Statement from the People of Cohuirimpo, Río Mayo, Sonora


Just a few days after the death of Severo Aguilar Ontamucha (traditional authority of the Indigenous peoples of Cohuirimpo), the Mexican army, for the second time in the last three months, attempted to strip part of the territory that ancestrally belongs to the Yoremes people. Cohuirimpo is one of the eight Mayo communities in the state of Sonora.

On this occasion, it is the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples (CDI), who intends to build an oxidation lagoon from the drainage of a neighboring community. The inhabitants of the community have not been taken into account in regards to the mentioned work, nor have the legitimate owners of the land in question, nor the traditional government. As such, the organization of the traditional government has been in permanent session since yesterday, Tuesday at 10 am, to be alert before the injustices of which they are victim.

Today, Wednesday September 13th, a lawyer of CDI with the last name Encinas went to the conflict zone, intimidating those present, particularly the general command of the traditional government Sr. Remedios S. Aguilar Osuna. It was communicated to Aguilar Osuna that a legal process has already been instigated against him for attempting to stop the development, obstructing the work of the drainage and for opposing the use of the land.

The town of Cohuirimpo gained official control of their land, 7620 hectares, in 1890, through a peace agreement signed on December 25th, 1885, as a special character community. Different from the communities that came about with the colonization and demarcation laws, during the Mexican revolution, native peoples were the first to struggle for the ideals of the Mexican revolution, involuntarily abandoning their possessions. Now, their descendants occupy the territory forming part of their identity.

It is impossible to ignore the hunting of the Indigenous people of Cohuirimpo in the post-revolutionary period, when the government sought to organize the country eliminating the ethnic groups. Afterwards, with the introduction of the ejido, the population was divided between members of the new landholders and the dispossessed that, until now, have defended with their presence and their identity, the territory that belongs to them.

Translated from the original here: