Chiapas: After attempting to return, the displaced of the Puebla Colony transfer themselves to Acteal

Durante el traslado, 26 agosto 2013 @ SIPAZ

During the transfer, 26 August 2013 @ SIPAZ

On 20 August there was a failed attempt to return to the Puebla Colony of Chenalhó on the part of some of the members of the same ejido after they had spent 30 days displaced in the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas. This return could not be carried out because the displaced were attacked with stones and insults, together with the civil caravan that had been accompanying the attempted return, according to public denunciation.  In this caravan traveled a representative of the state-government of Chiapas and a patrol of the State Preventive Police: “in light of this attack, they did nothing,” notes the communique from the Las Abejas Civil Society, continuing: “[w]hen our brothers and sisters saw that there were no conditions for return, they had to abandon this place and return once again to San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas. In the late afternoon of this same day, the young Evangelicals from the Puebla Colony burned down two communal houses belonging to our brothers and sisters, so as to express their hatred of Catholics.”

On 21 August, Manuel Pérez Gómez, parishioner of San Pedro Chenalhó went together with a governmental representative and municipal leader of Chenalhó to the Puebla ejido to sign an agreement as part of a process of detente that began days before with the ejidal authorities.  When the parishioner arrived at the chapel, he was arrested by a group of persons, beaten, and taken to a school where he was bound and tied for 5 hours and threatened with being burned with gasoline.  On 23 August, nearly all the Catholic families–and some of other religions–left from the Puebla Colony for San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

On 26 August, the displaced families decided to return to the zone, though no to their community.  A total of 95 persons, 12 Catholic families, and 2 Baptist families moved from Yabteclum to Acteal, near Chenalhó, accompanied by the Parish Council and national and international organizations to guarantee their security.  In Acteal there was held a press-conference and mass during which the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal confirmed that the religious conflicts run parallel to counter-insurgent strategies, and that there has been seen a “return of paramilitary groups that committed the Acteal massacre, so we should remember that Puebla Colony and the Miguel Utrilla Los Chorros Colony are the principal cradles of the paramilitaries who in 1997 prosecuted the Acteal massacre.”

For more information (in Spanish):

15 familias católicas y bautistas de colonia Puebla, se desplazan en Acteal, consecuencia de guerra de contrainsurgencia (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 27 de agosto de 2013)

Impiden a desplazados el retorno a su comunidad (La Jornada, 21 de agosto de 2013)

Operación de limpieza religiosa en Chenalhó vinculada a paramilitares (La Jornada, 25 de agosto de 2013)

AU: Detienen, golpean y amenazan de muerte en el ejido Puebla a Manuel Pérez Gómez, párroco de Chenalhó (CDHFBC, 21 de agosto de 2013)

Acteal, las heridas abiertas (Chiapas Paralelo, 22 de agosto de 2013)

Retornan desplazados del Ejido Puebla, municipio de Chenalhó, a un mes de clima de violencia en la comunidad (Subversiones, 19 de agosto de 2013)

Comunicado de la Red por la Paz: Preocupación por situación en el Ejido Puebla municipio de Chenalhó, Chiapas (23 de agosto de 2013)

Liberación de paramilitares desata ataques en Chenalhó: Centro Frayba (La Jornada, 11 de junio de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English): 

Chiapas: Increase in violence in Puebla Colony, Chenalho (4 August 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society, “the government is using two weapons in its strategy, lead bullets and sugar bullets” (25 June 2013)

Chiapas: Denunciation from Las Abejas of Acteal on 22 May 2013 (7 June 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas denounce lack of justice in the Acteal case (23 April 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas lament release of yet another of those charged for Acteal massacre (27 March 2013)


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