Chiapas: One Year without Justice for Nueva Palestina Displaced


December 19th marked one year since the armed attack and forced displacement of five families (34 people, of which 24 are children and adolescents) in Nueva Palestina, Ocosingo. In a press conference held at the facilities of the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, the victims of the attack shared their testimonies and demanded from the authorities the release of Versain Velasco Garcia, the appearance of Fredy Gomez Santiz who was tortured and forcibly disappeared, as well as full reparation for those affected.

During the conference, they described how they were attacked with knives, machetes, sticks, and firearms of varying caliber. Three of the women were sexually tortured. In the case of Isaura Velasco, this torture caused her to lose her baby at six weeks of pregnancy. During these events they were treated inhumanely, there were serious violations of Human Rights and torture of minors. After the conference, they went accompanied by civil society organizations to the Palace of Justice of the Highlands of Chiapas, in San Cristobal de Las Casas, to deliver the statement with their demands.

So far they have not received any response from the state or federal authorities, they have received support and accompaniment from the Solidarity Legal Team, the Melel Xojobal organization, the Social Pastoral of the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas and Frayba. Since December 14th, Versain Velasco Garcia, who is being held at CERRS 16 in Ocosingo, began a hunger strike to demand his immediate release.

“We request local, national and international organizations that defend and promote human rights, the State and National Human Rights Commission (CEDH -CNDH), the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the United Nations Organization United Nations for Human Rights (UNHCHR), to address this case within the framework of their mandates and missions and make the appropriate requests and urgent appeals to the Mexican State to address the situation, to help counteract and prevent rights violations humans”, they say in the statement.

For more information in Spanish:

Desplazados de Ocosingo exigen liberar a detenido y localizar a desaparecido(La Jornada, 20 de diciembre de 2022)

 Pronunciamiento Conjunto a un año del Desplazamiento Forzado en Nueva Palestina (Frayba, 19 de diciembre de 2022)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca/Chiapas/National: Forced Internal Displacement – An Alarming and Ignored Reality (December 9, 2021)
Oaxaca/Chiapas: Among States with Highest Number of Forced Displacement Victims (December 22, 2021)
Chiapas: Tseltal Women Released after Ten Months of Arbitrary Deprivation of Liberty (November 7, 2022)

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