Chiapas: International NGOs Express Concern over Wave of Violence against Indigenous Peoples 

In a statement published on January 14th, the Indigenous Peoples Rights International (IPRI) and Front Line Defenders organizations expressed their “deep concern at a new wave of violence against indigenous Tsotsil and Tseltal communities in the state of Chiapas. During the first days of the year 2022, local organizations have informed the signatories of this letter about constant aggressions by armed groups in the municipalities of Aldama, Ocosingo, Chalchihuitan, Chenalho, Chilon, Pantelho and others, in the state of Chiapas.”

They reported that “they have received information about several attacks by armed groups against the civilian population of the indigenous communities of Chivit, Stzelejpotobtik, Yeton, Xuxchen, Tabac, Juxton, Coco’, Stselej Potov and the Municipal Headquarters of Aldama. On January 5th, the inhabitants of the latter, alerted the authorities of the State government about detonations of explosives in their territory.

They detailed that on January 10th, “the young indigenous Lorenzo Gomez Ruiz was hit by a projectile in the community of Stzelejpotobtik and died hours later while receiving medical care at the San Cristobal de Las Casas hospital. The same day, at approximately one in the afternoon, a group of about 15 armed and hooded people entered the autonomous community of 16 de Febrero, located in the municipality of Ocosingo, and beat a minor and forced Mrs. Hilaria Hernandez Gomez to leave her house with her three-year-old son in her arms.”

On the other hand, the organizations highlighted that “the case of the murder of the defender of indigenous rights Simon Pedro Perez Lopez -member of Las Abejas de Acteal- perpetrated on July 5th, 2021 in the municipal seat of Simojovel, remains unpunished.”

The organizations and signatories of the statement concluded: “We call on the federal and state authorities to clarify the new acts of violence, to conduct an investigation with due diligence to quickly bring those responsible before the law, and to ensure that the defending communities can live in a safe environment to defend and exercise their collective and individual human rights.”

For more infromation in Spanish:

Comunidad internacional detecta inacción del gobierno para detener la violencia en comunidades indígenas, Chiapasparalelo, 16 de enero de 2022

Preocupa a Ong «nueva ola de violencia» contra indígenas en Chiapas, La Jornada, 14 de enero de 2022

Preocupación ante nuevos ataques armados en contra de comunidades indígenas y prevalencia de la impunidad en el estado de Chiapas, Frontline Defenders, 14 de enero de 2022

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Four Disappeared BAEZLN Found after Armed Attack in Ocosingo (January 14, 2022)

Chiapas: Attacks Continue in Aldama and Leave One Wounded (January 10, 2022)

Chiapas: Halt to Violence in Aldama Demanded from Europe (January 7, 2022)

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