The Oaxaca orchestra whose instruments were stolen. The Oaxaca orchestra whose 36 instruments were stolen.

Thieves make off with half a million pesos’ worth of orchestra’s instruments

Oaxaca government has promised to replace them

Thieves in Oaxaca’s Sierra Mixe stole musical instruments from a children’s orchestra last week, triggering protests by the indigenous children and their parents to demand justice and the return of their instruments.

The trumpets, clarinets, saxophones, piccolos and other instruments of the orchestra in San Pedro y San Pablo Ayutla, comprised of 80% student musicians, were stolen from their school after a performance to celebrate the Virgin of Guadalupe on December 12.

The 36 instruments were valued at 500,000 pesos (US $26,000).

“They stole our soul and our history,” said orchestra director Pablo Vásquez Ramírez.

In response, Oaxaca Governor Alejandro Murat said the instruments will be replaced.

To help out and raise funds for the Ayutla musicians, a children’s orchestra in San Lorenzo Cacaotepec held a concert at the Children’s Museum of Oaxaca on Tuesday.

“To steal instruments is to cut off the wings of a musician, so we’re supporting them so they can buy new instruments,” said orchestra director Benjamin Bautista.

Sources: Milenio (sp), 24 Horas (sp)

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