Statement of the Assembly of the Indigenous Nahua Community of Santa María Ostula

To the people of Mexico and the world

To the media

As is public knowledge, for years the region of the Sierra Coast of Michoacán was devastated by the Caballeros Templarios Cartel.  Between 2009 and 2014, with the complicity of functionaries of the government and commands of the armed marines of Mexico, the cartel plundered the mines and forests of the communities of the region and assassinated and disappeared a multitude of people.  The balance of this criminal war, to date, is 35 community members assassinated and the disappearance of six more from the community of Santa María Ostula.

In the year 2014, our community reorganized its community assembly and community police, which coordinated with self-defense groups of the region, to expel the criminal groups and bring peace and security to the Sierra Coastal region.  However, the criminals, led by the ex-municipal president and Templario Juan Hernández, has reorganized the east of the municipality of Aquila.  In the current electoral situation, he is re-strengthening the illegal armed presence in the region with the intention to take the municipal presidency of Aquila through the PRI and Green Party.  With that, he will re-strengthen the criminal structure and open the pathway for major national and international capitalists to plunder the mines, beaches and forests pertaining to the Indigenous community of Santa María Ostula and the Indigenous and campesino communities of the region.

Within the context of everything above, the general assembly of the community of Santa María Ostula, reunited in an urgent manner, declaring the following:

  • We demand the execution of the arrest orders against the ex-municipal president, Juan Hernández Ramirez, for the multiple assassinations, disappearances, extortions, kidnappings, robbery of wood and minerals from the Indigenous communities. These acts were carried out in complicity with the criminal group “Los Caballeros Templarios” that operate in the municipality of Aquila, led by Federico González Medina (aka El Lico) and Cervando Gomez Martínez (aka La Tuta).
  • We name responsible the ex-municipal president Juan Hernández Ramírez for the latest acts or events that may occur in the community of Pomaro, Coire and the rest of the municipality of Aquila, that currently has a political pact with organized crime led by Jesús Cruz Birrueta (aka Chuy Playas) and the plaza boss of the southern part of the municipality of Aquila Fernado Cruz Mendoza (aka El Tena).
  • We name responsible the current municipal president José Luis Arteaga Olivares and Cemei Antonio Verdía Zepeda for the pacts, agreements and commitments made with Juan Hernández Ramírez, ex-municipal president of Aquila, Fernando Cruz Mendoza (aka El Tena) and the government of the state of Michoacán. These acts were carried out producing insecurity and the organized crime in some zones of the municipality of Aquila which generates social destabilization.
  • The Indigenous community of Santa María Ostula rejects whatever agreement or commitment that might be made by C. Cemei Antonio Verdía Zepeda in the name of the community, since by agreement in the general assembly Monday April 9th, 2018, he was removed from his position as general commander of the communal guard of Ostula. He was also removed of all representation and support inside the community for betraying the principles of struggle of our community in pursuit of his personal and political interests
  • The Indigenous community of Santa María Ostula rejects the entrance of whatever organ of government (SEDENA, Marines, Federal Police and State Police) to the interior of our community considering the previous acts that occurred July 19th, 2015, when the Mexican army caused the death of the boy Hidilberto Reyes Garcia, and injured men and women of our community.
  • We demand the demilitarization of our Indigenous community of Santa María Ostula from SEMAR, SEDENA, Federal and State Police.
  • The Indigenous community of Santa María Ostula demands the presence of the municipal police and their director of public security C. Germán Ramirez Sanchez.

Xayakalan, Santa María Ostula, On the 99th Tragic Anniversary of the General Emiliano Zapata Salazar, April 10th, 2018

Sincerely

Never More a Mexico Without Us

Land and Freedom

General Assembly of Santa María Ostula

Translated from the original here: https://www.congresonacionalindigena.org/2018/04/10/pronunciamiento-la-asamblea-comuneros-comuneros-la-comunidad-indigena-nahua-santa-maria-ostula/