Indigenous children returned to their homes in Nochixtlan, Oaxaca after being evacuated during the violent police repression that killed 12 people last Sunday, reported local media on Monday.
The 32 children had sought refuge with their families in a nearby community, as tear gas choked some of them and provoked panic attacks. One woman had a threatened miscarriage.
Their community, little over 300 feet from the clashes, was founded four years ago to host 80 Indigenous families from across Oaxaca, many fleeing violence.
Some went out to join the resistance against the police repression, which targeted striking CNTE teachers protesting neoliberal education reform, while the community leader rounded up the children and other vulnerable people to seek medical attention.
“About 30 federal police officers entered the community and attacked the houses, shooting and throwing tear gas without caring that children, pregnant women and elderly people were there, who had to leave their houses quickly because the gas was suffocating them,” read a report by the National Commission for Human Rights and the Oaxacan Human Rights Defenders, which inspected the community on Friday to find if conditions safe for their return.
A ceremony held Saturday welcomed the children back to their homes while Indigenous communities in Oaxaca also gathered to demand justice for the victims of the Nochixtlan attack with compensation for the families and prosecution of the responsible officers. They also called for the end of state repression, which has escalated as the striking teachers refuse to back down until the reforms are retracted.