On October 7 local elections were held in Chiapas for the election of 118 municipal presidents and 40 local deputes in 24 State Districts. From October 1 to 8 SIPAZ was present in communities and municipalities in the lowlands surrounding Tila, in the northern parts of Chiapas.
We were present during the days before and during the elections. We were able to verify the high amount of money that was circulating in the region for the buying of votes and the delivery of gifts such as corn-mills, machetes, soft drinks among others.
“The elections require a lot of money and work” a representative of one of the parties told us the day of the elections after having had to visit various communities the night before in order to offer even more money for votes. All in all, the elections seemed to be more of an auction than a democratic process based on the confrontation between concrete proposals for governing.
We also received denunciations of a number of threats and intimidations against parties, organizations, movements and private persons. This is not resolved though electoral results: in Chilón, for example, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) won the city council presidency with the promise that it would evict a nearby zapatista autonomous municipality: Olga Isabel. These elections reinforce the increasing fragmentation of social community fabric in the zone.