Chiapas: New Armed Group in Defense of People Appears in Simojovel

@La Jornada

In a video released on social networks on October 3rd, the self-defense group called the Simojovel Armed Forceswent public. About 12 hooded and armed people appear in the video. The group’s spokesperson read a statement dated September 20th in which he addresses the town of Simojovel, and in particular the new municipal president, Gilberto Martinez Andrade of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (who is the successor in the position his wife Viridiana Hernandez Sanchez held).

As an “Independent Force without a Political Party”, they ask: “1. Respect for our indigenous demands, 2. No more diversion of the people’s resources, 3. We will not allow hitmen or armed drug traffickers. 4. Zero tolerance for clandestine canteens and drug sales. 5. No more deaths in the streets of Simojovel. 6. Medical and dignified care for the people in general. 7. That public security is for the people and not for criminals.”

In addition, they state that “if these demands are not met, we will act accordingly against the bad municipal government.”

This is the third armed group to emerge in Chiapas. The first was the El Machete Self-Defense Forces, which were established as a reaction to the political and security crisis in Pantelho, while the second, the group called “People of the Jungle”, became known on September 29th, when they expressed their support for El Machete, sending a message telling them that they are not alone and they have all their support.

For more information in Spanish:

Irrumpe nuevo grupo civil armado en defensa del pueblo, ahora en Simojovel(Chiapas Paralelo, 03 octubre de 2021)

Otro grupo civil armado irrumpe en Simojovel, Chiapas (Proceso, 03 octubre de 2021)

Surge guardia comunitaria en Simojovel (La Jornada, 04 octubre de 2021)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: San Cristobal de Las Casas Diocese Statement on Threats against Father Marcelo(September 12, 2021)

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

Chiapas: Frayba and SweFOR Statement – Concern over Safety of Father Marcelo Perez, Simojovel Parish Priest and HR Defender (July 22, 2021)

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

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