On 31 August, in the community of Mitzitón, municipality of San Cristóbal de las Casas, there was had a new conflict between adherents to the Other Campaign and those they call “non-cooperants,” who are traditional Catholics and Evangelicals who pertain to the so-called Army of God. The dispute came about after a group of adherents detained the indigenous individual Gregorio Gómez Jiménez, son of Francisco Gómez Díaz, leader of the group accused of cutting down trees without authorization from the assembly. When his relatives and friends attempted to prevent him from being taken to the community jail a conflict broke out involving rocks, sticks, and beatings, with the result that several vehicles were damaged.
With state-police presence, several state-government functionaries came to an agreement by which Gregorio Gómez was to be investigated by an agent of the Public Ministry. After being handed over by adherents, he was taken to Tuxtla Gutiérrez and released some hours later, when members of the Army of God blocked the San Cristóbal-Comitán highway, demanding his release.
In a 3 September public pronouncement, adherents to the Other Campaign denounced this aggression and others by the opposing group. They indicated that on 1 September, “while our comrades were returning to their houses after a meeting in the ejidal house, they were attacked with slingshots by paramilitary members, with the result that many of them were injured in different parts of their bodies.” They warned that “in those moments we feared for our security and that of our families, given that the paramilitary groups are attacking us with increasing frequency.”
These new violent acts occurred nearly two months after the state government came to agreements with the Mitzitón assembly regarding the relocation of the “non-cooperants.” Conflicts have since continued, one findings its basis in the cutting of trees and the other regarding differences of opinion regarding the possible construction of a highway between San Cristóbal and Palenque that would cross Mitzitón.
For more information (in Spanish):
New conflict over tree-cutting in Mitzitón (Cuarto Poder, 1 September)
New attack by paramilitaries against residents of Mitzitón (La Jornada, 2 September)
Paramilitary aggressions against Mitzitón worsen (La Jornada, 4 September)
Situation in Mitzitón (Public denunciation by adherents to the Other Campaign in Mitzitón, 1 September)
Mitzitón: new paramilitary aggression KAOSENLARED
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):