Chiapas: confrontation over control point at Agua Azul leaves one dead and several injured

In the afternoon of 2 February 2011, a confrontation between indigenous adherents to the Other Campaign and a group of affiliated to the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) who are in conflict regarding the control of a payment control point located in the tourist center of the Agua Azul waterfalls, municipality of Chilón, has left one person dead and at least two others injured.

The conflict, which goes back many years, became violent in the morning, when PRI ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, Chilón, violently displaced the adherents who had for years had been operating the control point.  During the afternoon this latter group organized itself to attempt to retake the control point, an act that brought about the confrontation.  According to journalistic sources, PRI member Marcos Moreno García, of 26 years of age, died in the resulting confrontation, and two were left injured, one of them seriously.  Shortly after the beginning of the conflict, the state police arrived to try to re-establish order.  During the morning of 3 February, the State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE) and the state Secretary of Public Security (SSP) carried out an operation in which participated more than 500 state and federal police, supported by units of the Mexican Army.  They displaced hundreds of indigenous adherents to the Other Campaign who had blockaded the Ocosingo-Palenque road to protest the happenings.  The operation sought to rescue 17 national and international tourists who had been taken by individuals claiming to pertain to the Other Campaign.  According to governmental sources, more than 116 people from the Other Campaign group find themselves “voluntarily” with the PGJE, so that they can undergo sodium rhodizonate tests and give their declarations to the ministry.

Before the confrontation, the adherents to the Other Campaign placed responsibility for the events on the authorities of the official ejidal commisariat of San Sebastián Bachajón and the mayors of both municipalities.  They added that “We are not provoking anyone, much less insulting anyone.  We are work and searching for alternatives to protect and conserve our natural resources.  We are building internal autonomy while these delincuents are operating under the orders of high-level government functionaries.  It should be clear that we as organizations will defend our resources regardless of what happens.”

For more information (in Spanish):

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón distance themselves from land-appropriation (18 January 2011)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios de Bachajón denounce governmental strategy and escalation of aggression by Opddic (25 November 2010)

Chiapas: Adherents to the Other Campaign from San Sebastián Bachajón denounce torture and illegal detention of ejidatario (8 November 2010)

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