Acteal (@Espoir Chiapas)
On 12 March, the house of the family of Normelina Hernández López and Macario Arias Gómez was burned to the ground in the Puebla Colony. The family is one of 17 others that was forcibly displaced from the community in August 2013 and now has taken refuge in the Acteal community. The previous week there had already been burned the door of a catechismal house. The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights indicated that “these acts took place despite the presence of approximately 30 officers from the State Preventive Police who seemed not to notice.” For this reason, the Center expresses its “concern over the persistence of the violence climate and for the risky situation in which the forcibly displaced families find themselves. In light of the gravity of the latest events, return looks more difficult. For the situation we find the governmental authorities responsible by omission, for, instead of administering justice, they maintain and permit an impunity that generates tension and violence.”
Since April 2013, Catholics and Evangelicals from the Puebla Colony have been in conflict regarding land on which had been located a Catholic chapel. On 23 February, the state government awarded the land in dispute to the San Cristóbal de las Casas diocese and for this reason, the displaced announced that they would return to their community on 14 March, a return that was cancelled after the burning of a door of the catechismal house.
Sources within the Chiapas state government reported that two people have been arrested from the Puebla ejido for the burning of the house of the family of Macario Arias and placed under the control of the State Preventive Police (PEP).
For more information (in Spanish):
Queman casa de familia desplazada del ejido Puebla (Parroquia de Chenalhó y desplazados de Colonia Puebla, 12 de marzo de 2014)
Boletín: Persiste la violencia contra las personas desplazadas forzadamente del ejido Puebla (CDHFBC, 13 de marzo de 2014)
Pobladores del ejido Puebla, en Chenalhó, incendian vivienda de familia católica (La Jornada, 13 de marzo de 2014)
Incendian dos casas de indígenas en Chiapas (El Universal, 12 de marzo de 2014)
Detiene a dos tzotziles por quemar casas en Chiapas (El Universal, 12 de marzo de 2014)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony, Chenalhó return to Acteal (13 February 2014)