Mexico condemns killings of 2 indigenous activists

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s National Institute of Indigenous Peoples on Wednesday condemned this week’s killings of two activists from the Triqui community.

Some 10,000 Triquis live in remote, impoverished communities in the mountains of southern Oaxaca state. Three Triqui groups are locked in a decades-long armed struggle that has seen dozens of killings.

The institute said the two Triquis, Oliverio Martinez and Flor de Jesús Hernández, were killed Monday near the village of San Juan Copala. The two reportedly worked as teachers.

The institute called on local authorities to punish the killers, and urged all the groups involved to settle matters peacefully, suggesting inter-group rivalries played a role.

In 2010, a Finnish human rights observer and a Mexican political activist were shot to death in the same area.

The groups competing for control of the village are all armed. Leaders of all three groups have been slain, and each blames the others for the violence.

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