was framed for his fight against the construction of the aqueduct.
Monday’s statement also recalled that the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice said that the Sonora government violated the Yaqui tribe rights and ordered local authorities to compensate the tribe for the damage done over the aqueduct construction.