San Dionisio residents raise machetes in protest in 2014. San Dionisio residents raise machetes in protest in 2014.

Plagued with political problems, Oaxaca community threatens armed uprising

Internal dispute has hindered local elections in San Dionisio del Mar

Residents of a coastal municipality in Oaxaca are prepared to take up arms if the state government doesn’t intervene to adequately solve its political problems, a community leader warns.

Special elections in San Dionisio del Mar, a municipality in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region of the southern state, were canceled in December due to violence after those scheduled for July were postponed.

Jorge Castellanos Pinos, president of an interim community council, said that San Dionisio residents are sick of being abandoned by the Oaxaca government.

An opposition group known as the Peoples’ Assembly of San Dionisio del Mar has “hijacked” the town, he claimed.

The community council appealed to the Oaxaca Electoral Tribunal for new municipal elections but the court ruled last week that organizing a second special election was not allowed under state law.

Castellanos criticized the state’s plan to appoint Nahúm Ismael Cruz Hernández as the town’s political commissioner — or de facto mayor – charging that he has “a dark past” and doesn’t have knowledge of the problems San Dionisio is facing.

He warned that if the government goes ahead with the plan to send Cruz to San Dionisio, he could be taken hostage, a fate that befell the Oaxaca state police chief in Santa Catarina Juquila last month.

Castellanos said that there are local men and women capable of leading the community and residents don’t want someone from outside to be imposed on them.

He threatened to lead the uprising himself if the state government didn’t rethink its approach to solving the political problems.

“. . . Now is the time to defend ourselves, if two or three of us fall, we fall . . .”

There have been internal conflicts in the municipality for several years.

Source: El Imparcial (sp) 

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