Indigenous Nahua Community of Santa María Ostula Denounces Recent Harassment of their Community Organization (Michoacán)

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This communiqué comes from the Indigenous Nahua community of Santa María Ostula, and addresses recent threats against their communal organization and self-organized security system. The original in Spanish was published on the National Indigenous Congress website and can be found here.

Statement from the Community of Santa María Ostula, Addressing the Intensification of Harassment Against its Community Organization by the Three Levels of Government

To the People of Mexico and the World

To the Media

We, the community of Santa María Ostula, in the municipality of Aquila, Michoacán, denounce the intensification of harassment against our community organization on part of the three levels of the bad government. This harassment opens the doors so that criminal organizations can take over our region.

On February 28th, at 11:00 pm, three trucks of the Mexican Navy, called upon by the municipal president of Aquila, Mohamed Ramírez, as well as the corrupt government of Silvano Aureoles, tried to detain the commander of the community police, Germán Ramírez Sánchez. They rammed the truck in which he was traveling near the military naval base of La Placita, and chased him until shortly before the entrance to Xayakalan.

WE DO NOT RECOGNIZE CEMEÍ VERDÍA ZEPEDA AND ANY ACTION OR STATEMENT HE SEEKS TO MAKE ON BEHALF OF OUR COMMUNITY. THIS PERSON, BY AGREEMENT IN OUR COMMUNITY ASSEMBLY, WAS EXPELLED FROM THE COMMUNITY. HE IS AT THE SERVICE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF SILVANO AUREOLES AND HE HAS BEEN ORCHESTRATING REPRESSION AGAINST OUR PEOPLE.

We hold responsible the municipal president, Mohamed Ramírez and the government of Silvano Aureoles for the formation of shock groups that seek the return of violence to the region of the Sierra-Coast of Michoacán. They are orchestrating a campaign of discredit and division against our people to justify the military intrusion on part of the Secretary of the Navy, to detain and criminalize the exercise of the autonomy and free determination of our community. IN THIS SENSE, WE DO NOT RECOGNIZE THE GOVERNMENT OF SILVANO AUREOLES AS A VALID INTERLOCUTER WITH THE COMMUNITY AND WE DEMAND THE INTERVENTION OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO REACH AGREEMENTS THAT WILL MAKE POSSIBLE PEACE IN THE REGION.

The people have constructed peace and security for the families throughout the region with honesty and certainty, given by the decisions of thousands of community members of the community assembly. With pain for the dead that the capitalist war, their cartels, military and paramilitary, have left. Also with the inalienable decision to never again allow ourselves to be killed and dispossessed.

For all of the above, we demand:

Full respect for the autonomy and free determination of our Indigenous Nahua community of Santa María Ostula Full respect for our communal guard and the security scheme that has been applied in the municipality of Aquila and in the region that has proven effective.

Immediate demilitarization of the region

An end to the criminalization and fabrication of charges against our authorities and commanders of the community police, principally the commander, Germán Ramírez Sánchez.

That the municipal government immediately release the resources destined for municipal security and respect the agreements previously reached with our community.

Sincerely,

Indigenous Community of Santa María Ostula, Municipality of Aquila, Michoacán

March 2nd, 2019

Never more a Mexico without us

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