Urgent action to help protect the population of Ostula

Sign online for urgent action to help protect the population of Ostula.

Updated Monday, July 20 9:30 am. | So far it is confirmed the death of 12 years old Herilberto Reyes García. Until now, with the arrest of the commander of the Community Police, Cemeí Verdía, the community has named a new commander and has been reported in a statement that it is in possession of their lands.

Updated Sunday, July 19th 19:30 hrs. | It is reported that Cemeí Verdía has been filed with the PGR in Morelia for alleged responsibility in violation of the Federal Law of Firearms and Explosives, according to the Quadratín Agency. Likewise it is reported that there were two clashes on Sunday July 19 in the communities of El Duin and The Ixtapilla where military soldiers used tear gas and opened fire in an indiscriminately maner. It is reported that there could be several deads and wounded people, of which has confirmed the death of a 11 year old boy named Heriberto García Reyes during today events.

Original information | The National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” received information today referring new acts of aggression and detention of people within the Community Police in the community of Ostula in the municipality of Aquila, Michoacan state.

In that sense the Jalisco Association in Support of Indigenous Groups (Ajagi) and the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolome de Las Casas, AC (Frayba), members of this network reported today July 19, 2015 around 10:00 hours, that the first commander of the Community Police of Ostula and coordinator of the self-defense of the municipalities of Aquila, Chinicuila and Cohayana, Michoacan, Mr. Cemeí Verdía Zepeda, was arrested in the town of La Placita (municipality of Aquila) by an operation from which they arrested several members of the Community Police at the checkpoints in Xayakalan and El Duín within the communal lands of Santa María Ostula.

The arrests were made without showing any warrant and taking them to an unknown destination. So far his whereabouts are unknown since they have not been submitted to any agency or authority prosecutors.

Before the surprise operation, detention and direct attacks from the Mexican Army to the Community Police, the community of Santa María Ostula held several soldiers who entered the community so there is a latent risk that, in the coming hours, the gravity of the situation escalate to the degree of the occurrence of acts of repression and indiscriminate attacks on the general population as it is reported the arrival of hundreds of troops to the vicinity of the community who are making armed attacks against the guard community.

Remember that these acts of aggression occur within two months of the third attack, registered on May 25, in the hands of organized crime perpetrated the ambush against Mr. Cemeí Verdía.

Given the seriousness and urgency, as National Human Rights Network, we urge the competent authorities:

  • Presentation and immediate release of the Community Police Commander of Ostula, Mr. Cemeí Verdía Zepeda and other community members who have been arrested.
  • Urgent measures be taken to protect and guarantee the life and safety of the population of Santa María Ostula, Municipality of Aquila, Michoacán.
  • Cease the armed attacks of the Army that are reported so far.
  • It favors the conclusion by federal authorities, installing an urgent dialogue table, since they have been pursued various levels in order to prevent further violence, whose complaints to this day remain in impunity.
  • Respect for the right to self-determination and autonomy of the people, as protected under the Convention 169 and other international human rights instruments.

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