Chiapas: Pre-election conflict in Nachig, Zinacantán leaves two dead

On June 26th, in the community of Nachig, municipality of  Zinacantán, near San Cristóbal de Las Casas in the Chiapas highlands, violent events resulted in the deaths of two people, two dozen injured, as well as 15 houses and 30 vehicles burnt. Behind the conflict lies a dispute over the municipal presidency with elections scheduled for July 4th. To date, Zinacantán is governed by the PRD and Nachig is the largest community of this municipality.

On the morning of Saturday the 26th, an act of proselytizing for PRD mayoral candidate Domingo Hernández Pérez led to a confrontation involving various weapons (presumably on the part of the PRI) before resulting in a shooting (allegedly by the PRD). The events left two people dead: Martín López Sanchez (PRI) and Antonio Pérez López (PRD). After these events, around 5000 sympathizers of the PRI burnt at least 12 houses and 30 vehicles, and cordoned off a house containing some 57 supporters of the PRD who had been threatened with lynching. One hundred police intervened to rescue them. The Attorney General of Chiapas initiated a preliminary investigation of the crimes of homicide and injury. 61 people were arrested, including Jose Perez Conde, cousin and aide Zinacantán PRD mayor, Antonio Conde Vázquez.

Two days later, the PRD released a communique assuring that the events were provoked by the PRI supporters and that the previous night, the candidate for the municipal presidency of thier party had announced that he was preparing for an attack against him. The PRI supporters, for their part, reiterated that it was the PRD who led the provocation “because they know that they will lose the elections on July 4.”

On July 1st, PRD supporters of  Zinacantán succeeded in freeing 5 of their sympathizers, who were imprisoned for alleged involvement in the fighting of Nachig. They also requested that the authorities provide safe conditions for the return of more than 400 PRD supporters, who after the clashes, were forced to leave Nachig community, and have allegedly received threats from supporters of the PRI.

For more information (in Spanish):

After attack, 61 arrested (Cuarto Poder, 27 June)

Electoral climate ignited in Nachig (La Jornada, 28 June)

PRD members demand release of imprisoned comrades (Cuarto Poder, 2 July)

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