Chiapas: “We Haven’t Received a Positive Response – Press Conference on Situation in Chilon


On May 18th, the press conference “The criminalization of the struggle for land and territory in the Tseltal town of Chilon, Chiapas” was held. Through three communiqués, the participants demanded a halt to the criminalization of community defenders of the land and territory of the San Jeronimo and San Sebastian Bachajon ejidos following the construction of a National Guard (GN) barracks, without the permission of the ejidatarios, and after the arbitrary detention of two people who participated in a protest against their presence in their territories last year.

In the facilities of the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas C.A. (Frayba), the conference began with the participation of a representative of the San Jeronimo Bachajón Ejido who, together with the San Sebastian Bachajon Ejido, denounced the current president of Chilon municipality, who does not “represent our own ways of electing our agrarian authorities.” They also denounced the violent repression by the state police and the National Guard on October 15th, 2020, which caused injuries, damages and the arbitrary detention of their two compañeros Jose Luis Gutierrez Hernandez and Cesar Hernandez Feliciano.

They explained that they have shown good will to the state government but that so far “there is no attention.” Among the five lawsuits they demanded reparation of damages, the NO militarization and the unconditional release of their companions. Finally, they blamed municipal president Carlos Idelfonso Jimenez Trujillo and the National Guard for “any act of repression, threat, persecution and other attacks against our and fellow ejidatarios”.

Frayba highlighted in its statement the criminalization to which defenders such as Jose Luis Gutierrez and Cesar Hernandez are subjected to for opposing militarization. It clarified that together with the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center, they have filed a claim for indirect protection against the construction of the Headquarters. It reported that the definitive suspension was denied in the first stay. However, they are waiting for it to be sent to the “competent Collegiate Court.”

Father Marcelo Perez Perez, coordinator of the Social Pastoral of the Province of Chiapas expressed his solidarity, and announced that he has requested several tables for dialogues in the Government Palace but that they did not obtain results, because, during these three dialogues, “The repressor never showed up.” With words addressed to the Mexican President, Father Marcelo concluded that “in Chilón, Chiapas the 4th Transformation is not coming, rather they are strengthening aggression and repression.”

For more information in Spanish:

Conferencia de Prensa (Facebook Frayba, 18 de mayo de 2021)

For more information from SIPAZ: 

Chiapas: National Guard Sued over Construction of Barracks in Chilon (January 30, 2021)
Chiapas: Prisoners from Demonstration against National Guard Barracks in Chilon to Continue Trial in Liberty (November 11, 2020)
Chiapas/International: Front Line Defenders’ Statement on Arbitrary Arrest and Physical Attacks on Indigenous Defenders from Chilon (November 3, 2020)

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