Chiapas: Two Dead and Dozens Injured in Chenalho in Dispute over Mayoralty

Chenalho.pngChenalho Town Hall (@Linkogecko)

The post-election dispute in the municipality of Chenalho claimed the lives of two people between February 22 and March 7, resulting in more than a dozen with gunshot wounds.

It should be recalled that since the beginning of 2016, nonconformists made a series of protests that led the mayor-elect, Rosa Perez Perez, Ecologist Green Party of Mexico, to apply for a license for the position last May and the local Congress appointed the trustee of the City Hall, Miguel Santiz Alvarez, as substitute mayor.

Nevertheless, on August 17, the Electoral Tribunal of the Judiciary of the Federation (TEPJF in its Spanish acronym) ordered the reinstatement of Rosa Perez, which could not be, but it was dispatched from offices in San Cristobal de Las Casas from where the official resources of the municipality are received.

On the morning of February 22, hundreds of supporters of Rosa Perez took over the Town Hall that more than one hundred municipal workers and sympathizers of the substitute mayor were guarding. The takeover of the building and a subsequent confrontation left one person dead, Jonhny Orlando Vasquez Ruiz, 16 wounded, vehicles destroyed and houses looted (including those of Santiz Alvarez and the treasurer, Manuel Clemente Gomez). Testimonies refer to the use of high-caliber firearms and “bullet-proof vests”.

About 270 displaced people from Puebla neighborhood, who since May 2016 were displaced in the Cultural Center in the municipal seat of Chenalho, dispersed before taking refuge in San Cristobal. They had fled Puebla in the face of threats from Rosa Perez supporters. Faced with the latest events, at least 49 of them decided to stop supporting Miguel Santiz Alvarez to support Rosa Perez Perez.

On another note, since March 6, rural agents from at least 60 of the 116 communities in Chenalho agreed to suspend classes at all levels of education, considering that “there are no safe conditions for students and teachers after the takeover of the Town Hall on February 22.” The agents who signed the agreement are supporters of Sanchez Alvarez, and demanded that “threats, intimidation and gunshots be stopped in the communities and that precautionary measures be taken in the localities where men, women and children live who repudiate and do not recognize Rosa Perez.”

On March 7, the body of Lorenzo Santiz Alvarez, son of the Chenalho trustee, Miguel Santiz Alvarez, was finally found in the community of Santa Marta from where they came. Supporters of the mayor Rosa Perez spread the story that he committed suicide because the victim was supposedly drunk, a story the relatives rejected because they claim he did not usually take or use a backpack like the one found next to him.

For more information in Spanish:

Hallan muerto a hijo de alcalde sustituto de Chenalhó, Chiapas (Proceso, 7 de marzo de 2017)

Asesinan a hijo del alcalde sustituto de Chenalhó (La Jornada, 7 de marzo de 2017)

Comuneros de Chenalhó acuerdan suspender clases (La Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2017)

Seguidores de alcalde sustituto ahora apoyan a la edil Pérez (La Jornada, 28 de febrero de 2017)

Hallan cuerpo de joven desaparecido en toma de alcaldía de Chenalhó (La Jornada, 26 de febrero de 2017)

Simpatizantes de Pérez Pérez toman alcaldía de Chenalhó (La Jornada, 23 de febrero de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Chiapas: TEPJF ordena restitución de alcaldesa de Oxchuc (5 de septiembre de 2016)

Chiapas : Restitución en su cargo de alcaldesa de Chenalhó hace temer nueva situación de violencia (22 de agosto de 2016)

Chiapas: Riesgo de más violencia en Chenalhó después de secuestro y cambio de alcalde (31 de mayo de 2016)

Chiapas: Protestas post electorales en el municipio de Chenalhó (6 de mayo de 2016)

 

 

 

 

 

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