Chiapas: Militarization Increases Violence and Violation of Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Photo: Chiapas Paralelo

In a statement published on September 18th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) expressed its concern over the approval of the constitutional reforms on security matters because they violate the peacebuilding processes of the peoples, communities and collectives.

“The completion of the construction of 24 National Guard (GN) barracks is planned for Chiapas out of the 500 projected nationwide. It will have 3,522 troops, out of 223,000 members that make up the institution and distributed in 266 regional locations at the national level. The barracks have been installed in the territories of Original Peoples who oppose the dispossession of their living spaces through the megaprojects of the Federal Government, such as the Mayan train, the Interoceanic Corridor, the Dos Bocas Refinery or the road infrastructure that connects them”, it warned.

It added that the armed forces in the state of Chiapas have served as elements that seek to demobilize the peoples and communities that defend their land and territory. It noted that “In 2018, the Mexican Army implemented an apparatus of espionage, harassment, intimidation and criminalization of the organization Pueblos Autónomos en Defensa de los Usos y Costumbre (PADUC), municipality of Palenque, Chiapas.”

Another example illustrating the same concern was the arbitrary arrest of Cesar Hernandez Feliciano and Jose Luis Gutierrez Hernandez during a demonstration by the Tseltal people against the construction of the GN barracks in Chilon. The demonstration was heavily repressed by members of the Municipal Police of Ocosingo and Chilon, as well as by the State Police, with the support of the GN.

Frayba denounced that “in the midst of the current remilitarization of Chiapas, drug trafficking and consumption have intensified, disappearances and homicides persist, which shows that, as in the 1990s, the strategy has failed. Among the impacts of the violence are: communities attacked and forced to displace, in others curfews have been imposed by criminal groups and imposed silence, we are facing a state that has ignored it and the failure of the military strategy.”

For the same reason, it called for “walking in the construction of a different security model that promotes solutions to the environment of violence in Chiapas and the country.”

For more information in Spanish:

Alerta el Frayba sobre reforma que militariza la seguridad, Expreso Chiapas, 21 de septiembre de 2022

Militarización preocupa a pueblos originarios, Diario de Chiapas, 20 de Septiembre de 2022

La militarización aumenta la violencia y perpetúa las violaciones a Derechos Humanos y a los territorios de los Pueblos, Frayba, 18 de septiembre de 2022

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Worrying Legalization of Militarization in Mexico (September 19, 2022)
National: Protest to Say “Militarization Is Not the Solution” (September 11, 2022)

Chiapas: defensores comunitarios tseltales de Chilón exigen el cese a la criminalización que enfrentan por defender su territorio contra la militarización (14/10/2021)

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