Chiapas: roadblocks and detention of militants in Mitzitón

On 13 February, the ongoing dispute between the Evangelical group Eagle Wings 2000 and adherents to the Other Campaign in the community of Mitzitón (municipality of San Cristóbal) became violent once again.

According to the denunciation of ejidal authorities, on 13 February members of the so-called Army of God, which is allied to the Evangelical association Eagle Wings, from Mitzitón fired on adherents to the Other Campaign and injured the indigenous woman Carmen Jiménez Heredia, whose current state of health is critical. Another 10 indigenous individuals pertaining to both sides were injured by rocks and machetes. The ejidal authorities indicated that several men “surrounded the ejidal house, the church, and the basektabll court between the hours of 10 and 11pm on Sunday and fired on the adherents who found themselves in these places.” They mentioned that the shootings lasted some 15 minutes. In a communiqué released on 15 February, the adherents to the Other Campaign of Mitzitón reported that members of the Army of God removed Andrés Heredia Hernández and Alfredo Ruiz Ramírez from their houses; these two were later subjected to physical and psychological torture.

A representative of the Other Campaign explained that the aggressions occurred after the members of the Army of God had detained the adherent Andrés Heredia Hernández with the pretext that he had insulted an adult man from the opposing group. In response, members of the Other Campaign detained Miguel Jiménez González, who was taken to the ejidal house. Subsequently, both groups blocked the Pan-American highway that passes through Mitzitón, 20 kilometers from San Cristóbal. There, situated at a distance of 200 meters one group from the other, both groups called for the release of their respective comrades. Minutes later state officials arrived to demand that the groups release the detained and suspend the road-block. Furthermore, the government functionaries arrested 23 members of the Army of God, placing them in the hands of the Public Ministry. During the shooting, according to a representative of Mitzitón, Pedro Raúl López, member of the State Council on Human Rights, and Luis Aguilar, official of the Subsecretary of Government, were present in the church of Mitzitón. In an Urgent Action released on 14 February, the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights demanded the [i]mmediate cessation of aggressions and violent attacks engaged in by the paramilitary group ‘Army of God’ against adherents of the Other Campaign in the community of Mitzitón,” as well as [t]he immediate relocation of the paramilitary group from the community.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Conflict in Chiapas leaves one injured (El Universal, 15 February)

Paramilitaries fire on adherents in Mitzitón, Chiapas (La Jornada, 15 February)

Communiqué from Mitzitón (communiqué of the Other Campaign, 14 February)

Army of God” is accused of kidnapping in Mitzitón, Chis (OEM, 15 February)

Urgent Action: The Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights denounces: Paramilitaries attack adherents to the Other Campaign in Mitzitón (14 February)

23 Evangelicals are detained in Chiapas (15 February)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: violence continues in Mitzitón (25 October 2010)

Chiapas: New conflict in Mitzitón (8 September 2010)

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