Chiapas: Women’s Movement for Defense of Mother Earth and Territories Assembly Denounces Rule of Organized Crime in their Territories

@Chiapas Paralelo

On September 17th and 18th, 2022, the Women’s Movement for the Defense of Mother Earth and Our Territories Assembly held a meeting in Chapultenango to discuss and analyze the situation in Chiapas. Women came from the Zoque, North-Palenque, Jungle, Coast and Highlands regions. “We agree that in all our territories Organized Crime is governing, we see an increase in the sale and circulation of weapons, drug addiction, prostitution, and alcoholism. In complicity with a militarization process that allows the dispossession and control of our territories. Women are the most affected by the increase in femicides, deaths, hunger and disappearances of girls and young people”, said the defenders of Mother Earth.

Constant movement in vehicles by armed groups in the Highlands Tsotsil area was mentioned. They also denounced the sexual violence exercised by men towards young women. The women of the Highlands Tseltal area expressed: “We are not taken into account, they do not respect our rights, mainly the contempt for widowed women and/or single mothers. The uses and customs of the community violate us and dispossess us of our lands without taking into account that the land gives us life and from it we feed. In the Jovel Valley we identify a before and after June 14th after the dispute between different Organized Crime groups: dispossession is experienced through the invasion of land caused by armed groups from the complicity of government officials and hotel businessmen who monopolize the water through the destruction of mountain wetlands and swamps.”

Women from the North-Palenque spoke about the destruction of hills, water contamination and dispossession/displacement of communities due to the construction of the Maya Train. From the Coastal Zone they also expressed their concern about the degradation of the environment due to the interoceanic project in Oaxaca, which will go through the entire Coast to Guatemala, and apart from the construction of highways in connection with the Maya Train and the Interoceanic Train. The Zoque Zone reported threats from megaprojects related to mining, hydroelectric, geothermal and hydrocarbon projects.

“We are convinced of the link between corporate interests, the Federal Electricity Commission and institutions of the bad government together with organized crime for the execution of projects”, they said and added: “We will defend Our Mother Earth from the so-called Mayaa Train, from the hydrocarbons and geoparks projects, the gas pipeline and agrochemicals, water hoarding and pollution.”

For more information in Spanish:

Mujeres de los pueblos originarios de Chiapas, cierran filas contra megaproyectos (Chiapas Paralelo, 19 de septiembre de 2022)

El crimen gobierna zonas indígenas de Chiapas, señala asamblea de mujeres(La Jornada, 20 de septiembre de 2022)

Pronunciamiento Asamblea del Movimiento de Mujeres por la Defensa de la Madre Tierra y Nuestros Territorios. Chiapas, México (Congreso Nacional Indígena, 19 de septiembre de 2022)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: XIII Assembly of Movement in Defense of Land, Territory and for the Participation and Recognition of Women in Decision-Making (November 22, 2021)
Chiapas: “Let’s Talk about Government Programs, Megaprojects and the Effects they Have on the Lives of Indigenous Campesina Women and Communities” Forum Held (February 28, 2020)
Chiapas: Second Zoque Congress to Denounce Threats to Life and Territory (April 11, 2022)

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