Archive for san juan copala

Report from the 2nd Caravan to San Juan Copala – Day 1

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2010 by floweroftheword

Mission Copala 1st day, June 7, 2010

by Libertas Anticorp

We got to the City of Oaxaca in the Central Valleys in the southern part of the country just two days before the departure of the Bety Cariño and Jyri Jakkola Humanitarian Caravan from Mexico City to take food and water to San Juan Copala. This autonomous municipality, adherent to the Other Campaign, is a political initiative promoted by the Zapatistas and the Independent Triqui Movement for Unification and Struggle (MULTI), a rupture from the historic MULT organization, now involved in the system of electoral politics and local power bosses.

The teachers’ union and social organizations related to the APPO are camped out in the city’s Zocalo. As in 2006, this plaza is a space that has been won by the protests and organization of the Oaxacan movement.

At the center of the encampment are the San Juan Copala tents. People there told us about some of the solidarity activities being organized in the city of Oaxaca, as well as in other parts of Mexico and the world, including Vancouver, Canada; Paris, France; Portland, United States; Barcelona, Spain, and different places in Greece, Germany, and Italy, among others.

Marches, rallies, street blockades and other activities will be going on in Mexico City and other parts of the country at the same time the Caravan enters Copala just after 9 in the morning of June 8. These activities will not end until the next day, when the mission of breaking the siege is accomplished, putting an end to the paramilitary kidnapping of around a hundred indigenous Triqui families in their own land.

Once again, the free and independent media are playing an important role in Oaxaca. Just as independent communication was a vital priority in 2006, hundreds of media activists are either on their way or have arrived in these lands to give voice to the struggles that power has opted to smother in deathly silence.

There’s no doubt that going on the Caravan is a big risk in light of recent events. Everyone remembers what happened last April 27, when the last Caravan was ambushed with high caliber bullets that are only used by the Army. In this ambush, human rights defender Bety Cariño and Finnish ecologist Jyri Jakkola were murdered, and many others were arrested, beaten, and tortured. This attack is one of a long list of threats and hostilities that have occurred ever since the autonomous municipality was formed and have become more intense in the last 6 months, to the extent that they’ve turned into a war of extermination against an indigenous people struggling for autonomy and freedom.

In Copala, dozens of people have been killed, including the two young women who were independent radio announcers, and most recently, a major indigenous leader and his wife, converting these outrages into everyday events.

Some say that this is an inter-ethnic conflict, or in other words, a dispute between indigenous groups, but over and above this is the reality of an aggressor that goes unchecked by the laws of the State or by its repressive forces. On the contrary, all indications are that it is trained by the armed forces and receives government support and impunity for committing murders, kidnappings, and the subjugation of people under the threat of death.

Lukewarm statements by the Oaxaca state government range from advising people to call off the Caravan to refusing to accept responsibility for protecting the Caravan to looking for a functionary to hold responsible for the situation. It’s known that there are groups of drug traffickers in the area, making the political map even more complex.

UBISORT (Union for Triqui Social Welfare) is the group that has systematically engaged in paramilitary repression. It has refused to accept any responsibility for guaranteeing the safety of the Caravan, and has gone so far as to block the entry ways into Copala by using heavy machinery to move enormous stones, leaving ditches that make it impossible for vehicles to get by.

These hours are full of tension, with the memory still fresh of the attack on the first Caravan, and the awareness of the more recent repression in Palestinian waters against another humanitarian caravan by the Israeli State.

The risk is great, but the outrage is even greater. The Triquis in the Central Valleys know it. You can tell by the absorbed looks on their faces. Their families don’t have water, light, food, or medicine, and they live with the fear that they or their loved ones will be shot and killed if they go outside their homes.

They also know it may well be suicide to travel the only road into this town where rebel hearts beat. These are hard times for humanity. What’s at stake is showing whether it’s possible to be brother and sisters instead of wolves, and whether it’s possible to win out over power and money in gaining hearts and minds.

It’s not the first time that the Mexican State has leveled all its force against autonomy. The memory of what happened in Tlalnepantla, Morelos, is still alive, where blood and fire put an end to the autonomy joyfully initiated by the people only a few days before.

Pessimism is strong. Yesterday’s attack on the strikers at Cananea is not a good sign. The State is a criminal machine. Yet the people of Oaxaca, the solidarity from those on the bottom, the rebellious spirit that sings and dances and smiles in spite of the gravest misfortunes, can change the balance and create hope.

The people of this land say that we are born to die and that when land gives out, death is required to make the land come to life again. It’s something like sowing seeds. The fruit dies so life can be born anew.

Libertas Anticorp

Cooperativa.

videotecca@gmail.com

Letter to Mexican President re: San Juan Copala Under Siege

Posted in News, protesta, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 8, 2010 by floweroftheword

President Felipe Calderon

United Mexican States

C/O Mr Luis Enrique Franco, Chargé d’Affaires

Embassy of Mexico

Level 2, AMP Chambers

185-187 Featherston Street

Wellington 6011

08 June 2010

Dear Sir,

The Wellington Zapatista Support group expresses it’s profound outrage at the ongoing paramilitary siege of the autonomous indigenous community of San Juan Copala, Oaxaca, Mexico, and the repression and murders of community members and of human rights workers trying to deliver humanitarian aid.

We demand the Mexican Federal and Oaxaca State Government ensure the safe passage of the humanitarian caravan today delivering aid to the besieged autonomous community of San Juan Copala;

We demand the Mexican Federal and Oaxaca State Government take immediate action to protect the residents of San Juan Copola, and ensure that they have access to adequate supplies of food and water; as well as all necessary health care;

We demand an end to the siege of the community by the UBISORT armed paramilitary group, so that residents can move freely, communicate with the outside world and receive visits from humanitarian missions without fear of attack or reprisal;

We demand an investigation into the deaths of José Celestino Hernández Cruz, Alberta Cariño, known as Beatriz or Bety, Jyri Antero Jaakkola, Alejandro Ramirez, and Cleriberta Castro, with the results made public and those responsible brought to justice;

We demand the federal authorities prevent human rights abuses committed by members of UBISORT against local residents, and investigate the group’s links to members of the PRI, the governing party in Oaxaca, and bring all those implicated in human rights abuses to justice.

Signed:

Wellington Zapatista Support Group.

Protest opposite Mexican Embassy, Featherston Street, Wellington, 12.30 pm Tuesday 8 June

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 8, 2010 by floweroftheword

The Wellington Zapatista Support Group unveiled an altar opposite the Mexican Embassy at 12.30pm Tuseday 08 June to commemorate some of those murdered by paramilitaries in the San Juan Copala autonomous community in Oaxaca, Mexico in recent months, and to demand that the Mexican Government give save passage to the international humanitarian caravan that will again attempt to break the siege and deliver essential aid to the members of the community.

The blockade of San Juan Copala and the attack on the caravan delivering aid in April which resulted in the deaths of a Mexican and a Finnish human rights defender, bear an ominous resemblance to the recent Israeli attack on international groups attempting to deliver aid to a besieged Gaza.

Condemnations of both the blockade and the attack on an aid delivery to San Juan Copala have been made by the European Parliament, Amnesty International and scores of social groups and movements, to no avail.

A large international caravan of human rights observers and organisations, journalists, solidarity activists, and aid agencies is today on its way to San Juan Copala, and will attempt to break the blockade and deliver essential food, clothing and medicines within the next 24 hours.

In addition to unveiling the altar and handing out information, the Wellington Zapatista Support Group presented a letter to the Mexican Government, care of Mexican Embassy personnel, demanding:

  • the Mexican Federal and Oaxaca State Government ensure the safe passage of the humanitarian caravan delivering aid to the besieged autonomous community of San Juan Copala;
  • both governments take immediate action to protect the residents of San Juan Copola, and ensure that they have access to adequate supplies of food and water; as well as all necessary health care;
  • an end to the siege of the community by the UBISORT armed paramilitary group, so that residents can move freely, communicate with the outside world and receive visits from humanitarian missions without fear of attack or reprisal;
  • an independent investigation into the deaths of José Celestino Hernández Cruz, Alberta Cariño, known as Beatriz or Bety, Jyri Antero Jaakkola, Alejandro Ramirez, and Cleriberta Castro, with the results made public and those responsible brought to justice;
  • the federal authorities prevent human rights abuses committed by members of UBISORT against local residents, and investigate the group’s links to members of the PRI, the governing party in Oaxaca, and bring all those implicated in human rights abuses to justice.

You can download a pdf copier of the flier given out at the protest here: 8Junflierweb.pdf

Please feel free to copy and distribute this information!

San Juan Copala: On the second caravan and the autonomous project

Posted in comunicado, denuncia with tags , , , , , , , on May 25, 2010 by floweroftheword

TO THE HONEST STATE, NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

TO THE OTHER CAMPAIGN

TO THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS

TO THE PEOPLE OF MEXICO

TO THE NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

Twenty days after the brutal murder of our comrades ALBERTA CARIÑO TRUJILLO AND JYRI JAAKKOLA, along with others wounded by high-caliber weapons in the hands of groups completely identified with the state, there has been no justice. This impunity has favored this paramilitary group which calls itself a “SOCIAL ORGANIZATION” (UBISORT), so that it again commits another attack against the inhabitants of the AUTONOMOUS MUNICIPALITY, obeying the orders issued from the halls of government, kidnapping on May 14 comrade MARGARITA LOPEZ MARTINEZ and SUSANA MARTINEZ, holding them for approximately two hours during which they received all kinds of threats, and on May 15, this same group, commanded by RUFINO and ANASTACIO JUÁREZ HERNANDEZ, kidnapped twelve inhabitants of the AUTONOMOUS MUNICIPALITY of San Juan Copala for an entire night; during which time they were beaten, threatened and stripped of all their belongings, including the food which they had previously bought in Juxtlahuaca, as well as money, most of it which was to pay for the Opportunities program. They are: FELIPA DE JESÚS SUÁREZ, JOAQUINA VELASCO AGUILERA, MARTIMIANA AGUILERA, ISABEL BAUTISTA RAMÍREZ, MARCELINA RAMÍREZ, LORENA MERINO MARTÍNEZ, LETICIA VELASCO AGUILERA (CHILD), ROSARIO VELASCO ALLENDE (CHILD), JOSEFA RAMIREZ BAUTISTA (CHILD), TWO CHILDREN OF FOUR YEARS OF AGE AND A ONE-YEAR-OLD BABY.

AS A RESULT OF ALL THIS WE ANNOUNCE:

FIRST.- That from this date, as a result of the permanent and continued attacks that have been committed against the population of the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala and those who act in solidarity with us; we are postponing the negotiations that we have been holding before these events, as well as all possible dialogue with the state government, until such a time when it administers justice in a transparent manner against those materially and intellectually responsible for this massacre and ceases to allow, cover up, and conceal the paramilitaries who publicly announce and carry out their threats.

SECOND.- We understand that, as a communal movement which struggles to decide freely, without having to live under the yoke of caciques who manipulate us and live off of our impoverishment, that many times we have made mistakes on our path, not out of malicious intent but out of inexperience. It is because of this that from this date forward we want you to know that all the actions we undertake to consolidate OUR AUTONOMOUS MUNICIPALITY will be determined by OUR COMMUNAL COUNCIL in consultation with the community assemblies; we are now working on the creation of a structure which will be made up of different commissions which we will make you aware of at the appropriate time.

We make clear that this resistance struggle has as its final goal to recuperate our history and culture, with a great respect for our mother earth; to achieve development towards the dignified life that we all desire, where peace and justice reign, which is why our reference point for struggle is without a doubt the ZAPATISTA MOVEMENT, WHICH REACHES ITS UNDERSTANDINGS IN THE GOOD GOVERNMENT COUNCILS, this is what we want for our people and we know that sooner or later we’ll reach that horizon.

Due to this, we call on all our brothers and sisters, indigenous and non-indigenous, who make their struggle as part of the Other Campaign, to accompany us without haggling, on this road that is also the road you walk, and when we are wrong, help us in a fraternal and supportive manner, as we understand that only disinterestedly united, those of us who walk from below and to the left, will we reach the dawn of this long night of pain.

THIRD.- We also make clear that faced with the incessant criminal acts that this group continues carrying out in our communities, with all that it implies, we have decided to issue a new callout for a SECOND CARAVAN OF OBSERVATION AND SOLIDARITY which will travel to San Juan Copala on June 8, 2010 and break the informational, paramilitary, and hunger siege which this group of gunmen has brought upon our community; for this we confirm that we have asked for the help of the DIOCESAN COMMISSION OF JUSTICE AND PEACE and the BARTOLOMÉ CARRASCO BRISEÑO REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER, so that our commission, together with them, may coordinate this event where we will take all the security measures possible and where we will assembly a large number of LOCAL, NATIONAL AND INTERNATIOAL OBSERVERS, as well as media outlets and comrades who want to act in solidarity with our people, which for many years the people in power have filled with pain and death.

Finally, we want to clarify that some journalists have insisted in making us out to be people who use high-powered weapons. We want to make clear that this is not the case. Because our communal struggle, through a peaceful organization, seeks to do away with the repression, imposition and cruel treatment to which we were subjected, first by the governments and then by “organizations” which, rooted in lies and corruption, have taken from us our word, our decisions and have taken our right to live as first peoples; we don’t have weapons, we don’t need them: we know that with organization and with the solidarity of the people of MEXICO and OF THE WORLD we will soon attain a life of PEACE, with JUSTICE and DIGNITY.

May 18, 2010

RESPECTFULLY,

AUTONOMOUS MUNICIPALITY OF SAN JUAN COPALA