(Editor’s Note: This communique comes from the Indigenous organization CODEDI and speaks to the ongoing military presence in the communities of the coastal region of Oaxaca. The communique puts the recent attacks on CODEDI into the context of the capitalist interests in the region, which seek to construct a series of hydroelectric dams on the Copalita River. With CODEDI organizing resistance against these megaprojects, its members and communities are seen as a threat to the interests of the state-capitalist nexus).
The military harassment continues against the Indigenous communities of the coast of Oaxaca. Now the military is present in Santiago Xanica, Miahuatlán, Oaxaca.
July 17th, 2018
Yesterday, Thursday, July 26th, 2018, a group of soldiers installed a military checkpoint 500 meters from the entrance of the finca “Alemania”—the training center of the organization CODEDI. The military presence lasted roughly an hour, after which they withdrew their forces. Today the same soldiers are present in the community of Santiago Xanica, Miahuatlán, Oaxaca, which is a few kilometers above the finca “Alemania”. All of this is taking place amidst a power outage in the region that has lasted various days.
Yesterday, July 26th, at three in the afternoon, a group of soldiers installed a checkpoint 500 meters from the entrance of the finca “Alemania”—the training center of the organization of CODEDI in Santa María Huatulco, Oaxaca. When asked what they were doing without permission in a territory protected by the organization, and property of the people, the soldiers responded that they were there beneath the law of firearms and explosives. That is to say, they were there to disarm the population. The checkpoint was installed on a route where not only members of the CODEDI organization travel, but all of the peoples of the region.
Five months ago, three members of CODEDI were ambushed and assassinated on February 12th in the Sierra mountains above Miahuatlán at the hands of an armed command, when the CODEDI members were returning from a meeting organized by the Murat government. Earlier this month, on July 17th, a coordinator of CODEDI for the coastal region was assassinated by members of organized crime dressed in military gear. This is at least the story offered by the Murat government. There is a generalized climate of violence against the population of the coastal region and the entire state of Oaxaca on part of organized crime. The response of the government has been to send in the military to intimidate and disarm the population and the Indigenous peoples of the region, to leave them completely vulnerable before organized crime groups that arrived to the state when Murat took power.
The complicity of the government of Alejandro Murat with organized crime groups can no longer be hidden and is evident to the entire population of the coastal region. It is disgraceful that the Mexican military continues being utilized as a second accomplice of the criminals by orders of the Mafia government.
We are sure that the background of all of this violence against CODEDI and the people of the region, is THE CONSTRUCRTION PROJECT OF THREE HYDROELECTRIC DAMS IN THE COPALITA RIVER, NAMED “COPALITA”, “ALEMANIA”, AND “SAN MIGUEL” ON PART OF THE FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT. Nearly a year ago, personnel of the CFE opened an office in the Municipality of San Miguel del Puerto where they solicited authorization to carry out studies for the possible construction of the hydroelectric dam. The assembly of the community members of San Miguel del Puerto, having been deceived so many times by the officials of the federal government, rejected the authorization. Today we know, from journalists in the region that have asked to rename anonymous, that the Murat government again insists upon the construction of this hydroelectric dam in San Miguel del Puerto.
We make an urgent call to all of the organizations, communities in resistance against megaprojects, collectives, civil society organizations and teachers of the section 22 to PUBLICALLY PROTEST AGAINST THE MILITIRIZATION AND PARAMILITIRIZATION OF THE COASTAL REGION. THIS IS A TACTIC BEING USED TO IMPOSE THE MEGAPROJECTS OF DEATH ON PART OF THE FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT. WE ALSO CALL ON YOU ALL TO DEMAND THE IMMEDIATE EXIT OF THE MILITARY FROM SANTIAGO XANICA.
Furthermore, we make a call for heightened organization. Even when at the federal level the Mexican people electorally defeated the PRI mafia, which we celebrate and respect, there are still five long months before the transition.
And when this transition occurs, it will not eliminate by decree the existence of cacique mafias entrenched in the state in collusion with organized crime groups, like the Murat family in Oaxaca. For now, like before, and we are sure afterwards as well, the only guarantee to continue organizing in defense of our rights and not be assassinated one by one, is the UNITY OF THE PEOPLES OF OAXACA. History has taught us in Oaxaca that when we are divided, each organization searching for dialogue with the PRI state government that sees all organizations and people in resistance as enemies, we will only receive deception, prison, and violence as a response. But also, history has shown us that when the people, organizations and unions of Oaxaca are united into one, we are invincible. The popular uprising in Oaxaca in 2006 continues as a guiding light in the sky of rebellion. We make an urgent call for UNITY, compañeros and compañeras.
Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Rights
Santa María Huatulco
July 27th, 2018