At a press conference on May 26th, the Trust for the Health of Indigenous Children of Mexico (FISANIM) and the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, (Frayba) warned of the risk of famine for more than 3,000 displaced people in the Highlands of Chiapas.
They documented that based on direct information received from the population of the Maya Tsotsil People from the municipality of Aldama, Chalchihuitan and from the Civil Society Organization Las Abejas de Acteal in Chenalho, people displaced in said municipalities face a food emergency situation that could lead to famine if prolonged. Being in itself one of the most marginalized municipalities in the country, the lives of 3304 displaced persons are also at high risk of contagion by COVID-19 when they are “in overcrowded conditions: in borrowed, rented houses and in critical situations, when armed violence begins they take refuge in the mountains. Several of the families have had their houses burned, destroyed and/or been shot, without access to their farms to cultivate their land and without being able to plant and harvest their corn, beans, fruits and vegetables. Up to now, they do not have the possibility of going somewhere to work, they have not been able to harvest their coffee, being one of the sources of economic income to complete their livelihood throughout the year.”
“In all three cases, the omission of the Mexican State and the lack of compliance with the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement of the United Nations (UN) prevail,” they also denounced. This is due to “the constant lack of food, medical attention and emotional damage due to the permanent fear and despair of being attacked, girls, boys, women and the elderly women/men are the most vulnerable victims.”
Faced with this situation, they demanded from the authorities: the implementation of a Food Emergency Plan; the efficient action of the State Council for Comprehensive Attention to Internal Displacement of Persons in the State of Chiapas; the intervention of the International Red Cross to contribute to humanitarian aid; and to deactivate “the violence in these territories caused by armed paramilitary civilian groups that comes from decades of impunity, since today we are in the previous scenarios of what was the Acteal Massacre”, among others.
The two organizations also called for solidarity actions from national and international civil society, including the possibility of financial support to address the food emergency: Trust for the Health of Indigenous Children in Mexico. Scotiabank bank. Account: 00107853564 Interbank password: 044180001078535644.
For more information in Spanish:
Alertamos posible hambruna de Pueblos Mayas en desplazamiento forzado (Frayba, 26 de mayo de 2020)
En riesgo de hambruna más de 3 mil indígenas desplazados de Chiapas; coronavirus agravó su situación (Aristegui Noticias, 26 de mayo de 2020)
Más de 3 mil 300 desplazados en el umbral de la hambruna en Chiapas, alerta el Frayba(Proceso, 27 de mayo de 2020)
Centro Frayba alerta de un “desastre humanitario” en los Altos de Chiapas (La Jornada, 27 de mayo de 2020)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Chiapas: Injunction Granted to Protect Life, Integrity and Security of Displaced Tsotsil Communities in Aldama (May 4, 2020)
Chiapas: Death of Displaced Baby Girl from Rio Jordan, Chenalho (February 28, 2020)