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By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS

Members of the Azerbaijani Embassy in Mexico and representatives of Mexico’s Federal Chamber of Deputies paid tribute on Tuesday, Feb. 22, to the hundreds of victims of the Khojaly Massacre, one of the most gruesome and tragic acts of genocide in recent global history.

The solemn ceremony, which took place in front of the Khojaly Monument in downtown Mexico City’s Tlaxcoaque-Khojaly Plaza, marked the 30th anniversary of Armenia’s ruthless decimation of an entire village in 1992, as part of its unabashed assault on sovereign Azerbaijani territory.

“Thirty years ago, on the night of Feb. 25, the Armenian armed forces invaded the district of Khojaly, committing unprecedented atrocities against its civilian population, leading to the murder of 613 Azerbaijani civilians, including 106 women, 63 children and 70 elderly persons,” said Azerbaijani Ambassador to Mexico Mammad Talibov at the start of the event.

“At the same time, 1275 people were taken hostage and the fate of another 150 people still remains unknown. That night, eight Azerbaijani families were completely exterminated, 130 children lost one of their parents and 25 children lost both of their parents.”

The brutality of the incident also included unthinkable acts of maiming and dismemberment.

No one was spared the heinous violence of the Armenian armed forces and mercenary units, except those few that managed to flee on foot. Of those who perished, 56 were killed with exceptional cruelty – burned alive, scalped, beheaded.

Talibov said that while Armenia’s callous occupation of Khojaly was clearly intended to instill a sense of terror and to break the spirit of the Azerbaijani people in order to guarantee its army a psychological advantage for future incursions into the Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region, it also demonstrated Armenia’s gruesome
policy “of systematic ethnic cleansing against the Azerbaijani population.”

The ambassador pointed out that the massacre was fully documented by several independent international human rights organizations, including the New York-based Human Rights Watch, as the most bloody incident in the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict, and was formally recognized by both houses of Mexico’s Congress in 2011 as an intentional act of genocide.

Also, he said, the European Court of Human Rights has said that the massacre could “constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.”

“At the end of 2020, Azerbaijan eventually managed to free its national territories from
foreign occupation during the 44-day Patriotic War,” Talibov said.

“Currently, the reconstruction of these liberated territories and the safe and dignified return of the displaced Azerbaijanis to their homes is one of the most important
priorities of the Azerbaijani government.”

Talibov likewise said that, in light of the atrocities suffered by the Azerbaijani people at the hands of Armenia, “reconciliation is complicated,” but that his government is working heal to heal wounds on both sides.

“Painful memories are followed by the hope that, sooner or later, justice will be done for the victims of Khojaly and their survivors,” he said.

“Soon they will be able to return to their homes. And we will continue to fight for justice for each and every one of the victims of that massacre.”

Speaking on behalf of Mexico’s Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group with Azerbaijan, Federal Deputy Miguel Ángel Pérez Navarrete expressed his government’s solidarity with the Azerbaijani people, reiterating its interest in “strengthening the bilateral friendship. ”

 

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