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

Martin O'Neill | 26.05.2010 19:00 | Oaxaca Uprising | Zapatista

The Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala in South East Mexico has been under siege for several 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 killed.

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 21st.

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.

San Juan Copala calls on the international media to document and verify their reality. They ask for International Humanitarian organisations to support the 2nd caravan. They call on the international community for large numbers of observers to help break the paramilitary blockade once and for all on June 8th.

Martin O'Neill
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