In the month of March, three armed groups emerged in the municipality of Pantelho, in the Chiapas Highlands. Through videos, heavily armed people have confronted the self-defense group called El Machete.
In July 2021, El Machete made its appearance in Pantelho with the support of 86 communities who stated that they were tired of the presence of organized crime in their territories and supported this armed initiative. The group negotiated with the state the installation of a municipal council that still continues to function in the midst of the tensions that the municipality is experiencing.
Almost two years after these events, Petrona Lopez Perez, the wife of one of the leaders of El Machete known as Daniel, was assassinated in an ambush. This event has contributed to increasing tension in the municipality. Days later, three groups of armed people asked the state and federal governments to intervene by capturing the self-defense members, otherwise they threaten to take action; “But everything has a limit and today it came, since we have requested the support that you never gave us (…) that is why today we organized different armed groups to defend ourselves and see if the government listens to us that way.” “We are going to tell the government, if it does not act, we will take action under the circumstances that El Machete, a bloody group, forces us to do”. they state in one of the videos.
For more information in Spanish:
Surgen nuevos grupos armados en Pantelhó, municipio indígena de Chiapas(Aristegui Noticias, 15 de marzo de 2023).
Surge nuevo grupo de autodefensa en Pantelhó, Chiapas (La Jornada, 04 de marzo de 2023)
En Chiapas, surge nuevo grupo armado en el municipio de Pantelhó (Milenio, 14 de marzo de 2023)
For more informartion from SIPAZ: