Photo @ Gaby Coutinho
After the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE in its Spanish acronym) arrested Mr. Efrain Ruiz Alvarez last month, another alleged leader of an armed group of the Santa Martha community, Chenalho was arrested by ministerial policemen, Enrique Lopez Perez, in recent days.
The arrests are related to the old agrarian conflict between residents of the Santa Martha community and the municipality of Aldama. Both alleged leaders are accused “of firing heavy caliber guns against residents of villages in Aldama.” In the case of Lopez Perez, he is accused “of the crime of attacks on peace (…) in October 2015 shooting with a firearm towards the community of Tselejopotoptic, which caused the displacement of families from Aldama.”
It should be remembered that on June 4th, in Tuxtla Gutierrez, constitutional and traditional authorities of Aldama and Chenalho, accompanied by Governor Rutilio Escandon Cadenas and the federal undersecretary for Human Rights, Alejandro Encinas Rodriguez, signed a non-aggression pact that they expected would put an end to an initially agrarian conflict over 60 hectares of territory between both municipalities that has lasted more than four decades, which has caused dozens of deaths and hundreds of displaced families.
Despite signing of the pact, different sources reported that attacks followed by both parties.
According to information from La Jornada residents of Aldama “commented that since Ruiz Alvarez was arrested, firing of high-caliber firearms from Santa Martha to places in that municipality has reduced.” But that the situation remains tense since “after the arrest of the leader, representatives of Santa Martha have threatened to hold their neighbors from Aldama to exchange them for the detainee.”
For more information in Spanish:
Detienen a líder de grupo armado de Santa Martha en Chenalhó (La Jornada, 6 de octubre de 2019)
Detienen a líder del grupo armado Santa Martha en Chiapas (La Jornada, 13 septiembre de 2019)
Detienen a presunto líder de grupo armado de Chenalhó (Diario de Chiapas, 8 de octubre de 2019)
Detienen a presunto dirigente de grupo armado de Chenalhó, Chiapas (El Universal, 13 de septiembre de 2019)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Chiapas: Sigue la violencia entre Aldama y Chenalhó a pesar de pacto de no agresión. (8 de junio de 2019)
Chiapas: Firman pacto de no agresión autoridades de Aldama y Chenalhó (5 de junio de 2019)