Land dispute leaves 13 dead in Mexico

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Mexico City, July 18 (IANS) A clash between residents of communities in southern Mexican state of Oaxaca over a land dispute left at least 13 people dead and another one injured, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The armed attack occurred on Monday afternoon in the Yautepec District in Oaxaca, when several inhabitants of the community of Santa Maria Ecatepec were ambushed by residents of the neighboring town of San Lucas Ixcotepec, according to the state prosecutor’s office, Xinhua reported.

Initial investigations suggest that victims from Santa Maria Ecatepec were working in a disputed area of farmland that borders both communities.

Local press reported that the confrontation was triggered when residents of San Lucas Ixcotepec ambushed and shot at a truck carrying 25 members of the neighbouring community to the disputed terrain.

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Government information said the two communities have been in dispute over the area 3,660 hectares since the 1970s.

Preliminary reports said that 11 men and two women were killed while more were injured. Those injured were taken to receive medical attention in Oaxaca city, the capital of the state.

According to the district attorney’s report, local police deployed 42 officers to the Santa Maria Ecatepec to restore peace while district attorney authorities, police and dogs examined the confrontation site.

–IANS

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