Communiqué from the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala: We do not engage in party politics and, as of now, we will only speak through communiqués


One month after the brutal crime against Alberta Cariño Trujillo and Jyri Antero Jaakkola, and after a subsequent incident in which a group of women and children were illegally deprived of their freedom, human rights defenders and observers have heard our call for help and have decided to bring hope for food, peace, and justice to San Juan Copala.

The cruel silence of the state government only exposes those responsible for these cowardly actions. Last May 20, ongoing impunity was behind the hand of gunmen who carried out orders from on high, murdering our comrade Timoteo Alejandro Ramírez and his wife Tleriberta Casto Aguilar, and plunging our communities into mourning once again.

There’s no question about the fact that it was Timoteo, with his word and his example, who aroused the consciousness of many Triquis and influenced their decision to leave their former organizations and take their destiny and that of their communities into their own hands in 2006. That’s how the Independent Movement of Triqui Unification and Struggle came into being. On January 20, 2007, the organization took its first successful step towards unity in the creation of the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala. An understanding of the whole process could never have been achieved without the wise leadership of Timoteo, who was always guided, above all, by love for his people.

Once again, we turn to you comrades in the NGOs, human rights organizations, the Other Campaign, and to all good-hearted people to ask that you join us in witnessing and opposing the crimes and injustices ordered by the powerful to punish our people. We must repeat that the paramilitary activity against our people has been unceasing for the last three years, through daily harassment and attacks intended to put an end to our resistance and force us to abandon our autonomous municipality, a symbol of dignity and resistance that is, of course, intolerable to the powers that be.

What truly gives us a beautiful hope for life is the ‘Bety Cariño and Jiri Antero CARAVAN’ that will arrive in our town on June 8. But at the same time, we extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has stood in solidarity with our cause and urge you not to forget that the main goal of our project is the autonomy that will surely bring justice, peace, and development to our territory. With this in mind, it is important for everyone to understand that we do not engage in party politics because we know from experience that it is one of the tools of the powerful to divide our peoples and set us against each other. The term itself expresses the ailment; ‘part-y’, or divided. In our town, on the other hand, we are whole, because the ruling, decision-making body is the assembly. We hope that all of you will be respectful of the project we are defending with our very lives and hope that no one wishes to abandon our cause in order to obtain economic or political benefits for his or her group.

And so we ask all international people and organizations and those from the northern and central parts of the country who wish to stand with us, to get informed and register in our encampment in the Mexico City Zocalo, and we ask everyone from Oaxaca and the southern part of the country to get informed and register from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 2 pm by calling us at 5141634. Participants should come with an attitude of respect and solidarity, without engaging in provocations or seeking individual or organizational prominence. We ourselves will be coordinating and leading the caravan.

Finally, we wish to inform the news media that, as of now, we will only speak through communiqués, because we think that due to the fact that we may not always speak the Spanish language clearly and precisely, some journalists have misinterpreted what we have said and reported things in their newspapers that we never meant to say. This situation has been taken seriously in our community assembly, which came to an agreement and gave us this mandate. And so we send our word to you and extend our sincere thanks to those of you who wish to publish it.

May 28, 2010






June 7 Solidarity with Oaxaca

Countrywide Day of Action in Solidarity with Oaxaca

On June 8, anti-authoritarians and human rights activists are trying to break the paramilitary blockade of the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala in Oaxaca. We need to support them to help avoid another massacre.

In 2006, Oaxaca was the site of one of the most inspiring, important social rebellions of the decade. Between the brutal crackdown of the Mexican state and the constant harassment by paramilitaries, dozens of people have been killed and the rebellion was largely crushed, but parts of Oaxaca are still organizing their autonomy.

For five months, the Triqui village of San Juan Copala has faced severe paramilitary repression for declaring itself autonomous from the Mexican state and the neocolonial capitalist policies it enforces.

On April 27, paramilitaries attacked a convoy that included activists, anarchists, and humanitarian workers trying to reach the village to lift the paramilitary siege. Two people, Beatriz Alberto Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola, were killed and several were wounded. Beatriz, an indigenous Mixtec, was a long-time advocate for food sovereignty, community water management, soil conservation and indigenous autonomy. She directed the organization CACTUS (Centro de Apoyo Comunitario Trabajando Unidos). Jyri, 33 years old, was a Finnish human rights activist who had been involved in the Fair Trade movement and delivering humanitarian aid to Africa.

On May 15, paramilitaries kidnapped and beat 12 women and children inhabitants of the municipality, who were later released. On May 20, paramilitaries assassinated Cleriberta Castro and her husband, Timoteo Alejandro Ramirez, who was the leader of the indigenous Yosoyuxi community within the municipality.

Multiple indigenous, Zapatista, anti-authoritarian, human rights and other groups are calling for a second caravan to lift the blockade of the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala, arriving on June 8.

For this reason, we are calling for a day of solidarity actions the day before, on June 7, to create pressure and prevent another massacre. The paramilitaries work on behalf of the Mexican government and Mexican and international corporations invested in the area. They do the dirty work that provides the basis for state control and commercial investment.

As comrades in Oaxaca go face to face with the paramilitary thugs, all the rest of us need to let the bosses of the paramilitaries know there will be consequences for more brutality.

Call-ins or protests at Mexican consulates, visits to corporations invested in Mexico, counter-information and direct action are all necessary. Because solidarity spreads or it dies.

Decentralized Solidarity Actions on June 7: Against Capitalism and its Death Squads! For Indigenous Self-Determination!


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