THOUSANDS OF RESIDENTS DEMAND JUSTICE FOR THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE THAT DIED IN AN ARMED ATTACK IN OXCHUC
By: Isaín Mandujano
TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Chiapas (apro)
Thousands of indigenous Tzeltals of Oxchuc, demanded justice within the framework of a homage held this Friday en la plaza central plaza for three of their compañeros that died from bullets last Wednesday fire by an armed group at the service of the María Gloria Sánchez Gómez, the mayor-in-exile, who was expelled from the town more than one year ago and who seeks to return to govern that municipality.
The bodies of Ovidio López Sántiz, Francisco Méndez López, and Víctor Sántiz Gómez, were presented in their caskets before some five thousand (5,000) indigenous that met on the central plaza and shouted slogans against María Gloria Sánchez, whose sympathizers shot at members of the Civilian Resistance Movement that Oscar Gómez López and Juan Encinos lead.
The ambush that the armed group perpetrated left the community lawyer Juan Gabriel Méndez López injured. Mendez López has legally defended in the courts the right of that indigenous town to be ruled and to govern itself under its uses and customs and not by the political party system.
Encinos and Gómez López, who headed the homage and afterwards the funeral procession of their three compañeros, demanded of the state and federal governments that Sánchez Gómez lose her legal protection, because of the crimes that her sympathizers committed last Wednesday.
The Chiapas Prosecutor for Indigenous Justice, Cristóbal Hernández López, announced that the agency of which he is in charge investigates the murder of the three men in the municipality of Oxchuc, and pointed out that another six people that suffered injuries were released from the hospital on Thursday.
He added that, according to the inquiry, the facts took place this Wednesday some 200 meters from the arch at the entrance to Oxchuc, because of which the FGE initiated Investigation Folder 57-078-1001-2017, for the crimes homicide, attempted homicide and attacks against the peace and the corporal and patrimonial integrity of the collectivity and of the state.
Ovidio López Sántiz, Francisco Méndez López, and Víctor Sántiz Gómez died the day of the attack from the gunshot wound they received.
Among those injured that already left the hospital are: Manuel Gómez López, 39; José Luis Gómez Gómez, 24; Rafael López Sántiz, 16; Rigoberto Gómez Sánchez, 30; Marcelo Sántiz Sántiz, 31 and Néstor López Gómez, 18.
Those who remain hospitalized are: Bonifacio López Gómez, 28; Edgar Yovani Sántiz Gómez, 24; Romeo Gómez López, 35; Juan Gabriel Méndez López, 35; Amílcar Sántiz Gómez, 27; César Sántiz Gómez, 29; Beltrán Sántiz Gómez, 26, and Mario Sántiz Méndez, 25.
They reinforce security in Oxchuc
The Prosecutor for Indigenous Justice affirmed that they are carrying out the investigative work at the place where the acts took place to define responsibilities and achieve the arrest of those responsible.
For its part, the Secretariat o Health (SS) announced that it supervises the state of health of the injured that have been receiving opportune medical attention since last Thursday.
Meanwhile, members of the Secretariat of Security and Civilian Protection (SS y PC), in coordination with the Mexican Army carry out tours on the highways for the purpose of guarantying the security of the residents.
For his part, the Secretary General of Government, Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda, reported that in coordination with the State Attorney General’s office (Fiscalía General del Estado, FGE) the SS y PC and the SS, they implemented precautionary and preventive measures for the protection and safeguarding of the physical integrity of the inhabitants of the municipality.
In this regard, the person responsible for the state’s internal policy explained that ever since he became aware of the confrontation between members of the Permanent Commission for Indigenous Peace and Justice of Oxchuc that sympathizes with the former substitute president Oscar Gómez López and the Independent Organization of Communities and Barrios, identified with municipal president María Gloria Sánchez Gómez, the FGE initiated an investigation notebook, the purpose of which is that those responsible are brought to justice.
Gómez Aranda added that he asked the state Prosecutor’s office to apply precautionary measures because of the events that happened on Wednesday in Oxchuc, in such a way that: “it be investigated and in his case, punish those responsible for the acts that could constitute crimes, at all times privileging the respect for human rights and constitutional guarantees of the peoples.”
The state functionary also specified that the Secretariat of Health was asked to provide all the medical, psychological and legal assistance that those injured and affected by the acts require, as well as to the relatives of the three people who lost their lives in the confrontation.
In this sense, the Secretary of Health, Francisco Ortega Farrera, indicated that per the instructions of Governor Manuel Velasco Coello the medical care that those injured receive was reinforced and he confirmed that this Thursday morning six people that no longer required hospitalization were released, while the remaining five are in stable condition.
On the other hand, as a complementary action to the precautionary measures decreed, members of the SSyPC, with support of soldiers ascribed to the 31st Military Zone of San Cristóbal de Las Casas began tours on the federal highway, for the purpose of guarding order and the tranquility in the municipality of Oxchuc.
Finally, the Secretary General of Government emphasized the importance of the fact that sympathizers of the confronted parties privilege respect for the Law and manage their differences through the path of dialogue to find solutions.
Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso.com.mx
Friday, January 26, 2018
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee