On the evening of 2 November, 2020, community leader Rodolfo Díaz Jiménez, was shot dead in an ambush in the municipality of San Baltazar Loxicha in the area of Costa de Oaxaca.
Díaz Jiménez was driving through the community when his car was intercepted by a group of armed men who opened fire killing him instantly. Two other men were disappeared.
The killing took place in the context of an ongoing electoral dispute between rival local authorities: the traditional, or popular group, which is supported by the community and the other group, known as the “constitutional group” which is recognised by the Instituto Estatal Electoral y de Participación Ciudadana de Oaxaca (State Electoral Institute for Citizen Participation), IEEPCO.
San Baltazar Loxicha is administered according to indigenous norms. In the election of 2019, the first result was overturned by IEEPCO, and since then a part of the community has refused to accept the result of the second ballot.
The second ballot had been recognised by the IEEPCO, but Diaz Jimenez was one of those who had taken part in a protest outside the offices of IEEPCO saying: “We want society to find out about the things they do at IEEPCO because they don’t abide by the law. They do things that are really against the rights of indigenous peoples.”
Rodolfo Jiménez had called on IEEPCO to overturn the election of Mayor Atenogenes Jiménez Martínez. According to sources within the community group, three members of the state police had been arrested by the community and the president of the municipality, Atenogenes Jiménez Martínez, had responded by attacking Díaz Jiménez.
Jiménez Martínez has dissociated himself from the killing and has called on the state to intervene to ensure peace in the community.
Two men have subsequently been arrested for the killing.