On Friday, December 3rd, five members of the independent Chupactic water system, accompanied by two experts and a federal clerk, went to the Quenvo-Cuxtitali ecological reserve with the intention of carrying out an inspection and complying with some official procedures. They arrived at the location around 9a.m. and were detained by residents of the lower part of Molino de los Arcos neighborhood, who illegally inhabit the Reserve.
The experts and the clerk, for whom there is no information, were released shortly thereafter. For their part, the environmentalists Francisco Isidoro Lopez Martinez, Pedro Saul Martinez Gomez, Candido Valentin Mijangos Ruiz, Jose Ricardo Mijangos Diaz and Juan Ico, remained detained and were physically assaulted and beaten.
Neighbors of the Cuxtitali neighborhood and activists blocked a section of the San Cristobal-Comitan highway to demand their release. In turn, The Network of All Rights for All released a statement in which it called on the authorities to intervene. They were finally released at 12 pm on the same Friday.
According to the media, the Quenvo-Cuxtitali Ecological Reserve has had a history of struggle and corruption for several years. It was invaded since 1994, supposedly with the support of former mayor Marco Antonio Cancino, who allowed the deforestation of this protected area. Since then, there have been numerous attacks on environmental defenders by the people continue to invade this territory.
For more information in Spanish:
Retienen y violentan a empleados ambientalistas (Es Diario 05 de diciembre de 2021)
Retienen y violentan a cinco empleados ambientales en Chiapas (La Jornada 05 de diciembre de 2021)
Riesgo a la vida de defensores comunitarios de Cuxtitali (Red TdT 03 de diciembre de 2021)
For more nformation from SIPAZ: