(Yaqui Territory, Sonora) Letter from Social Organizations of Sonora Regarding the Conflict in Loma de Bácum

Ciudad Obregón, Sonora

May 8th, 2018

C. Director of La Jornada

For publication in the illustrated newspaper

As a group of Social Organizations of Sonora, concerned with the tragic and violent acts taking place in the Yaqui community, Loma de Bácum, Sonora, we consider it important to inform the nation, that these acts have an underlying cause: the gas pipeline which at whatever cost the federal and state government intends to install in the Yaqui territory of Loma de Bácum. We are specifically referring to the most recent acts which occurred April 30th, where the young Yaqui Víctor Adolfo Molina Vázquez lost his life, and Saturnina Buitimea Piñas was injured by a bullet.

However, this violence and implemented division in the interior of the 8 Yaqui communities, has already generated another death, with various others injured. This took place on October 21st, 2016, when groups affiliated with the government attempted to violently take over the Traditional Guard of Loma de Bácum, in order to impose another Yaqui authority aligned with the government. The attempt to impose a government-aligned authority was meant to facilitate the renunciation of the appeal proceedings, that until now, have impeded the connection of the gas pipeline in Yaqui territory. In consequence of these acts, the Yaqui Fidencio Aldama Pérez was unjustly imprisoned, making him a political hostage of the government.

The threats and pressure from the state government are constant, to the degree in which the state has sent provocateurs to burn the tribe’s parcels during harvest times, to shoot at women, and to threaten and slander the rulers of the Yaqui peoples and their advisors, as well as to sustain a police presence in the communities.

The strategy of the government is to also generate criminal proceedings against the Traditional Authorities of the Yaqui people and to maintain in impunity the homicides committed. This impunity has already been denounced by the people of Loma de Bácum. Law enforcement have rejected the denouncements against the provocations and crimes on one hand, while on the other, allowing the fabrication of investigative files against leaders and members of the Yaqui tribe. At the same time, threats have been sent to advisors of the Tribe, as is the case of Dr. Rodrigo González.

The federal, state and municipal governments, intend to minimize the conflict using the media, reducing it to isolated conflicts between specific peoples and not as the result of the territorial and cultural defense of the people of Loma de Bácum. The defense of the people of Loma de Bácum is meant to stop the dispossession and trampling of their human, social and cultural rights, which would result from the installation of the gas pipeline.

If the government and the gas pipeline company continue without providing the conditions for a dialogue that addresses the position of Loma de Bácum, more serious confrontations could take place. Thus, the social organizations behind this denouncement, make a call on the parties involved in this conflict, to make possible concord and peace with justice and dignity.

With all of the above, and before the incapacity of the state government to engage in dialogue regarding this conflict, we propose to Loma de Bácum and to the people of Mexico, that a Plural Commission of Mediation is formed, to encourage dialogue, pacification and concord. This commission would allow the reduction of tension, providing strategies to try to resolve the conflict between the different parties, respecting the dignity of the Yaquis and their uses and customs, with mechanisms and juridical guarantees that focus on agreements that can be reached.

EXCEUAS-SONORA, CNTE-SONORA, POR MÉXICO HOY-CAPÍTULO SONORA, ORGANIZACIÓN CIUDADANA DE CAJEME, NO AL GAZOLINAZO CAJEME, ASAMBLEA POPULAR REGENERACIÓN NACIONAL, EXCEUAS-SINALOA, RED NACIONAL DE APICULTORES, RED CIUDADANA Y UNIVERSITARIA, COCUDEC, ASOCIACIÓN DE APICULTORES DEL SUR DE SONORA.

 Responsible for the publication: Profr. David Guadalupe Valenzuela, fades-sonora@hotmail.com.  Tel. 6622 877832.