Triqui caravan stands down after shameful moves by government

by February 10, 2012
 

The Triqui people of San Juan Copala are returning to the Palace of Governance in Oaxaca de Juรกrez after a series of shameful moves by the Oaxaca government.

Things were finally starting to look up for the displaced community. On January 23rd, 2012, Oaxaca Governor Gabino Cuรฉ agreed to send an armed escort to accompany the Triqui on their return home after being displaced by paramilitary groups 16 months ago.

But then, Governor Cue presented a Peace Accord with some last minute revisions that Triqui representatives dared not accept.

Under the terms of the Accord--which would supposedly guarantee the Triqui's safety--just 5 families per week would have been be allowed to return home instead of everybody at once. Presumably, those 5 families would have also needed to travel without any escorts, be they police officers, human rights observers or government officials. The paramilitaries used such conditions before, to terrorize the Triqui People.

The Triqui ultimately decided to proceed with their Caravan, without a police escort.

The journey was going good at first. But then, after a day's journey along the highway to San Juan Copala, the caravan came face to face a with a police blockade.

The paramilitaries set up their own blockades along the highway too. They also occupied San Juan Copala--and not in the way that some of us can feel good about!

Things went downhill from there. Government officials who showed up at the blockade later on, asked the Triqui to sit down and "negotiate" with the paramilitaries.

Then came the arbitrary arrest of a member of the caravan, which was followed by the sudden suspension of talks and the complete withdrawal of all police and government officials from the area, practically leaving the caravan to the paramilitaries.

Sufficed to say, the Triqui have been once again betrayed by the Oaxaca government.

Nevertheless, the The autonomous Triqui community of San Juan Copala has no intention of simply giving up; not with so much at stake.

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More news and updates are available in Spanish at http://municipioautonomodesanjuancopala.wordpress.com

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A publication of the Center for World Indigenous Studies (cwis.org).

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