On 19th June 2016, during a protest by the teacher-training college and member of the communities of Asunción, Nochixtlán, San Pablo Huitzo, San Franzisco Telixtlahuaca, Hacienda Blanca and Viguera that requested a dialgoue with the Federal Government in order to revise the educational reforms, many participants were seriously assaulted by different security forces in an attempt to halt the protest.
On 10th September 2010, the then president, Enrique Peña Nieto enacted a constitutional reform to Articles 3 and 73, initiating educational reforms. This reform caused protests in different states in the country as members of the National Educational Workers´ Coordination (CNTE) considered that these modifications could cause the privitisation and standardisation of education. This inconformity translated to pronouncements from the teacher-training college as well as from different organisations referring to the impacts of the reform in the State of Oaxaca during the following years, bringing with it detentions, criminalisation, difamations to members of the XXII Section of the CNTE, some of which signed the First Report concerning Human Rights Violations, 19th June, Oaxaca.
The week before the 19th June 2016, those protesting inlcuing members of the State Coordination of Mothers and Fathers and Tutors in Defense of Public, Secular and Free Education in the State of Oaxaca, members of the Teacher Training College of Azaca as well as the aforementioned communities installed a road block in Nochixtlán and blocked the road towards Hitzo by the petrol station of Telixtlahuaca and the crossroads at Hacienda Blanca. In response, the State government deployed an opperative that included 800 members of the Public Security Secretary of Oaxaca, Federal Police and the Gendarmery Division leaving 7 people dead, over 150 wounded and 27 people detained.
Civil Soceity Organisations identified and documented serious human rights violations, including the excessive use of force, violations to the right to freedom of speach, due process and judicial security, the right to physical integrity and to health, as well as the right to life. Organisations such as Codigo DH and Consorcio Oaxaca, accompanied by PBI in Oaxaca, have been providing psycosocial accompaniment as well as legal advice to the victims of these serious human rights violations.
In March 2017, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), released the recommendation no. 7VG/2017, directed at State and Federal authorities, “on the serious human rights violations during the events of 19th Jun2 2016”, which emphasises the responsability of the authorities in the procurement of justice, reparations and the reconstruction of social fabric. This reccommendation was questioned by civil society organisations for several reasons, including the omission of the Federal Government´s reccommendation as well as the omission of the documented sexual torture.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the UN in Mexico expressed concern for the fact that the authorities still haven´t clarified what happened and have denied their responsability, as well as expressing their serious doubts over the partiality and independence of the investigation; they also confirmed that various victims and their representatives have been targets of discrediting, intimidation and physical agression, concluding that “we are still far from reaching truth and justice for the victims”.
The CNDH recently declared that the Government of Oaxaca, the National Security Commission, the Sub-Prosecutor of Justice in substitution of the PGR and the Ficalía General of the State of Oaxaca, still have not complied with many of the points included in their reccommendation, such as the public appology to the vitcims by the State, the rescontruction of the social fabric in the different areas affected and the reparation for damages for the victims.
A little over two years since the event, PBI shares the concerns of various organisations that accompany the victims in this case, mainly due to the delays in the investigations and for lack of communication of the advances in such investigations, leaving this human rights violation in impunity.
Since the event until today PBI continues to accompany the organisations that work with the victims in the case in order to contribute to maintaining their spaces of work open, and to recognise the right to social protest. We also urge the authorities to comply with the recognition of the right to justice, identification of those responsible and the recognition of the grievances caused by the police, with the aim to putting an end to the impunity as a fundamental guarantee for the non-repetition of human rights violations.