They Will Not Permit the Installation of Polling Stations in Álvaro Obregón (Oaxaca)

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The communal municipal agency of Álvaro Obregón (Oaxaca) declared at the beginning of this month, April 2016, their posture in relation to the upcoming state elections on July 5th. Like in previous years, they will not permit elections based in political parties in their territory, emphasizing the right of autonomy and the application of their internal normative systems (Usos y costumbres).

This July 5th, the governor of the state of Oaxaca will be elected as well as local representatives and municipal presidents.

At the end of 2012, the indigenous Zapoteco community of Álvaro Obregón began a struggle of resistance against a wind farm project planned for the zone of Istmo. The struggle was centered on the defense of land and territory. According to the community assembly, the “number 1 enemy of our struggles are the political parties, that go by the names PRI, PAN, PAD or other denominations”, because they support the transnational businesses “to invade our territory, giving concessions and permits through federal, state and municipal dependencies, without considering the environmental impact, violating our human rights and the indigenous people who we are, considering us an obstacle to their profit.”

Thus, August 10, 2013, the community assembly decided to exclude the political parties and make use of “their rights as indigenous people” based in the convention 169 of the International Organization of Work (OIT) as well as the declaration of the Organization of the United Nations. Since then, Álvaro Obregón began a process of autonomy rejecting the interference of political parties in their words: “the election of governments of the party type.”

In their communiqué, the council of elders informed that they will not permit the installation of polling stations. Also they recognized the maintenance of a paramilitary group by the municipal president Saúl Vicente Vásquez as well as a “supposed mayoral authority Jorge Alonso Santiago, executive authority of the municipal president.” They solicit the support and solidarity of everyone for the day of the elections.

The communiqué was signed by members of the council of elders: Felecito Vásquez Jiménez, Julián Santiago Vásquez, Álvaro Jiménez Benítez, Mario López Pavian.

Poorly translated from the original here: http://www.somoselmedio.org/article/no-permitir%C3%A1n-instalaci%C3%B3n-de-casillas-electorales-en-%C3%A1lvaro-obreg%C3%B3n-oaxaca

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