Another Member of the Bautista Triqui Family Murdered in San Juan Copala
UBISORT Seeks to Bring in the Mexican Army
By Nancy Davies
Commentary from Oaxaca
January 5, 2010
Another Triqui member of the family of Teresa Bautista, the 24 year old radio broadcaster killed in an ambush in April of 2008, has been murdered. Her brother, a 17-year-old named Isaias Bautista Merino, was killed on Friday while attending the inauguration of new municipal leader Anastasio Juarez in San Juan Copala, the Triqui autonomous town located some 350 kilometers (217 miles) west of Oaxaca city, where more than a dozen indigenous Triqui have died in clashes and ambushes.
Officials in San Juan Copala declared the town an “autonomous municipality” on January 20, 2007.
The struggle for political control of the Triqui lands has left a trail of blood in clashes between supporters of rival groups in recent years: the local organizations of MULT (United Movement of Triqui Struggle), MULT-I, (the Independent Movement of United Triqui Struggle) and UBISORT (Unity for the Social Well-being of the Triqui Region). UBISORT denounced four presumed paramilitaries for the January 1 assassination of Isaías Bautista Merino.
In a press release UBISORT announced, “the young people present indicate that they could fully identify these four who killed Bautista Merino.” UBISORT is widely regarded as being an affiliate of the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party which runs the government of Oaxaca under Ulises Ruiz). UBISORT consistently has opposed the autonomy of San Juan Copala.
UBISORT’s press bulletin identified Eugenio Martínez López, the teacher Miguel Ángel Velasco Álvarez, José Ramírez and Jordán Gonzales Ramírez, but did not give their location. It said only that there was a shower of bullets against the young people, and Isaías Bautista Merino was hit by two shots from a .22 caliber weapon and more than eight from an AK-47 assault rifle. The news did not mention that Jordán Gonzalez is the man whose family was kidnapped on December 8, 2009, presumably in retaliation for the murder of Pablo Bautista.
In various press releases in the past two weeks, UBISORT has consistently referred to San Juan Copala as part of Santiago Juxtlahuaca, a bigger Triqui municipality to which UBISORT wants San Juan Copala re-annexed. Also, UBISORT issued press releases of the “elections” in which a PRI candidate was elected, although the town council of the autonomous community consistently denies any such action. The false candidate-now-elected has repeated in various interviews, all printed by media in support of the PRI, that San Juan Copala would benefit greatly by having a PRI connection.
The father of Isaías, Pablo Bautista, was also assassinated, bringing to three the murdered members of that family. It was claimed that Jordán González Ramírez was the man who killed Pablo Bautista in revenge for Bautista’s harassment/assault of Gonzalez, and that the dead Bautista was a militant of UBISORT. At another moment, it was claimed that paramilitaries shot Pablo Bautista, whose corpse was placed on the table in the municipal building in front of the assembly-elected municipal president.
None of this makes sense; lies are swarming like gnats. That Teresa Bautista could have been an UBISORT militant and her father and brother also, flies in the face of the work begun by the radio station The Voice That Breaks the Silence, for which young people, including Teresa Bautista, were trained by people in opposition to the PRI government. If they were members of any group, it was MULT-I, which has supported autonomy and sought to minimize the violence. Nevertheless, charges that all the Bautistas were UBISORT continue, including in an anonymous letter received by Narco News. UBISORT has worked continuously to control the population on behalf of the PRI, and during the period since autonomy was declared, at least a dozen people have been ambushed and killed.
On January 1 the council of elders of San Juan Copala handed the symbol of leadership, a wooden rod, to Anastasio Juárez, the new “elected” municipal president, before about 700 people.
“According to the elders, after the hour at which he was handed the symbolic rod, Anastasio Juárez Hernandez rules with all his authority. It’s a new day. As substitute president Mauro Vásquez Ramírez remains in office; Faustino Vásquez, as municipal mayor; as secretary Bernabé Cruz Santiago. All were chosen in assembly of the citizens of San Juan Copala.” No such, says the “real” president of the autonomous municipality, José Ramirez.
Anastasio Juárez made a speech in which he said that it’s time for us all to come together as brothers— indeed families are divided between those who seek a return to PRI electoral politics and those who oppose it. The youngsters had organized the New Year’s day social event. After the ceremony they left the building to enjoy the festivities.
Apparently “the paramilitaries” were hiding in wait, and shot at all the youth. However, another report was published on January 3, written by Monica Castro Reyes, “correspondent”. She has also been writing about the town’s happy change to a PRI candidate. In her current piece, published in Noticias on the crime page, the killer was none other than the municipal president José Ramirez, who showed up toting an AK-47. Her reports on the crime page almost never coincide with what is reported on the news section. As best I can ascertain, she is a employed by local Juxtlahuaca media.
None of these murders has been solved; the Attorney General for Justice of the State of Oaxaca reported that he had not yet received any information about events in San Juan Copala on January 1, a town, it claims, that police and officials find very difficult to enter.
It has now been repeated several times that the army could be called in. That is the goal of UBISORT and the PRI government, according to other reports.
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