Monday, June 17, 2024

12 people held in chains for not supporting community’s blockade

Despite a previous intervention by state authorities, citizens were once again held in chains as punishment in an indigenous community in Michoacán.

Local authorities in Santa María Ostula, located in the municipality of Aquila, chained the 12 people to posts and fined them 500 pesos each for not participating in a blockade of the Lázaro Cárdenas-Manzanillo highway last week and for failing to pay dues.

Local officials, who govern using traditional laws, argued that the blockade had been necessary to demand funds for the community police and community defense groups.

Family members of those detained reached out to the Michoacán Human Rights Commission for help and protective services for the victims of the illegal punishment.

The rights commission previously intervened in another indigenous community in Aquila on January 17 when community police held three parents in chains and publicly displayed them as punishment for opposing the closure of a bilingual elementary school that their children attended.

After the commission investigated, state police negotiated the parents’ release and the public security secretary released a statement urging communities that are governed according to traditional laws to respect human rights.

Source: El Universal (sp), La Jornada (sp)

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