To Whom it May Concern:
We have learned that the governments of Felipe Calderón and Ulises Ruiz Ortiz have unleashed a violent repression against the indigenous communities of San José del Progreso and Magdalena Ocotlán, for their defense of the environment and their natural resources. They are opposing the establishment of the FORTUNA SILVER MINES and CUZCATLÁN, which in addition to being highly contaminating and destructive of the environment, we have been informed have begun their work without permits and papers established by laws (regarding mining).
It worries us that the Mexican government represses its people and violates human rights to benefit companies which in no way follow national laws.
For these reasons, we demand:
- The immediate stop to repression and violation of human rights of the indigenous people of The Valleys of Ocotlán for the “crime” of defending the environment and their natural resources, which should be a priority for all the governments of the world.
- The immediate and unconditional release of persons unjustly detained, since we know the skill of the Mexican government in fabricating crimes to repress social activists.
- The fulfillment of the petition of the towns that call for the departure of the mining companies of Valle de Ocotlán, because of contaminating the water and the environment.
Hoping that you respond positively to this petition, we remain attentive to the events in San José del Progreso Ocotlán, Oaxaca.
BUILDING BRIDGES HUMAN RIGHTS- VANCOUVER
MAY 6, 2009 VANCOUVER, B.C.
May 6, 2009
THE GOVERNMENTS OF FELIPE CALDERON AND ULISES RUIZ REPRESS THE PEOPLES OF OAXACA WHO DEFEND THE ENVIRONMENT AND THEIR NATURAL RESOURCES
Today, Wednesday, May 6, 2009 around 8:30 in the morning, with excessive force, using tear gas, shooting various firearms, police dogs, savagely beating the compañeros and invading homes, more than 1,500 policemen of the FEDERAL, AFI, JUDICIAL, FIRE DEPARTMENT attacked those who were peacefully guarding access to the mine. Also beaten were media people who were present and whose access was blocked. From the early hours a helicopter was circling overhead at fifteen or twenty meters up, terrorizing the population.
Twenty compañeros have been detained: Ignacio Vásquez Gómez, Hilario Vásquez, Joaquín López, Víctor Sánchez Martínez, Juan García, Elías López, Bernardo Vásquez Gómez, Silvino Vásquez Mérida, Alfonso Ruiz, Alfonso Rodrigo López, Luis Ruiz Martínez, Víctor Ruiz Martínez, Juan Carlos López, Agripina Vásquez Sánchez, Bernardo Vásquez Sánchez, Víctor Ortiz Hernández, Apolinar García, Carmela González, Ubaldo González,all of them from San José del Progreso and Alejandro Aquino Cosme from Magdalena Ocotlán.