Armed violence by armed groups with paramilitary characteristics in the Highlands of Chiapas, which forced more than 5,000 people to flee their homes in recent months, intensified with the murder of three peasants and the forced displacement of more than 700 people in the municipality of Aldama.
A peasant and his two minor children were murdered on April 2 when they were walking around their land near one of the alleged meeting points of “paramilitary groups” that operate from Manuel Utrilla, Santa Martha in the municipality of Chenalhó, firing at the civil population in the neighboring municipality of Aldama supposedly due to a territorial conflict of 60 hectares.
During a press conference held on April 3 at the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center, the 115 Communal Property Owners of Aldama demanded to respect the agreement ratified by the Agrarian Tribunal on December 1 2009, where the inhabitants of Santa Martha, Chenalhó, recognized that the 60 hectares in conflict belong to the municipality of Aldama.
“The current situation we are experiencing in our community of Aldama is that we are being attacked in our communities by armed groups from Santa Martha. Every night they are shooting with high caliber firearms against the communities that have already been displaced and other communities of Aldama that are neighbors of Santa Martha. They have also attacked the county town, as well as people who are going to theirs lands; they do not allow us to work, where they see us quickly they attack us, that is why we are very afraid because anyone they see will be shot“, said one of the inhabitants of Aldama.
The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center pointed out that the impunity with which armed civilian groups operate in the Highlands of Chiapas has intensified forced displacement in communities of Tsotsil peoples, in the municipalities of Aldama, Chalchihuitán and Chenalhó.
“Armed civilian groups, of paramilitary nature, linked to organized crime networks, attack communities with firearms, with the permissiveness and protection of authorities of the government of Chiapas. Old agrarian conflicts are managed according to political interests, in an electoral environment of manipulation and control to operate renewed counterinsurgency strategies”, it affirmed.
For more information (in Spanish) :
Exigen desarticulación de grupo armado que opera en la región de Chenalhó, Proceso, 3 de abril de 2018
Impunidad aumenta muertes y desplazamiento forzado en Chiapas, CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 3 de abril de 2018
Se recrudece violencia en Chiapas con asesinato de campesinos y más desplazamientos forzados, Animal Politico, 3 de abril de 2018
Frayba pide seguridad para familias de tzotziles desplazados, La Jornada, 28 de marzo de 2018
For more information from SIPAZ :
Chiapas: Humanitarian Aid for Displaced Demanded December 4, 2017