Chiapas: Commemoration for those killed and disappeared during the conflict in the zone below Tila

Altar de las víctimas @ SIPAZAltar for the victims @ SIPAZ

On 20 September, in the community of Masoja Shucja, Tila municipality, a commemoration was held to remember those killed and forcibly disappeared between the years 1994 and 1999 in the region below Tila. Around a hundred people participated in the event, designed to never “forget our fallen and disappeared comrades, and so we remember them. They will always be in our hearts,” as the People United for the Defense of Electrical Energy (PUDEE) expressed, being adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle from the Northern Jungle region, authored by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). Following a mass, relatives of the disappeared and murdered spoke and demanded “true justice, the presentation with life of the disappeared, and compensation of damages and the suffering caused during the conflict in the communities,” adding that “the situation of the communities in the zone below Tila, Chiapas, has not changed. We do not live in peace or tranquility. The three levels of the bad government actually are the ones responsible for the low-intensity warfare we confront. We explain how our communities are now experiencing problems due to the divisions that surged during the recent elections, though there also exist families displaced by the armed conflict or counterinsurgency against the EZLN during the years 1996-1997.”

They also indicated that the paramilitary group “Development, Peace, and Justice” is being reorganized at present, affirming that “in its actions to control the communities and municipalities they use political functionaries, specifically their portable high-frequency radios, and carry arms which are for the exclusive use of the Army in public areas to threaten and intimidate their opponents. They hire young drug-addicts, go out hooded to block roads and highways, impeding free transit, and they attack and rob violently.” Beyond this, they recalled the proximate anniversary of the forcible disappearance of the 43 teacher-students from Ayotzinapa, noting that “we will continue to express our support for them; they are not alone.”

It should be observed that the conflict in the zone below the Tila municipality began with the imposition of the Chiapas Campaign Plan 94, a counterinsurgent strategy taken by the Mexican government to prevent the expansion of the EZLN during the 1990s.

For more information (in Spanish):

Familiares de víctima de la contrainsurgencia siguen exigiendo justicia (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 21 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Event “Heart of memory, sown on our lands” in Masoja Shucjá, Tila (12 November 2014)

Chiapas: 18 years since the disappearance of Minerva Pérez, her case remains unpunished (25 June 2014)

Chiapas: 17 years after the forced disappearance of Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres, her case is taken up at the IACHR (25 June 2013)

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