Urgent Action – 2nd Humanitarian Caravan June 8th to San Juan Copala

The 2nd Humanitarian Caravan to break the blockade of the Autonomous
Municipality of San Juan Copala in Oaxaca will leave within the next few
days.  Any attention on the Mexican authorities could help save lives.

Please send the protest letter below to the Mexican Ambassador and the
authorities in Mexico.

We have contacted all the media contacts compiled at the Britain-wide
meeting with the press release below. If you have any other direct
journalist contacts please forward the press release to them.

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Press release

Mexican Community Besieged By Paramilitaries Calls For Second International
Humanitarian Caravan June 8th

The Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala in South East Mexico has
been under siege for months by paramilitaries backed by the ruling
PRI party in Oaxaca.  Electricity and water supplies have been cut,
schools shut and there are no doctors.

A Solidarity Caravan carrying food, water, clothing and other basic
necessities to the 700 inhabitants was ambushed by the UBISORT paramilitary
group on April 27th.  Bety Cariño, a local human rights defender and Jyri
Jaakkola, an international human rights observer, were shot dead by the
paramilitaries.  

Now the Autonomous Municipality and supporters are organising a second
larger caravan and are appealing for international solidarity.  They call
for international human rights observers to help break the paramilitary
blockade once and for all on June 8th.  The people of San Juan Copala ask
the international media to document the reality they are living. 

Since November 2009 26 people have been killed by paramilitaries with
impunity.  On May 15th 12 women and children were detained at gunpoint
while trying to obtain food outside the community, and two people were
killed as recently as May 20th.

San Juan Copala is in the Indigenous Triqui Region of Oaxaca.  The Triquis
are one of the poorest and most marginalised groups in Mexico. The
community declared itself autonomous following the 2006 uprising in Oaxaca
and has been the target of paramilitary violence  since.

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Please send the protest letter below to the Mexican Ambassador:
emedinamora@sre.gob.mx

Dear Ambassador Medina-Mora,

We are writing to you to condemn the vicious and unprovoked attack by the
paramilitary organisation UBISORT on the international aid convoy of human
rights defenders, political activists and journalists, that attempted to
peacefully enter into the community of San Juan Copala, in the state of
Oaxaca, on 27th April 2010. 

We condemn the murders of two human rights defenders of that convoy, JYRI
ANTERO JAAKOLA and ALBERTA CARIÑO TRUJILLO, by UBISORT who are engaged in
continuous assault on the community by cutting off the electricity and
water supply and enforcing an illegal blockade of San Juan Copala that
tries to cut their construction of autonomy off from the rest of Oaxaca and
the world. The actions of UBISORT are inhumane and are quietly destroying
the lives of the families of San Juan Copala.  

We strongly condemn the murders of the community leader TIMOTEO ALEJANDRO
RAMIREZ and his wife CLERIBERTA CASTRO in the Yosoyuxi community on May
20th 2010 and we hold Oaxacan state governor ULISES RUIZ ORTIZ directly
responsible for the killings. Their murders bring the total number of
killings to at least 26 since November 2009.

We strongly condemn the kidnapping that occurred on the night of May 15th
2010, by UBISORT, under the command of RUFINO JUÁREZ, of twelve people of
San Juan Copala - FELIPA DE JESÚS SUÁREZ, JOAQUINA VELASCO AGUILERA,
MARTIMIANA AGUILERA, ISABEL BAUTISTA RAMÍREZ, MARCELINA RAMÍREZ, LORENA
MERINO MARTÍNEZ, LETICIA VELASCO AGUILERA (CHILD), ROSARIO VELASCO ALLENDE
(CHILD), JOSEFA RAMIREZ BAUTISTA (CHILD), TWO CHILDREN OF FOUR YEARS OF AGE
AND A ONE-YEAR-OLD BABY. We know that during that night they were beaten,
threatened and stripped of all their money and belongings, including the
food which they had previously bought in Juxtlahuaca.

We know that UBISORT operate cowardly under the protection of the PRI
political party and so we hold the following people accountable for these
serious violations of basic human rights as well as the associated murder
that has taken place both sides of the blockade:

- Rufino Juárez, Head of paramilitary organisation UBISORT

- Evencio Nicolás Martínez Ramírez, Interior minister of the State of
Oaxaca 

- Ulises Ernesto Ruiz Ortiz, Oaxacan State governor 

- Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, Mexican President 

We strongly urge these officials of local, State and Federal governments to
begin to respect the right of the people of San Juan Copala to organise
peacefully as the community sees appropriate, and we demand:

- That the basic human needs of the population of San Juan Copala are
upheld and that their access to water, electricity, schools etc. is
maintained.

- The removal of the blockade of San Juan Copala and that people can pass
freely into and out of the village. 

- That the perpetrators of the attack of April 27th 2010, on the
international aid convoy, be brought to justice.

Furthermore, we DEMAND that the second national and international aid
convoy “JYRI ANTERO JAAKOLA ALBERTA CARIÑO TRUJILLO” be allowed to
access the community of San Juan Copala on June 8th 2010 without any
harassment or provocation. We are contacting the international media,
informing them about the aid convoy and asking them to monitor the caravan
as it travels to San Juan Copala. Our attention and many others is focused
on the caravan - should there be any such attack on this convoy we hold the
aforementioned government officials accountable.
We request that you pass these concerns on to the relevant Mexican
authorities. 

We hope you appreciate the urgency of this situation and therefore we
expect a prompt response in regards to our demands. Thank you and we look
forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

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Please send copies of the Spanish version of the protest letter to the
Mexican and Oaxacan authorities listed below:

Presidente Constitucional de la República Mexicana
Lic. Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa
E-mail: felipe.calderon@presidencia.gob.mx

Gobernador del Estado de Oaxaca
Lic. Ulises Ruiz Ortiz 
e-mail: gobernador@oaxaca.gob.mx

Procurador General del Estado de Oaxaca
Lic. Evencio Nicolás Martínez Ramírez
E-mail: buzonciudadano@pgj.net

Procurador General de la República
Licenciado Arturo Chávez Chávez
Email: ofproc@pgr.gob.mx, wmaster@pgr.gob.mx

Presidente de la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos
Dr. Raúl Plascencia Villanueva
Email: correo@cndh.org.mx

Estimado Embajador Medina-Mora I.,

Le escribimos para condenar el ataque atroz que si provocación alguna
perpetró el grupo paramilitar UBISORT contra la caravana de ayuda
humanitaria formada por defensores de los derechos humanos, activistas
políticos y periodistas, que pacíficamente intentaron llegar a la
comunidad de San Juan Copala, en el estado de Oaxaca, el pasado 27 de abril
de 2010.

Condenamos enérgicamente los asesinatos de dos defensores de los derechos
humanos que acompañaban la caravana, JYRI ANTERO JAAKOLA y ALBERTA CARIÑO
TRUJILLO, por la misma organización paramilitar UBISORT. Éste mismo grupo
es quien mantiene en agresión constante a la comunidad, cortando la
energía eléctrica y el agua y reforzando el bloqueo ilegal a San Juan
Copala. Tratando así de aislar del resto de Oaxaca y el mundo, la
construcción de su autonomía. Las acciones de la UBISORT son inhumanas y
están silenciosamente destruyendo las vidas de las familias de San Juan
Copala.

Condenamos enérgicamente los asesinatos del líder de la comunidad TIMOTEO
ALEJANDRO RAMIREZ y su esposa CLERIBERTA CASTRO en la comunidad Yosoyuxi el
pasado 20 de mayo del 2010 y responsabilizamos al gobernador del estado de
Oaxaca ULISES RUIZ ORTIZ como directo responsable. Estas muertes se suman
al total de al menos 26 personas asesinadas desde noviembre del 2009. 

Condenamos enérgicamente el secuestro que la UBISORT perpetró en la noche
del 15 de mayo del 2010, bajo las ordenes de RUFINO JUÁREZ, de 12 personas
de la comunidad de San Juan Coapala – FELIPA DE JESÚS SUÁREZ, JOAQUINA
VELASCO AGUILERA, MARTINIANA AGUILERA, ISABEL BAUTISTA RAMÍREZ, MARCELINA
RAMÍREZ, LORENA MERINO MARTÍNEZ, LETICIA VELASCO AGUILERA (NIÑA),
ROSARIO VELASCO ALLENDE (NIÑA), JOSEFA RAMÍREZ BAUTISTA (NIÑA), DOS
NIÑOS DE CUATRO AÑOS DE EDAD Y UN BEBE DE UN AÑO – Sabemos que durante
la noche fueron golpeados, amenazados y despojados de su dinero y sus
pertenencias, incluyendo la comida que habían comprado en Juxtlahuaca.

Sabemos que la UBISORT opera cobardemente bajo la protección del partido
político PRI, y hacemos responsables a las siguientes personas de estas
serias violaciones a los derechos humanos elementales, así como de los
asesinatos relacionados que han ocurrido en ambos lados del bloqueo:

- Rufino Juárez, líder de la organización paramilitar UBISORT

- Evencio Nicolás Martínez Ramírez, secretario general de gobierno

- Ulises Ernesto Ruiz Ortiz, gobernador del estado de Oaxaca 

- Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, presidente de México

Instamos urgentemente a éstas autoridades de los gobiernos local y federal
a comenzar a respetar el derecho a la organización pacífica de la gente
de San Juan Copala, como a la misma comunidad convenga y demandamos:

- Que las necesidades básicas de la comunidad de San Juan Copala sean
sustentadas y que el acceso al agua, electricidad, escuelas, etcétera se
mantenga.

- Se retire el bloqueo a San Juan Copala y que la gente pueda entrar y
salir de la comunidad libremente.

- Que los perpetradores del ataque del 27 de abril del 2010, contra la
caravana de ayuda humanitaria, sean presentados ante la justicia.

Aún más, DEMANDAMOS que la Segunda Caravana de Ayuda Nacional e
Internacional “JYRI ANTERO JAAKOLA Y ALBERTA CARIÑO TRUJILLO” tenga
libre acceso a la comunidad de San Juan Copala el próximo 8 de junio del
2010, sin ningún tipo de hostigamiento o provocación. Estamos contactando
a los medios internacionales para informarles de ésta caravana
solicitándoles monitorear la misma en su trayecto hacia San Juan Copala.
Nuestra atención y la de muchos otros está puesta en ésta caravana. De
haber algún tipo de agresión en su contra responsabilizamos a las
autoridades estatales y federales mencionadas anteriormente.  Le
solicitamos haga llegar nuestras preocupaciones a las autoridades mexicanas
pertinentes.

Esperamos entienda la urgencia de atender ésta situación y por lo tanto
esperamos su pronta respuesta al respecto de nuestras demandas. Agradecemos
su atención y quedamos a la expectativa de su respuesta.

Atentamente,

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Edinburgh-Chiapas Solidarity Group
c/o ACE, 17 W. Montgomery Place
Edinburgh EH7 5HA
Tel: 0131 557 6242
=======================================================
E-mail:      edinchiapas@yahoo.co.uk
=======================================================
Web site:    http://www.edinchiapas.org.uk
=======================================================

----------------------------------
Edinburgh-Chiapas Solidarity Group
c/o ACE, 17 West Montgomery Place,
Edinburgh EH7 5HA Scotland
tel 0131 557 6242
edinchiapas@yahoo.co.uk
www.edinchiapas.org.uk

***  We organise regular meetings and activity and welcome your active
participation.

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