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Date: Mon, 16 Aug 1999 23:13:44 -0500 (CDT)
From: ralf@anarch.free.de (Ralf Landmesser)
Subject: (en) Loxicha Mexico
Article: 72844
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <bulk.20240.19990819121510@chumbly.math.missouri.edu>

The Loxicha Region and Political Strategies

From O.P.I.Z. (OrganizaciŻn de Pueblos Indžgenas Zapotecos) and U.P.C.R.M.R.L. (UniŻn de Pueblos Contra la RepresiŻn y la MilitarizaciŻn de la RegiŻn Loxicha, and LIMEDDH (Liga Mexicana por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos), 16 August 1999

Usos y Costumbres (Uses and Customs) defines the Indian custom of self-government, communal work, Indian or ancient council and popular assembly, which is still currently practiced in some of the south and central Mexican communities. However, for some time now, the political parties have been trying to confuse the people with the pretended wish to increase the practice of Usos y Costumbres. Instead, using the legal resources that it provides, they occupy important political and social positions with the main purpose of withdrawing personal benefits, inciting political ambition and collecting economical privileges for just a few.

Beginning in September 1996, the inhabitants of the Zapoteca region of Loxicha, State of Oaxaca, have been suffering a dramatic alteration in their lifestyles. This is due to the incursion of military force, agents of the judicial, and preventive police and the so-called white guards or paramilitary groups, affecting the stability of, approximately, 20 of the 32 communities that integrate the region.

The strategies first adopted by the Mexican government, have been repeated and strengthened in the entire State based on the so-called Fight against organized crime. Since 1994, with the arise of the EZLN, the governmental procedures have been oriented to the persecution of social leaders, the destruction of civilian, rural, Indian, magisterial and union organizations or any other organization or individual who opposes the degradation of the State of Right, which, according to the government itself is necessary for the development of economy. Those acts have caused a serious increase in poverty and margination for the Mexican people.

The government was forced to provide a rapid and strong response to the apparition of the EPR (Popular Revolutionary Army), however due to itŪs lack of resources, it has directed itŪs operations to certain communities with strong organizational levels, urgent demands and solid social leaders representing the people. On the other hand, based on the governmentŪs intent to destroy social movements; the Loxicha region has always been considered as one of the most difficult zones to maintain under governmental control. Besides, the governmentŪs commitment with political bosses and landholders who have been expelled from the region, made the establishment of strategies for their return, with the propose of reestablishing the power and the appropriation of the natural resources, a priority. Conveying a subsequent state of terror to the local communities.

These are the main risks that the zapotecan Indians of the Loxicha region are currently facing:

1. - That the misdistribution and mishandling of economical resources, that the State government claims to award, would be used to confront one community against another, and brother against brother.

2. - That, the absolute lack of control on the usage of great quantities of money that are being distributed in the region, will generate the hazard of such resources being used to militarize and support desperate Indians who become corrupted so they could be recruited and transformed into paramilitary groups to strengthen those which, according to reports, are already operating in the region.

3. - That, with the eventual exit of the Army and police forces, the social tissue of the communities will be damaged to the point of impossible restoration due to hatred, revenge wishes, power-thirst and control over the region, generating a consequent ethnic war.

According to the investigations conducted by the Mexican League for the Defense of the Human Rights (LIMEDDH), until today there are 103 political prisoners held in different parts of the State, two missing persons and over 15 assassinations, whose wives and children have been left alone, unprotected and in a desperate situation.

O.P.I.Z.
OrganizaciŻn de Pueblos Indžgenas Zapotecos

U.P.C.R.M.R.L.
UniŻn de Pueblos Contra la RepresiŻn y la MilitarizaciŻn de la RegiŻn Loxicha

LIMEDDH
Liga Mexicana por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos

Target The Mexican Consulate Near You!!