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Impunity and vulnerability reign in Oaxaca. Paramilitary officers and government authorities seem determined to weaken the autonomous will of San Juan Copala through a blockade that prevents medicines, food and fuel from reaching the municipality.
Paramilitary officers denied access, once again, to the humanitarian caravan scheduled for June 8th. On April 27th, they had attacked a convoy, resulting in the death of Betty Cariño and Finnish activist Jyri Jaakkola.
Federal and State government authorities failed to preserve the lives and safety of the over 400 people participating in this second caravan, that left Mexico City on June 7th, and that was blocked near La Sabana, according to Contralinea newspaper.
“The risk of an armed attack prevented the observers from moving on. They could only get 5 km from San Juan Copala. This happened despite the fact that 20 federal MPs were travelling in the convoy”, stated Contralinea, whose journalists were injured in the first caravan.
Meanwhile, Casimiro Martinez Aguilar, from San Juan Copala, said: “The blockade needs to be broken, the government can´t keep paramilitary murderers in impunity anymore. San Juan Copala has to go back to normal and demand the respect of indigenous peoples´ rights”.
“If the government can´t ensure food and medicine for the inhabitants of San Juan Copala, the civil society, with the support of the international community, will have to find mechanisms to achieve it and international spaces play an extremely important role in view of the lack of action of the Government”, said Casimiro Martinez.
The armed attacks against the autonomous triqui indigenous community have been taking place for almost 200 days. So far, no authority has taken responsibility to guarantee the rights of the people. Paramilitary officers have been acting with complete impunity, and carry guns of exclusive use of the Army, states the newspaper.
Casimiro also said: “We hear shootings everyday, during all day, in San Juan Copala. These are shootings that keep the population isolated, that manage to make complete families leave our community, preventing doctors, teachers and products from entering, imposing a blockade through the use of guns and violence.”
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