(Oaxaca) Communique From the Council of Autonomous Oaxacan Organizations (COOA)

Communique from March 12th, one month after the cowardly assassination of three Indigenous Activists of CODEDI

The organizations that make up the Council of Oaxacan Autonomous Organizations (COOA): Organizaciones Indias por los Derechos Humanos en Oaxaca OIDHO, Comité de Defensa de los Derechos Indígenas CODEDI, Unión Campesina Indígena de Oaxaca – Emiliano Zapata UCIO EZ, Coordinadora Indígena Popular Autónoma CINPA and Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y del Territorio APIIDTT, today March 12th, 2018, a month after the assassination of our three compañeros of CODEDI by paramilitaries acting in complicity with the government of Alejandro Murat, we declare the following:

We continue in our encampment in the Zócalo of Oaxaca City with the firm intention of demanding justice for the three Zapotec youth whose only “crime” was to organize and defend their rights and the rights of everyone.

Today, Indigenous organizations and communities, unions and civil organizations of Oaxaca, carried out protest actions to show our complete rejection of the crimes of the state committed in a state and national context that is frankly apocalyptic:

Mexico is a giant clandestine grave.  The toll of the decayed regime of this country are thousands of unsolved murders, more deaths than in the war in Iraq, as well as more than 34,000 disappeared according to data from the government.  Such a horror movie, that mothers and fathers are forced to organize to search for the bones of their children.  In the Peña Nieto administration, the disappearance of one person every 2:06 hours has been registered according to the national registry of disappeared people.

Equally catastrophic are the number of femicides.  In Mexico seven women are assassinated daily, and 5 femicides are committed for every 100,000 habitants.  Throughout the country, thousands of men who are victims of the oppression of the system become cruel attackers against women for the patriarchal and capitalist system.  Oaxaca is not an exception: there have been 143 femicides in Oaxaca since the beginning of the Alejandro Murat administration, during these 15 months.  The majority of these crimes remain in complete impunity.

On the other hand, during the government of Peña Nieto until July 2017, 106 human rights defenders have been assassinated and 81 disappeared.  Sixty-nine percent of the cases took place in Oaxaca, Mexico City and Puebla.

These statistics are not mere causality, but are systematic, like in the case of our three compañeros who were assassinated by men armed with high power weaponry and dressed in police gear in a planned attack against CODEDI, an organization that like all of us defend our territories against plunder and destruction.  As COOA, we carry out organizational work in various regions that are in the development plans of large corporations to implement megaprojects such as: wind farms and the Special Economic Zone in the Istmo of Tehuantepec, as well as the high voltage transmission line from Ixtepec to Huexca in the state of Morelos, the hydroelectric plants on the coast, the basin and the Sierra Norte, mining projects in 120,000 hectares in the Sierra Sur, and others in the central valleys.  7.78% of the state territory is concessioned to mining interests.  Likewise, the rich expand the forces moving toward water privatization in our state.  All of these projects mercilessly threaten the existence of our peoples, territories and the environment of Oaxaca.

We want to emphasize that these are the deep and structural reasons why the social organizations protest today.  We suffer assassinations, unjust detentions, attacks on our houses, defamation, persecution and death threats.  The function of the governments in neoliberal capitalism is to protect the interests of the national and transnational businesses, and those that defend human rights embodied in the Mexican constitution and international treaties, obstruct that task.

It is deplorable the fact that none of the political parties that compete for votes have demonstrated interest in the defense of the rights of Indigenous peoples and human rights.  None of them have pronounced themselves in defense of territories against the plunder.  None have proposed a project of development for life, against the project of “development” of death.  To the contrary, it is outrageous that everyone follows the example of the PRI, champion of authority, of deception, of total plunder, of the continued increase in poverty, of the selling of the country to the highest bidder, of perverse corruption, of institutionalized violence and of generalized repression against the people of Mexico.

That is why the members of COOA today return to make an urgent call to the organized struggle to the autonomous organization of the Indigenous peoples, to the rural and urban workers, to the students, to the women and all of the citizens: nobody will defend us, if not ourselves.  It is also essential as a social movement to construct a true unity with horizontal, plural and democratic alliances that strengthen us in our legitimate demand for JUSTICE for the people of Oaxaca and all of the people of Mexico.

COMPAÑERO ALEJANDRO ANTONIO DÍAZ CRUZ
P R E S E N T !
COMPAÑERO IGNACIO BASILIO VENTURA MARTÍNEZ
P R E S E N T !
COMPAÑERO LUIS ÁNGEL MARTÍNEZ
P R E S E N T !

STOP THE CRIMES OF THE STATE!

NO MORE ASSASINATED SOCIAL FIGHTERS!
STOP THE CRIMINALIZATION OF SOCIAL PROTEST!

FOR THE DEFENSE OF OUR RIGHTS AND TERRITORIES, NOT ONE STEP BACK!

Council of Autonomous Oaxacan Organizations

CONSEJO DE ORGANIZACIONES OAXAQUEÑAS AUTÓNOMAS COOA
Oaxaca de Flores Magón, March 12th, 2018