Chiapas: March in Chicomuselo against Violence and Mining


On January 5th, 2023, hundreds of people marched in Chicomuselo, in the Sierra Madre of Chiapas, “to demand an end to the violence unleashed by organized crime that intends to impose mining in the region with the complicit silence of the authorities.” Chiapas Paralelo reported.

In the so-called “March for Life”, ejido and community representatives, peasant men and women, and parishioners of that border town denounced that since mid-2022 a barite mine began to operate illegally in the Santa María ejido. According to the ejido authorities, this mine has its precedent in the concession to the Canadian company BlackFire, which tried to move into in the Grecia ejido in 2009 and stopped its operations after the murder of the defender of the territory Mariano Abarca. In 2017, BlackFire changed its concession title and is now called “Barita de Chiapas”, and under this name it currently operates in Santa María.

The protesters denounced that, for this, “they have used the violence carried out on behalf of this mining company by an organized crime group called MAIZ, which has toured the communities with long-barrelled weapons to intimidate the population and warn them that, if they oppose mining, they will harm them and, in passing, they have begun to charge the “protection rent” to commerce and transportation in the municipality”, reported Proceso.

“It is worrying that mining activity takes place under the protection of organized crime, and in a context of militarization, with Chicomuselo being the headquarters of the 101st Infantry Battalion of the Army, which suggests that a counterinsurgency strategy is applied to impose mining”, said the spokespersons for the protesters according to Proceso.

In the march they demanded the protection of life and integrity of the defenders of Mother Earth, in particular Isabel Recinos Trigueros, who was attacked on December 30th, and demanded an end to the violence and the dismantling of the criminal group MAIZ.

For more information in Spanish:

Marchan en Chicomuselo contra grupos armados que imponen la minería en Chiapas (Proceso, 6 de enero de 2023)

Chicomuselo cierra filas en contra de la inseguridad y la minería (Chiapas Paralelo, 6 de enero de 2023)

Pobladores marchan en Chicomuselo, exigen cierre de mina de Barita (El Heraldo, 7 de enero de 2023)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Possible Renewed Mining Activity in Chicomuselo Reported
Chiapas: Chicomuselo Believing People and MODEVITE Pilgrimage (June 17, 2022)
Chiapas: Chicomuselo Parish Priest Threatened (March 21, 2022)

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