The mayor-elect denounces terror in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca, after the brutal eviction
NOCHIXTLAN, OAXACA, June 19, 2016.- CNTE teachers supported by citizens were attacked by Federal Police who sought to remove a highway blockade that the teachers had maintained for days as part of their fight against the Education Reform. 12 people are now reported dead.
PHOTO: ARTURO PEREZ ALFONSO /CUARTOSCURO.COM
By: Gabriela Romero Sánchez
Almost one week after the eviction of the Section 22 teachers belonging to the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) by the Federal Police, residents of Nochixtlán, Oaxaca, are afraid to go into the streets and afraid of being repressed again after being considered unstable and rebel people by the federal government, narrates the municipal president elect of Nochixtlán, Rubén Alcides.
“On Thursday, a helicopter without registration letters to identify it, started to fly very low; it motivated people going about their daily activities to run and hide,” he said.
He comments that there are still people with bullet wounds going to private doctors’ offices for medical attention. “No one wants to say their name, because they think that the federal government will come to capture them for having participated in the protest.”
Alcides and a group of nine neighbours from the municipal capital resorted to federal Deputy Jesús Valencia to look for support from different bodies, among them the Government of Mexico City (now a state), for the reconstruction of their town, since, they assure, there is no rapprochement on the part of the federal government.
“We’re talking about people who are experiencing a tremendous fear, who have bullet wounds,” he describes.
He describes how the eviction from the federal highway began around 6 o’clock in the morning and that a group of teachers and parents were there, “let’s say a reduced number,” but it was also market day, therefore after initiating the operation many people came out to support a friend or parent.
They refute the version of the authorities that assert that members of the federal police were not carrying arms: “They were indeed armed. It was a totally unequal attack, underhand and above all disproportionate,” the municipal president elect summarizes.
Alcides denies that the local priest had incited violence; on the contrary, he asserts, he gave space in his parish church for attending to the injured without importance to whether they were civilians or federal police; while at the hospital only the police were received.
A doctor in the group, who also aided in the parish that day and asked for anonymity out of fear, intervenes: “There was no surgical material for attending to the injured, around 30 people went there, of which at least 10 had bullet wounds. How can they say that they were rubber bullets when they had entry and exit orifices in their thorax and in their arms or legs!”
He indicates that around 10 o’clock in the morning they asked permission to use the two ambulances that exist in Nochixtlán, without obtaining an answer. “People started to get angry over that, they wanted to move the injured to a hospital; then, they set fire to the municipal presidency to get them out.”
The tension increased, he said, when they heard that there was one death. “People came out of their houses to support their sons, brothers, fathers. They were saying: ‘they are killing us!’”
He rejects that there were individuals unrelated to the community in the town, “we see each other every day; some of them go to my doctor’s office.”
Alcides points out that on assuming the office he will receive a destroyed town, with the municipal palace (City Hall) and the Civilian Registry burned, without services. Above all “with intense pain in the population that feels hatred towards the federal and state governments. They arrested 19 people from the town when they were digging a tomb for a relative, their crime was carrying a pick and shovel.”
The municipal president elect urges the competent authorities to indemnify the families of the people that died: “it’s people that live in extreme poverty.” He asks for resources for the reconstruction of the damaged public buildings: “we are without legal identity, they don’t issue birth and death records.” And he asked to activate job sources.
In the afternoon the Secretary of Mobility, Héctor Serrano Cortés, attended to the group of people on behalf of the Mexico City Government. After listening to them he offered to support them with medications and food.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Re-published in English by the Chiapas Support Committee