On August 30th, 2018, a group of comrades took the street in front of the transition house of the president-elect of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. There, they briefly blocked traffic and showered the police, media and bystanders with flyers denouncing the judicial corruption and state repression being carried out against community members of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón, Oaxaca. The banner blocking the highway read: Freedom to the Prisoners of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón—Week of Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners.
This action kicks off a series of events planned in the lead up to anarchist prisoner Miguel Peralta’s final court date on September 28th, 2018. We encourage you all to remain attentive to upcoming events and actions.
Free all prisoners! Down with the Prison Walls!
Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón is a municipality located in the Sierra Mazateca in the state of Oaxaca. The majority of the inhabitants speak Mazateco and the municipality is registered beneath the Internal Normative System, or Uses and Customs of Indigenous communities.
However, since 2010, political parties have sought to interfere in the community life employing different strategies. One approach has been to cover up for the Zepeda Lagunas cacique family, who since 2010, has maintained control of the municipality. Eight years have already gone by with this family imposing its power through repression, persecution and incarceration, fabricating crimes against people that have organized to denounce the abuses and contracting armed men of the State of Mexico and surrounding municipalities.
They have taken the municipality by force, imposing themselves as municipal authorities, without respecting the decisions of the community assembly as the maximum organ of decision-making in the community. They have enriched themselves by exploiting the natural resources of Eloxochitlán, such as rock, gravel and sand. This material has been sold by their own business to fulfill the necessities of supposed public works projects of the municipality. They have been accused of torture, damages, dispossession of land, ambushes against people in the community, including injuring a journalist.
Yet, in spite of previous inquiries and judicial processes, not one member of this family has been arraigned for these acts. Rather, what has happened, is that their power continues to grow in Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón. Total impunity and corruption exist, sustained by the support this family receives from diverse state institutions, political parties, supposed human rights organizations and media outlets. The most recent example, was this year’s election, where the political party MORENA, allowed Elisa Zepeda Lagunas to run as one of their candidates for local representative. Elisa is a member of this cacique family and someone who has publicly portrayed herself as a defender of human rights. With this, she imposed herself as municipal president in Eloxochitlán, again violating the forms of internal elections in the Indigenous community.
Months afterwards, she left this position, buying her candidacy for local representative for more than 5 million pesos. All the while, her father, Manuel Zepeda Lagunas, has been cited by the state audit office of Oaxaca for running up public expense sums for the fiscal year of 2013 that reached 21,000,000 pesos. As such, today we are here, to denounce that MORENA, accommodates these types of people, permitting aggressions, impunity and corruption to continue in the Mazateca community of Eloxochitlán.
We are here, to demand the freedom of the seven prisoners of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón, accused in December of 2014, by the Zepeda Lagunas family. Thanks to their political and economic power, they have manipulated the judicial process in the Mixed District Court of Huautla de Jiménez, with the case number 02/2015, slowing down the “due process” and causing the forced displacement of more than 20 families of the community.
This cacique family, has converted the struggle to maintain the internal forms of organization of the community and the respect for community self-determination, into a judicial conflict and a case of ongoing persecution. In the Mazateca community of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón, there is no tranquility with “peace”, but rather the imposition of repression, abuse of power and harassment beneath the command of the Zepeda family.
Immediate freedom to Herminio Monfil, Fernando Gavito, Omar Morales, Miguel Peralta, Jaime Betanzos, Isaias Gallardo and Alfredo Bolaños
Cease the arrest warrants against members of the Community Assembly.