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Armed Attack Against Inhabitants of Cuatro Venados, Oaxaca

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Around 2 P.M. on Wednesday, February 9th, some twenty people carrying military-grade firearms attacked inhabitants of the community of San Pablo Cuatro Venados once again. This took place specifically in the localities of “El Rebollero,” “Los Arquitos,” and “Rio Minas,” located just 45 minutes from Oaxaca City.

“Campesinos who were grazing their cattle in the area we know as Los Patanares and Loma de Costales were attacked with firearms. The attack was carried out by around twenty people who arrived in two pickup trucks, one white and the other red,” said the victims.

In a communiqué, community members explained that “the trucks arrived from the direction of El Carrizal and Tiracoz of Cuilapam de Guerrero” and that “the armed attack lasted approximately 20 minutes.”

The assailants disappeared into the vegetation of the community. As of 5 P.M., “unknown people continue arriving and entering the vegetation,” explained one community member, who preferred to remain anonymous for security reasons.

In the communiqué, inhabitants of the community announced that they are on “maximum alert.” There are rumors that they could be attacked again, just as they were on May 31st, 2019, when more than 500 people armed and with heavy machinery demolished their houses and burned their crops. “The most worrying thing is that other people from outside our community continue arriving and are hiding in the brush along the river,” they stated.

Learn more – Atacan y derriban casas de indígenas zapotecos, los acusan de usurpar sus propias tierras and the documentary Cuándo los Coyotes Aúllan

Community members blame the three levels of government for what might happen next. “We hold the three levels of government responsible since more than once we have denounced these attacks. We are Indigenous people of San Pablo Cuatro Venados and the lands that we live on belong to our ancestors.”

The community members explain that part of the interest in the land is the exploitation of gold and silver, as well as the exploitation of the water that springs from their mountains. “We know that at least three mining concessions have been issued in our lands: Title 217598, issued in 2002, located in the Cuatro Venados lot with an area of 132 hectares; Title 227548, issued in 2006, located in the la Soledad lot with an area of 3600 hectares; and the third concession, Title 242665, issued in 2013, covers the municipalities of Cuatro Venados and San Miguel Peras, located in Moisés lot with an area of 1400 hectares,” said the communiqué.

On May 31st, 2019, a team from Avispa Midia counted twenty-four demolished and burned houses after an attack on the community. The corn, beans, and other grains that were stored for planting were covered with gasoline and set on fire. Clothes, beds, and shoes were scattered about. They broke the only two solar cells the community had for generating energy. They also stole cows, two generators, and a water pump—basically, everything they could.

Read the community’s complete communiqué here (Spanish) ➜

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