Chiapas: Inhabitants of Pantelho Search and Burn Homes of People Presumably Linked to Organized Crime

@El Sol de Mexico

According to media sources, on July 26th, after an Assembly in which officials from the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) were present as well as elements of the National Guard and the National Defense Secretariat (SEDENA), inhabitants of the 18 neighborhoods in the municipal center of Pantelho and 86 communities belonging to the same municipality searched several houses, burned some and detained some 14 people with alleged ties to the Herrera family or to the City Council. This occurred considering that there were firearms and explosives in these houses and that the detained persons are linked to organized crime.

The FGE officials responded in the Assembly by asking that they wait 24 hours, that they indicate the houses to be searched, they even indicated that they would leave SEDENA and GN guards so that no one could enter or remove anything from them, and that in 24 hours they would return with the court order, because to do so without it they would land in trouble. The villagers, distrustful, did not want to wait. Faced with this, the FGE, the GN and SEDENA withdrew to the entrance of the town to avoid a clash with the population.

The residents continue to demand the resignation of Mayor Delia Yaneth Velasco Flores, and her successor, the mayor-elect, Raquel Trujillo Morales. The self-defense groups also want the “group of criminals” out of that municipality, which, they claim, is headed by the Herrera family.

“The government has abandoned us. Here there is no security, peace or calm, only fear, tears, terror, extortion, intimidation and not to mention corruption. On July 26th we went to the center to do justice ourselves, to search the homes of the murderers and drug traffickers, not the people who are innocent or the families who have been extorted by these criminals”, the protesters said in a statement. .

One of the leaders of the El Machete People’s Self-Defense Forces commented: “We demand that justice be done and that the prosecution detain bad people.” He added that this group did not participate in the taking of the town, but rather “the communities” did. He added that the mayor’s office will be busy “until there is justice. When they take care of us we will leave. We want the federal and state governments to serve us. what happened is the prosecution’s fault because it did not want to do its job, as we asked with peace and calm.”

Marcelo Perez Perez, parish priest of the neighboring municipality of Simojovel, reported on his part that the diocese of San Cristobal appointed a commission, made up of ten priests and nuns, in order to mediate in the conflict. He added that a commission of ten municipal agents, four presidents of ejidocommissions, six servants of the Catholic Church and three of the Evangelical church was also formed by the communities and neighborhoods to “seek peace.”

For more information in Spanish:

Habitantes de Pantelhó catean e incendian casas, y retienen a 14 personas(Proceso, 27 de julio de 2021)

Saquean y queman durante la madrugada viviendas de Pantelhó, Chiapas(Animal Político, 27 de julio de 2021)

Autodefensas toman cabecera municipal de Pantelhó, Chiapas (Excelsior, 27 de julio de 2021)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/National: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Makes Statement on Self-defense Groups (July 22, 2021)

Chiapas: Thousands Support “El Machete” Self-defense Group in Pantelho as Militarization Increases (July 20, 2021)

Chiapas/National: HR Observation Mission for Forced Displacement of 3,205 People from Pantelho y Chenalho (July 16, 2021)

Chiapas: Conflict in Pantelho Continues (July 15, 2021)

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