On September 2, at 10 o’clock in the morning, a group of 500 people who wanted to plant two thousand oak trees in the ecological reserve Quembó Cuxtitali, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, were attacked with sticks and stones by inhabitants of the community of Molino Los Arcos, in the east of this same city, with a balance of several injuries.
“They were more than a hundred people with their faces covered, armed with machetes, sticks, slingshots and other objects who were very aggressive. What they are looking for is to keep the 101 hectares of the reserve. Since 2016, the decree 516 grants its custody to the Autonomous water system of Cuxtitali neighborhood”, said one of the people promoting the reforestation in the area.
The assaulted reported that the inhabitants of Molino Los Arcos took possession of the spring located within the Gertrudy Dubis ecological reserve illegally, since 1994, and that they have been cutting down many trees affecting the amount of water that reaches the neighborhood of Cuxtitali where many of the environmentalists came from.
It is not the first time that an aggression of this type has been recorded in the area, in addition to the fact that the reserve has been set on fire at least four times.
The government secretariat said it had warned the environmentalists that there were no conditions for them to try to reforest, but “they entered exposing civilians, which led to a provocation with the residents of Molino Los Arcos.” The assaulted ones presented a complaint for aggression and injuries before the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the State and hours later they carried out a public meeting accusing Marco Antonio Cancino González, present municipal president of San Cristóbal, for the aggressions because they consider that he is “protecting the invaders who are occupying the ecological reserves”.
For more information (in Spanish) :
Agreden a ambientalistas en Chiapas (La Jornada, 2 de septiembre de 2018)
Agreden a ambientalistas en reserva de San Cristóbal de las Casas (SDP Noticias, 2 de septiembre de 2018)
Grupo de encapuchados agrede a 500 ambientalistas en San Cristóbal de las Casas (Chiapas Paralelo, 2 de septiembre de 2018)