AMERICA/MEXICO - Bishops appeal to authorities for the violation of human rights in the community of San Mateo del Mar

Wednesday, 24 June 2020 violence   indigenous   local churches  

Tehuantepec (Agenzia Fides) - "With deep concern" Mgr. Crispín Ojeda Martínez, Bishop of the diocese of Tehuantepéc, and Mgr. Arturo Lona Reyes, Bishop Emeritus and President of the Human Rights Center "Tepeyac" AC, addressed the President of Mexico , the Governor of the state of Oaxaca and the Government Minister, asking for their intervention for events that "deeply damage an indigenous community". The ancestral and current abandonment by the various levels of government "has resulted in a serious violation of their human rights: the right to life, integrity and personal security, development, full access to economic, social and cultural rights, to the right to peace".
In their letter, sent to Agenzia Fides, the Bishops recall that the right to peace of the Ikots indigenous community of San Mateo del Mar has been violated. On May 3, the municipal agent of the Huaztlán del Río municipal agency was killed and it is not known whether justice has been sought. An assembly was called on June 21 in the community of Huaztlán del Río, but an attack by an armed group followed, followed by acts of violence, which caused deaths and injuries.
"As defenders of human rights - the two Bishops write -, we are concerned about the violence that exists in the indigenous community of San Mateo del Mar, but above all about the fact that there may be actors outside the community who encourage violence among brothers. We are concerned that even when we know that the problem that the brothers in San Mateo del Mar are experiencing is at high risk for life, security and peace, the interventions of federal and state governments do not prevent the violence that resulted in death, injury and personal injury".
The Bishops then submit a series of requests to the major authorities of the Mexican state: to guarantee the support and assistance measures established by law to the relatives of the dead. Psychological and medical assistance to orphaned children and adolescents. Medical assistance for the injured in specialized centers. Women who are victims of violence are treated in accordance with the provisions of the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. To carry out appropriate criminal and administrative investigations, so that the events that have occurred do not go unpunished. Finally, they ask that "a process of peace and reconciliation begins which guarantees the internal pacification of the community, as well as of neighboring populations". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 24/6/2020)