By Evlin Aragon/ Translation: Oaxaca weekly. All rights reserved/
After the public announcement of the disappearance of a third Triqui woman, which was made by Emelia Ortiz Garcia, cousin of the three disappeared women, and spokeswoman for the militants of the Unification Movement for the Triqui Struggle, and other friends and family whom are considered displaced persons from their communities and are in Oaxaca City, assured that if they had not been Native American women, the local authorities would have already had results in relation to these cases.
Since 2007, local, national and international media have made known the disappearance of Daniela and Virgina Ortiz Ramirez, an act taking place after they had moved from their community “El Rastrojo”, situated in the municipality of Santiago Juxtlahuaca, on the way from San Marcos Xinicuesta, a town of San Sebastian Tecomaxtlahuaca.
This case is now joined by the case of Belem Ortiz Ramirez, a 19 year old mother of a three year old, a student in her third semester in the COBAO 57 in Rastrojo, who disappeared last 29th of November of this year after she had left to go to Juxtlahuaca to hand in some paperwork for her health services required by her school, as it was discovered by her family.
According to Emelia Garcia, speaking on behalf of the mother of the three missing young women, last November 29th was a very dark day for the family, because Belem left her house at six in the morning and didn’t return later that evening, which was reason enough for the mother of the young woman to initiate a search among the friends and school mates of her duaghter, a search that ended without success.
A day after the disappearance, according to what the family told this reporter, the mother of the young woman, Mrs. Antonia Ramirez Cruz started a search in the nearby communities, nevertheless, nobody had seen her, which caused her to go to the state capitol to place a criminal demand before the Attorney General (PGJO) for Oaxaca, which issued an Amber alert to try to find her, and at the same time a complaint was made before the Defense of Human Rights for the People of Oaxaca, with the intention of somehow speeding up the investigation.
Before the absent minded gaze and silence of Antonia Ramirez, who has had to suffer this pain three times now, Emelia Ortiz continues on and states that to date there have been no results to the current case, nor the previous one, even though six years have passed since the first one, and even though two people were detained, the two didn’t give any indication of the whereabouts of the young Triquis women.
“My aunt, the mother of the young women, thinks the worst, nevertheless she stays strong to continue the search and demands the authorities investigate what happened to her daughters,” said Emelia. Nevertheless she recognized that the authorities have done little or nothing to resolve the cases, and actually the authorities keep giving the same lame excuses since the complaint was first made: that the zone is too dangerous, which has made it difficult for elements of the Attorney General’s office to enter in order to investigate or even the State police, which also refuses to enter the zone, and a cowardly decision made by those who supposedly represent justice in the state of Oaxaca: Evencio Nicolas Martinez Ramirez (no relation) and Manuel de Jesus Lopez Lopez.
“From the time we first started to make this case publicly known, about the disappearance of Virginia and Daniela, the attorney general Evencio Nicolas, made a promise to the mother of the young women, that in 15 days her daughters would be returned to her,” a situation which was described as a joke and a trickery by the state of Oaxaca. A joke made to a family that for years now has suffered a pain nailed to the deepest part of their being.
Emelia Ortiz gave a harsh criticism of the supposed existence of justice in the state, which she indicated is always different for those “who are higher up and for those lower down,” negating it for those who are Native American or those whom have no money with which to carry out an independent search, and whom in fact, just for the simple act of making public their demand have had their very person physically threatened.
As she explained it, there exists the quite evident discrimination against Native American women, and also said it is irrefutable that when a person has money and political power, and along with other factors are considered superior, the actions of the state authorities is much faster and effective in order to resolve their cases, but the case of her cousins has not been like that because they are poor native American women.
“We don’t speak Spanish very well, and we don’t have much economic resources to move around with ease, we have even had to ask for loans to be able to do the actions we have in the state capitol, where the discrimination is very clear, and there is no equality in human rights and there has always been a difference, even more so if you are a Native American woman, because in Mexico there is so much chauvinism, by which I am able to securely say that this is a case of discrimination by part of the authorities”, she concluded.