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Anti-Mining Activists Detained and Disappeared in Oaxaca

Community members protested against Vancouver's Fortuna Silver

by Pedro Matías - Proceso

Fortuna's installations in San José del Golfo. PHOTO: Dawn Paley.
Fortuna's installations in San José del Golfo. PHOTO: Dawn Paley.

OAXACA, MEXICO–The Oaxacan Collective in Defense of the Territories denounces the detention of Olegario Víctor Ruiz Martínez and his wife Salomé García López, who oppose the mining project in San José del Progreso.

According to Marcos Leyva Madrid, a representative from Services for an Alternative Education, 12 hours after their capture by federal police, the two members of the Coordination of the United Villages of the Ocotlán Valley (CPUVO) "are still disappeared, because we haven't heard anything from them and don't know what they are accused of."

The Collective indicated that the apprehension of the couple, both from the community of San José del Progreso–where there is still a conflict with the Cuzcatlán mine, subsidiary of the Canadian company Fortuna Silver Mines– took place at around 7 in the morning on Thursday and their whereabouts remain unknown.

The Collective expressed worry because they say this could be a series of actions that put their lives in danger, attacks to personal liberty outside of legal procedures, constituting non-communication or forced disappearance, both of which are prohibited by articles 20 and 22 of the political Constitution of the United Mexican States.

Because of this, the Collective sought the immediate intervention of the Office of Human Rights Defense of the People of Oaxaca that they help locate Ruiz Martínez and García López, and once they are found, their physical and emotional state be checked and that a complaint related to the violation of their rights be initiated.

In addition, the Collective asked the Attourney General of the Republic to immediately inform family members where they are detained, the state of their health, and what they are being charged with, failing this, that they be freed.

The Collective also requested the Human Rights Commission of the government of Oaxaca, Eréndira Cruz Villegas, assist with the locating the couple.

Click here for the original story. Click here to read the Media Co-op's previous coverage of this case and of the murder of mine opponent Bernado Vásquez in 2012.

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