Source CDH Zeferino Ladrillero
On Monday, March 25, 2019, defender of indigenous rights and the rights to territory Eulodia Lilia Diaz Ortiz, member of the Consejo Indígena de Trueque (CIT), in the Mexican municipality of Santiago Tianguistenco, was murdered.
One witness, stated that the attack was carried out by a representative of an alternative indigenous commission, who shot Lilia. It should be noted that the former mayor of Tianguistenco, Antonio Barrera gave his political support to the attacker, imposing a new administrative system to “represent” the council, even though its members disagreed with this initiative because they felt this new body did not respect the community’s own forms of association or “tianguis”.
Lilia Díaz was murdered at home, in the company of her son and daughter-in-law. When the aggressor initially threatened the women with a gun Lilia’s son managed to protect them. The murderer then returned to his home, where he got a shotgun, and returned shooting Eulodia Lilia Díaz Ortiz.
The “Tianguis del Trueque” is an age old community structure in Santiago Tianguistenco and it has been administered autonomously by the local indigenous Otomi, Tlahuica and Nahua peoples. This practice attracts tourism and has been considered a cultural heritage, which is why municipal governments have wanted to co-opt this activity to administer it economically while pretending to be acting in the interests of the indigenous peoples of the municipality.
The members of the Council have previously resisted municipal attempts to snatch this activity from them. Because of their resistance, they have faced physical attacks, harassment, criminalisation, the arrest of some of their members and attacks of which have been reported to the CODHEM, but which were not taken seriously or acted upon. If the authorities had acted quickly this killing could have been prevented.
Human Rights Center Zeferino Ladrillero has called on the authorities , especially the government of the State of Mexico and the municipal government of Santiago Tianguistenco to comply with articles 19 and 22 of the Constitution of the United Mexican States, and 3 and 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to guarantee the personal integrity of the members of the Council, as well as the right to life, based on articles 10 and 14 of the Political Constitution and art. 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They also demand that the Attorney General of the State of Mexico, conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into the facts and bring the perpetrators to justice.