(@Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights)
The crisis of internal forced displacement in the highlands of Chiapas reached a new peak on November 7th when, according to the parish priest of Simojovel, Marcelo Perez Perez, in the community of Chavajeval, municipality of El Bosque, almost all of the inhabitants of the town (about a thousand people according to the first estimates) fled from there after a conflict in which a 65-year-old man died. On the same day, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights reported that, “while a community assembly was held, there was an explosion and shots were later heard.”
Since that date, displaced people have sought refuge in various places, including in nearby mountains or in the town of El Bosque and in the municipalities of Chenalho, Chalchihuitan and San Cristobal de Las Casas.
Given the rumor that more displaced people were kidnapped in the community of Tierra Caliente, Father Marcelo confirmed that although there were 400 displaced people in this place, they were not kidnapped.
The root of the displacement derives from a conflict between the residents of the community whic “on October 24th, Miguel Perez Lopez, ejido commissioner of Chavajeval, and Carmelino de Jesus Ruiz Álvarez was ambushed and shot at, two more people they were injured,” Chiapas Paralelo states. The investigation of the case by the community authorities has generated tension and accusations among the different groups present in the community.
While it is unclear if there are conditions for a return for the coffee harvest given the risk of losing it, the situation of displacement (which affects all groups) remains critical: “Food corn, beans and medicine are needed. I invite you in your parishes and organizations to show solidarity in prayer and gathering food,” said Father Marcelo Perez.
Civil Protection of Chiapas informed through its Facebook page that it has delivered food and blankets to those affected.
Support can also be provided through CARITAS DE LA DIOCESIS DE SAN CRISTOBAL.
Account number: 0642624985
ACCOUNT NAME: CARITAS DE SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS A.C.
For its part, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights urged the Mexican government to “guarantee the conditions to stop the escalation of violence in the community of Chavajebal, municipality of El Bosque, Chiapas”; to “favor dialogue and conciliation between the parties for the resolution of the conflict”; to “impartially and efficiently investigate the facts that led to the forced displacement of almost 2,000 people from the community of Chavajebal, municipality of El Bosque, Chiapas”; and to “address the humanitarian crisis situation in accordance with the Guiding Principles of the Forced Internal Displacement of the United Nations Organization and protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples in a situation of vulnerability”.
For more information in Spanish:
Párroco de Simojovel clama por ayuda para desplazados de Chavajeval, Chiapas (El Proceso, 13 de noviembre de 2018)
Suman tres muertos y casi mil personas desplazadas en Chavajebal (Chiapas Paralelo, 13 de noviembre de 2018)
Unos mil habitantes huyeron al monte en Chavajeval, Chiapas; la iglesia dice que hay hambruna (Sin Embargo, 13 de noviembre de 2018)
Habitantes de Chavajeval, Chiapas, enfrentan desplazamiento forzado (Proceso, 10 de noviembre de 2018)
Urge atención a desplazamiento en Chabajeval: Martín Ramírez (NVI, 10 de noviembre de 2018)
Detienen presuntos zapatistas involucrados en asesinato de autoridades de Chavajeval (Ultimatum, 7 de noviembre de 2018)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Chiapas: Frayba Denounces New Attacks in Aldama and Demands End to Violence (November 19th, 2018)