On 20 June 1996, Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres, a Ch’ol woman who was then 19 years of age, was walking en route to the community of Masojá Shucjá, Tila municipality, to visit her parents. Upon reaching the community of Miguel Alemán, she was intercepted by a group of persons pertaining to the Paz y Justicia grouping. She was was detained, physically assaulted, and taken to the home of one of the group’s members. According to testimony on the part of these members obtained by the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), Minerva was kidnapped for three days, beaten, and raped. 16 years after these events, her whereabouts are still unknown.
In a bulletin published to observe this saddening anniversary, the CDHFBC stresses that “the forced disappearance of Minerva is part and parcel of a strategy of low-intensity warfare as implemented by the Mexican government against the civil population, as detailed in the ’94 Plan for Chiapas Campaign.’ Minerva was chosen premeditatively due to her being a woman, and due to this she became a victim of war and the abuse of power exercised against her by the paramilitaries of Paz y Justicia, with the complicity and participation of the federal government, then led by Ernesto Zedillo Ponce xce León. The paramilitary group Paz y Justicia was founded, trained, and financed with public resources in exchange for votes, and thus was utilized as a means to introduced terror among the civil population of the northern zone of the state of Chiapas.”
The CDHFBC recalls as well that “between 1995 and 2000, considering only the northern zone of Chiapas, there were registered 32 forced disappearances of men and 5 of women, in addition to the murder of 7 females and 78 males. Thus there are total of 122 documented cases that continue to be in impunity, not to mention the forced displacement of 12,000 others.”
For more information (in Spanish):
16 años de la desaparición forzada de Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres, CDHFBC, 20 de junio de 2012
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: commemoration of the victims of Paz y Justicia in Masojá Shucjá (3 September 2009)