The community of Valle del Río San Pedro in southwestern Mexico received a death threat on 19 May ordering them to leave their homes. Members of the community have previously been killed, and they are at grave risk of further attacks.
On 19 May, a member of the Indigenous Triqui community of Valle del Río San Pedro, in the municipality of Putla de Guerrero, Oaxaca state, found a note in the main street of the village that said “Damn Indians, get away from here with your dead, get the fuck out of here, and take your human rights with you. We’ve only just started the party, soon there will be food for the vultures.” (“Malditos indios, lárguense con sus muertos, sáquense a la chingada, con todo y sus derechos humanos. Apenas comenzamos la fiesta, pronto habrá comida para los zopilotes”).
Seventy-six people live in the community of Valle del Río San Pedro, which is made up of Indigenous Triqui families who occupied the land after being forced to leave their homes in 2008 due to violence in San Juan Copala, a nearby town. According to the inhabitants, they have suffered repeated attacks and threats in order to force them to leave the area. This has included killings of community members and supporters by unidentified gunmen as well as failed Oaxaca state police operations in February 2010 and January 2012 to forcibly evict the families. Several members of the community have been detained during this period, accused of possession of arms. On 8 May 2012 unknown gunmen entered the community and shot dead three men.
On May 29, as a result of the gravity of the situation in which the members of the Valle del Río San Pedro community live, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, (IACHR), has ordered the Mexican authorities to agree measures with the community that guarantee their safety.
Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:
- Calling on the federal and state government to take immediate action to protect the residents of Valle del Río San Pedro in Putla de Guerrero in the Triqui region of Oaxaca State, in accordance with their wishes, as they have been ordered by the IACHR.
- Calling for a full, prompt and impartial investigation into the threat made to the community on 19 May, including previous unsolved threats and killings, and for those responsible to be held accountable.
- Calling on the authorities to guarantee all human rights for all the residents of San Juan Copala and Triqui region, who have faced attacks and threats from armed groups within the Triqui region, who are alleged to have links with some local authorities.
Please check with your locl Amnesty International section office, if sending appeals after 1 July 2012.
Minister of the Interior
Dr. Alejandro Poiré Romero
Bucareli 99, 1er. piso, Col. Juárez
México D.F., C.P.06600
Fax: +52 55 5093 3414 (keep trying)
Salutation: Dear Minister
Governor of Oaxaca State
Lic. Gabino Cué Monteagudo
Palacio de Gobierno (Planta Alta),
Plaza de la Constitución, Centro Histórico
Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, C.P. 68000
Fax: +52 951 501 5000 Ext 40068
Salutation: Dear Governor
And copies to:
Centro de Derechos Humanos y Asesoría da Pueblos Indígenas (CEDHAPI – Local NGO)
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.
Ambassade des Etats-Unis du Mexique
Avenue F.D. Roosevelt 94
The Indigenous Triqui inhabitants of San Juan Copala and surrounding communities have suffered violence and neglect over many decades, during which time local authorities have repeatedly been accused of colluding with or tolerating armed groups in order to maintain political control. The region is one of the poorest and most underdeveloped in Mexico. The failure of the authorities to prevent violence between competing factions or hold those responsible to account has created a climate of impunity and neglect. No public officials have ever been brought to justice for direct or indirect support of the armed groups, despite numerous complaints and allegations.
On 27 April 2010, armed men ambushed a humanitarian convoy near San Juan Copala and killed human rights defenders Alberta Cariño Trujillo, also known as Bety, and Jyri Antero Jaakkola. Those responsible for the killings have not been held to account, including members of the former state government accused of sponsoring the armed group responsible. Other killings that have taken place since then have also not been resolved. See UA 110/10.
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples establishes that “Indigenous peoples have the collective right to live in freedom, peace and security as distinct peoples and shall not be subjected to any form of […] violence.”
Name: Triqui community of Valle del Río San Pedro
Gender m/f: Both
UA: 157/12 Index: , Issue Date: 1 June 2012
Original urgent action