Press Release: FIOB condemns the repression of Farmworkers in San Quentin

PRESS RELEASE

FIOB condemns the repression of Farmworkers in San Quentin

Urgent press conference in front of the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles Conference at 2:00 pm

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Park View and Sixth Street

Contact: Odilia Romero (213) 359.0264

The Indigenous Front of Binational Organizations (FIOB) strongly condemns the acts of violence unleashed in several neighborhoods of the San Quintin Valley and holds the federal and State Governments in Baja California responsible for their lack of due diligence in finding a solution to the just demands of more than 80,000 workers in the field.

News media reports document a morning attack in Baja California today May 9 by members of the State police at the request of the growers, the neighborhood of Nuevo San Juan Copala in the vicinity of Vicente Guerrero. During this attack men, women and children were brutally clubbed. The community is reporting that three have died.

Our comrade Faustino Hernández, an indigenous Mixtec-speaking person who lives in the neighborhood of Díaz Ordaz was hit by a bullet, after the attack by the police.

The Government Undersecretary of the Interior Ministry, Luis Enrique Miranda Nava, stood up the farmworkers yesterday, May 8, instead of fulfilling his word of organizing a return to the negotiating table with the Agriculture Council of Baja California. This has generated a climate of discontent which has been tapped by agent-provocateurs who have been committing acts of violence in the area.

According to witnesses and news reports, a group of 200 unidentified men started throwing rocks yesterday during a sit-in where farmworkers were waiting for the State authorities. Many farmworkers decided to stay away from the demonstration, because they did not want to be associated with these individuals.

The federal representative had committed to releasing a formal assessment of the working conditions on the farms of San Quintin on May 8th in order to return to the negotiating table and reach an agreement with workers who have been on strike since March 17.

Instead of finding a solution within his capacity as a federal authority, the Mexican Government is instead demonstrating their contempt for the indigenous and peasant movement, defending instead the corporate growers with the police that is escalating the stakes and that can lead to a flare-up of violence that will benefit no one in the State of Baja California.

FIOB calls upon the State and federal Governments in Baja California, as well as the owners of around of 60 agricultural businesses in the State, to resolve this problem peacefully and positively respond to the just demands of the 84 thousand peasants who produce the land in San Quintin for the benefit of consumers of agricultural products both in Mexico and in the United States.

We hold the Government led by President Enrique Peña Nieto and the Governor of Baja California, Francisco Vega de Lamadrid responsible for the lives and wellbeing of the leaders of the Alliance of National, State and Municipal Organizaitons for Social Justice as well as of each of the farmworkers who are only asking for the government to improve the quasi-slave working conditions to which they are subjected by the owners of these farms.

We acknowledge that the working conditions faced by our brothers in San Quintin, are also those survived by other farmworkers in 19 States of the Mexican Republic.

No more repression of indigenous workers, stop the violence against those who are the most vulnerable!!

With respect to the Rights of indigenous peoples, the Indigenous Front of Binational Organizations.

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