Chiapas: Misinformation about COVID-19 Leads to Attacks on Hospitals and Staff


In recent weeks, the media have informed us of various attacks on medical personnel and hospitals in different parts of the country, and Chiapas is no exception. This week attacks and acts of violence have been reported in various municipalities of the state, after false information about COVID-19 was spread on social networks.

On June 10th, residents of the Guadalupe Tepeyac community in the municipality of Las Margaritas, tied and held the director of the hospital of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS in its Spanish acronym), Miguel Angel Palacios Castro, for several hours after accusing the doctors there of being responsible for the death of a relative who died from COVID-19. The director was tied up for several hours in Plaza de Guadalupe Tepeyac before being released unharmed.

On the same day, it was reported that a group of people from the Las Rosas municipality vandalized the local community hospital, the municipal presidency, and a private house; these people also burned an ambulance, broke windows and doors, and assaulted workers. The attacks were sparked by the annual fumigations that are carried out against dengue, Zika and Chinkungunya, which some residents believed was to kill or infect them with the coronavirus.

The day after the events, the attorney general, Jorge Llaven Abarca, reported that the State Attorney of the State of Chiapas (FGE in its Spanish acronym) had opened an investigation into the events that occurred in the municipality of Las Rosas.

Attacks on medical staff  have also been reported in several other municipalities in the state due to rumors that the government uses fumigations to infect the population or that the disease simply does not exist.

For more information in Spanish:

Habitantes de Chiapas destrozan hospital, queman ambulancia y agreden a personal médico. (Animalpolitico, 11 de junio de 2020)

Causan destrozos en alcaldía y hospital de Las Rosas, Chiapas(La Jornada, 11 de junio de 2020)

Retienen a director de hospital del IMSS en Las Margaritas, Chiapas. (La jornada 10 de junio de 2020)

Amarran a director de Hospital en Las Margaritas; acusan de que personal causó la muerte de un paciente de Covid-19(Chiapasparalelo, 11 de junio de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ. 

Oaxaca: COVID-19 Cases Rising in Prisons; Civil Organizations Denounce Lack of Access to Health Services (June 9, 2020)

Chiapas: Women Prisoners in CERSS No. 5 Denounce Violence in COVID-19 Pandemic (June 8, 2020)

Chiapas: Cereza Collective Requests Release of Women Prisoners in San Cristobal de Las Casas (June 4, 2020)

Chiapas: Fear that Infected Prisoners in San Cristobal de Las Casas “Will only Come Out Dead” (May 26, 2020)


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