Mexico City police injure ten displaced Otomi demanding their right to housing be upheld
Photo by Zone Docs.
Courthouse News reports: “A clash between police and Indigenous activists occupying government offices in Mexico City late Sunday [October 15] left 10 people wounded, including teenage girls as young as 13, according to organizers of the occupying group.”
Video: Police attack Otomi occupation.
“The activists — many of them displaced members of the indigenous Otomi population — have occupied the offices of the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples [INPI] for three years to demand their constitutional right to decent affordable housing. They celebrated the third anniversary of the taking of the offices last Thursday [October 12].”
On that day they began a blockade of Mexico-Coyoacán Avenue, the street where the INPI offices in Mexico City are situated.
The article also notes: “After taking the offices in October 2020, activists renamed the space the House of Indigenous Communities and Peoples: Samir Flores Soberanes, in honor of a water rights activist from Morelos who was murdered in 2019.”
Samir was a Nahua land and environmental defender resisting the controversial Morelos Integral Project (PIM) that includes a 171-kilometre gas pipeline across the states of Tlaxcala, Puebla and Morelos.
Photo: Samir Flores Soberanes was killed on February 20, 2019.
The Otomi occupying the offices were originally from the state of Querétaro. The Otomi population of about 667,038 people is situated in the states of Querétaro Guanajuato, Michoacán, Mexico and Tlaxcala as well as Veracruz, Puebla and Hidalgo.
This past week Otomi land defender Don Salvador Aparicio Olvera was in Toronto and Ottawa to express opposition to the yet-to-be completed Tuxpan-Tula pipeline being built by the Calgary-based transnational TC Energy.
He stated: “We have thus far been able to stop the Tuxpan Tula pipeline by TC Energy. But we know that this fight is not over, there are more threats every day. They see our resources as only a commodity but we are here to defend our forests.”
Photo: Salvador Aparicio speaking at protest in front of the Global Affairs Canada office in Toronto against the Tuxpan-Tula pipeline, October 14.
The TC Energy pipeline would extend from Tuxpan, Veracruz through Puebla to Tula, Hidalgo.
There is a concern that the 58 kilometres of this pipeline yet to be built would detrimentally impact Otomi, Mixtec and Nahua peoples and could contribute to their displacement into a situation like that of the Otomi from Querétaro.
More about this pipeline in this 7-minute video: La Lucha de la Sierra Norte de Puebla Ante el Gasoducto Tuxpan-Tula.
The video says: “Among the multiple threats posed by the construction of this pipeline is the impact of the mountain forest and aquifer system, in particular the communities highlights the damage to their springs. They also warn of health problems, insecurity and conflicts between communities generating divisions among them and displacement.”
Still from video.
We continue to follow this situation.