[images are of an intercepted attempt to install polling booths. the contents of which were then burned.]
The following text was published in Spanish by Comuna P’urépecha yesterday. A Facebook page dedicated to disseminating the history, knowledge, political education and struggles of the P’urépecha people1 in what is known as the Mexican state of Michoacán. So-called México is set to have presidential elections on July 1st, 2018.
What follows is our translation.
Nahuatezn, Michoacán. June 29th 2018
MEDIA RELEASE: RED ALERT DECLARATION IN THE COMMUNITY OF NAHUATZEN
TO ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE P’URÉPECHA PLATEAU2
TO THE GOVERNING INDIGENOUS COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL INDIGENOUS COUNCIL
TO THE COMMUNITY, COMMUNAL AND AUTONOMOUS COUNCILS OF MICHOACÁN AND MÉXICO.
TO THE DEFENDERS OF NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS
TO THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL PRESS
Brothers and sisters of Michoacán, México and the world: we made a red alert declaration and we ask you follow closely what is happening now in our town.
WE HAVE RATIFIED THAT THERE WERE BE NO ELECTIONS IN OUR COMMUNITY
The threats by Silvano Aureoles Conejo, governor of the State of Michoacán, have been fulfilled: by blood and fire he seeks to come to pass the election day this coming July 1st. At 6PM in the afternoon we were assaulted with high-power weapons by supporters of political parties when we were in the barricade at the exit that leads to the community of Sevina.
Up until now we do not have any comrades that were injured since we opted to not fall into a confrontation. We ask ourselves, do a few electoral ballots matter more to the government than the lives of human beings? Who armed these assault groups that act like paramilitaries?
We denounce that those responsible for this artful aggression are the three levels of government because it could have been prevented, because this aggression was executed with arms which are exclusively used by the army. We also denounce the sectorial police, under the command of Ignacio Perez García, director of municipal public security in this municipality with the rank of Captain of Infantry of the Mexican Army, since they have acted clearly in favor of the aggressor group because minutes after the aggression, they went to the scene and regrouped with the high-powered weapons equipped aggressors, without doing anything to disarm them.
As we have been denouncing, our recent protests have been to demand that the Electoral Institute of Michoacán does not install polling stations in our community since by agreement of the neighborhood assemblies and general assemblies we have agree to not allow this; that as a community we are waiting for citizen consultation to move from the system of political parties to a system of uses and customs3 to pick our own authorities and exercise our own self-governance, as has already been ordered by the Superior Court of the Electoral Tribunal of the Judicial Branch of the Federation [of México], with headquarters in the city of Toluca, State of México.
At this moment we demand that the three levels of government order a stoppage to this aggression, we do not want any blood to be spilled. The bad government will be responsible for could be seen as a possible massacre of large proportions.
In the name of truth and justice we shall continue to resist, our ancestral roots only know the word victory.
The people united will never be defeated!
Councils yes, political parties no!
Ever onward to victory!
COMUNIDAD DE NAHUATZÉN
INDIGENOUS CITIZEN COUNCIL OF NAHUATZÉN
HEART OF THE P’URÉPECHA PLATEAU
1The P’urépcha people are also sometimes called Tarascos in English, we will be using the name they prefer.
3A system of self-governance typical of indigenous municipalities in México which is supported by the second article of the Mexican political constitution.