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  • Archive photo of the police clash with teachers on strike in Nochixtlan, Oaxaca.

    Archive photo of the police clash with teachers on strike in Nochixtlan, Oaxaca. | Photo: Reuters

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The town of Nochixtlan, Mexico, still demands justice for the violent police crackdown that left at least 10 dead.

Residents and human rights organization in Mexico have criticized the lack of justice after the killing of at least 10 people in Nochixtlan, Oaxaca, one year ago, in a case they condemned as police brutality and an attempted cover-up by the state.

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The Office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca, the National Human Rights Commission and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights visited the area and talked to some of the survivors of the violent incident, resulting in damning findings.

"The lag in the equal enjoyment of human rights, in particular economic, social and cultural rights, has historically generated a clamor for social justice that has not been properly addressed," the organizations said in a statement.

Santiago Ambrosio, president of the Victims Committee, said the investigation by the attorney general's office had not produced names of those responsible.

"Are we not children of our own people? If we have the same origin, why does the government put us against our own people?" Ambrosio said to Mexico's La Jornada newspaper.

According to eye witnesses, at least 10 people were killed and hundreds injured during violent repression of protesters on June 19, 2016, in the municipality of Nochixtlan, in the southern state of Oaxaca.

About 800 policemen attempted to evict more than 500 teachers from a road blockade on the Oaxaca-Puebla highway. Gunfire erupted, leading to clashes that lasted approximately four hours, and people were bombarded with tear gas and other crowd control munitions.

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"Any use of force by the authorities that causes wounded or dead should be investigated in a thorough, diligent and impartial manner to determine the administrative and criminal responsibilities that may occur, including the responsibility of the superior officers who participated directly in the facts," the organizations said.

Villagers say unidentified men in civilian clothes opened fire from several buildings against members of the National Coordinator of Education Workers, or CNTE, teachers’ union. The demonstration was part of a national strike against the neoliberal education reforms implemented by the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto beginning in 2013.

Human rights organizations blamed state security officials, whom they accused of human rights abuses, excessive use of force, arbitrary detentions and extrajudicial executions. Victims and relatives of those killed have repeatedly accused the government of attempting to engage in a cover-up.

The event was the most violent confrontation between civilian protesters and federal police since the force was instituted in 1999. No police were killed in the clashes.

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