(P’urhépecha Territory, Michoacán) Indigenous Community of Nahautzén Resists Violent State Repression and the Installation of Voting Booths


(This communique comes from the Indigenous community of Nahuatzén, who yesterday June 29th, received violent attacks from the state for resisting the installation of voting booths in their community. Resisting the attacks, the community burned the voting stations, ballots and political party propaganda, remaining steadfast in their quest for self-government).

Nahuatzén, Michoacán
June 30th, 2018

Press Release: Long Live Nahuatzén, The Struggle Continues!

To the People of Michoacán
To the People of México
To the Media

Brothers and sisters of Michoacán, México and the world, those in solidarity with the struggle of Nahuatzén; dignity connects us. Greetings and thanks for the support that has made it to our community, demanding that our autonomy be respected and denouncing the repression of the bad government.

We have declared: In Nahuatzén, we will not permit the electoral circus. There will not be elections here.

The dignified struggle of the Indigenous peoples has to be respected. Today we have won this battle. The bad government led by Silvano Aureoles Conejo has given up. The Electoral Institute of Michoacán declared today around noon that there will not be an election in the municipal seat of our community.

We call on all the people to do the same. Let’s leave behind this system of political parties and govern ourselves by uses and customs. Let’s support each other doing so. We will not permit the installation of voting booths. We will stop these parasites from existing, regardless of their political party.

Nahuatzén said “Enough Already!”, autonomy will not die. We will not fall into provocation. We will maintain our posture. We have values and dignity. If we want a true change, the pathway is self-government. It is the right of the communities to decide their form of government, and we do not want the political party system. The government must stop telling us what we will do and what we will not do. This is not the solution.

The dignified people are repressed because the government sees that many have joined this project of self-government. However, it is our duty to continue organizing. We denounce that today we woke up with a police operation in our streets, plaza and the entrances of our community. This operation was carried out by convoys of police heavily armed of the Michoacán Single Command. In addition, there were six white trucks without a police logo, with armed people whom we do not know if they were marines, army or of another organization.

The political parties divide the people. The governments demand elections to vote and continue sustaining the same criminals that have robbed the people regardless of their party. The government decides to impose voting booths against the will of the communities, provoking clashes and bloodshed. That is to say, provoking state crimes.

Those that are behind the destabilization in our community are required to do so by the Court of Justice of Michoacán, because they owe millions of pesos that they took from the municipal budget and have not proven where they invested it. These are those who want to continue governing. These are the same people that for more than forty years have lived off of the municipal budget. They are the same people who hand over power generation after generation, from one party to another, at the cost of the poverty of the people. The political parties are nothing more than a fraud that sells false democracy.

We want to state that yesterday at 2:00pm, a government functionary arrived to our community and promised that the INE, the IEM and state government would give a press conference to clarify that there would not be elections in our municipal seat. At 6:30 pm while we remained in the barricade at the exit of the town in the direction of Sevina, a group of politicians and people of other communities, paid by David Eduardo Otlíca Avilés of the PRD, attacked us with bullets, shooting to kill. We retreated. We heard the bullets flying near us when we ran between the hills, corn fields, fences and highway. A compañera was injured by a rock that hit her shoulder. They destroyed motorcycles and the truck of our compañero. Immediately after the attack, the electoral voting booths were brought into our community by vehicles guarded by an armed command accompanied by politicians of all parties. Completely illegal acts endorsed by the bad government.

Afterwards, the entire community gathered in the Communal House and took the decision to burn the voting booths and ballots that were in the Municipal Electoral Institute. Later the decision was made to go to the campaign house of the political parties and do the same with the electoral propaganda. At that moment, it was decided to go talk to the police and tell them to leave the town. However, we did not arrive there because we again received gunfire, resulting in a young person injured in his hand. We collected more than 50 shells of high caliber weaponry of those who attacked us.

The state government threatens us, but to threaten the people is to make the violence greater. Different media outlets support the authoritarianism of the government of the state of Michoacán.

We will remain open to dialogue. We call on our brothers and sisters to unite with us, and that it will be us that writes our own destiny.

The United People Will Never Be Defeated!!
Council Yes, Political Parties No!
Always Until the Victory!
Our Dreams Don’t Fit in Your Voting Booths!

Community of Nahuatzén
Indigenous Citizen Council of Nahuatzén

Juchari Huinapekua
Heart of the P’urhépecha Plateau