<media 6793>Entrevista 21</media>

Since March 2010, the indigenous community of Zimatlán de Lázaro Cárdenas, located in the Mixtec region of Oaxaca State, has suffered acts of aggression from an armed group based in the neighbouring community of San Sebastián Nopalera. The attacks arise from a land-based conflict between the two communities. In response to the serious security situation, on 4 August 2010 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) granted precautionary measures to guarantee the life and physical integrity of the members of the community of Zimatlán de Lázaro Cárdenas.

PBI interviewed Rufino Benítez Sánchez, lawyer and acting president of the ´Centre for Human Rights and Legal Advice for Indigenous People' (CEDHAPI) in August 2010. This organisation provides legal support to the inhabitants of Zimatlán. CEDHAPI’s work in defence of the rights of the indigenous peoples of Oaxaca has put its members in a situation of serious insecurity. Given these risks, PBI Mexico has accompanied the organisation since 2009.

Could you tell us what has happened in Zimatlán de Lázaro Cárdenas?

The attacks began on 8 March 2010, with houses being set alight and constant gunfire, both day and night. The staff of the educational institutions and the doctor of the Healthcare Clinic subsequently left the community for fear of being shot. The women [of the community] ceased working in the field at that time; [now,] they are afraid that their crops will dry out and their harvest will be ruined. On 29 May, the community was taken siege and Marcelino Pedro Hernández Jìménez and Eleazar Asunción Sánchez Hernández were forcibly disappeared. To date, nothing is known of their whereabouts. On 20 July, two people were wounded by projectiles shot from fire arms. One woman is still convalescing the Civil Hospital in Oaxaca City. Approximately 70 people have left the community to take refuge in the municipal capital, Putla de Guerrero. In addition, 49 women, children, and elderly people were evacuated in a humanitarian caravan at the end of July, with the support of CEDHAPI... <media 6793>Download the whole interview with Cedhapi (pdf)</media>

<media 3583>Download the interview with Cedhapi regarding impunity in the community of Santo Domingo Ixcatlán</media><media 3583>, Spanish (pdf)</media>