Chiapas: Inhabitants of Teopisca Hold Military and Officials in Road Blocks over Imposition of Municipal Council 

@ La Jornada

On August 30th, agents from the Secretariat of Citizen Security and Protection (SSyPC) evicted Teopisca residents who had blocked the San Cristobal-Tuxtla Gutierrez toll road, at the entrance to San Cristobal de Las Casas, with tear gas. The blockade had been organized to demand the Electoral Court of the State of Chiapas (TEECh) to issue a ruling on the appeal filed against the imposition of a municipal council after the assassination of Mayor Ruben de Jesus Valdez Diaz, last June. To this same end, the demonstrators also blocked the road that connects San Cristobal with Comitan, Ocosingo and Palenque (via Rancho Nuevo).

On the highway to Tuxtla, while they were being fired at with tear gas, the protesters fired guns at a helicopter, with no injuries reported. They also damaged at least five vehicles, including a Municipal Civil Protection ambulance. Between the two blockades, three soldiers, six Civil Protection workers and three people from the San Cristobal de Las Casas City Hall cleaning service were held for a few hours.

The SSyPC subsequently reported that seven people implicated in the crimes of mutiny, damage, attacks on general communication routes and attacks against the peace and bodily and patrimonial integrity of the State community were arrested.

The conflict in Teopisca arose as a result of the assassination of Valdez Diaz, of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM), on June 8th. The members of the city council resigned, except for Josefa Sanchez Perez. On June 24th, the state Congress appointed a council chaired by Luis Valdez, brother of the deceased. Sanchez Perez organized protests to demand that she be appointed president of the municipal council and filed an appeal before the TEECh. On August 23, opponents of Luis Valdez named Javier Velazquez president of a new council, keeping Josefa as trustee. In mid-August, the TEECh ordered the Legislature to appoint a new mayor from among the members of the dissolved city council, elected in June 2021, which Javier and Josefa rejected.

Meanwhile, the Pan-American highway, in the San Cristobal-Comitan section, has been blocked for almost three weeks.

For more information in Spanish:

Pobladores de Teopisca exigen que se quede el concejo que ellos eligieron (La Jornada, 31 de agosto de 2022)

Militares son agredidos y retenidos en un bloqueo por disputa de ayuntamiento en Chiapas (El financiero, 31 de agosto de 2022)

Pobladores de Teopisca retienen a funcionarios y militares en enfrentamiento por bloqueos carreteros (Proceso, 31 de agosto de 2022)

Desalojan a manifestantes que bloqueaban carretera en Teopisca, Chiapas (La Jornada, 30 de agosto de 2022)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Habitantes de Teopisca y Oxchuc bloquean carreteras – 29 personas fueron detenidos (August 24, 2022)

Chiapas: Habitantes del municipio de Teopisca continúan con protestas por imposición de concejo municipal (July 1, 2022)

Chiapas: Mayor of Teopisca, Ruben de Jesus Valdez, Murdered – 17 Murdered so far this Legislature (June 13, 2022)

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