Chiapas: Climate of violence between PRI and Green Ecologist Party in days before elections

July 22, 2015

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Photo @Juan Orel

The final days in the run-up to local elections in Chiapas were marked by violence. In terms of the alliance for local deputies, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM) are in coalition for 16 of the 24 electoral districts. However, in at least 12 Chiapas municipalities there have been documented incidents and attacks between members of the two parties: in Playas de Catazaja, Oxchuc, Tzimol, Tumbala, Chilón, Cacahoatán, Tila, Frontera Comalapa, Ocotepec, Tuxtla Chico, Huixtla, and Mapastepec.

During the night of 16 July, a group of masked men armed with sticks, stones, and rockets (presumably allied to the PVEM) robbed photographic equipment and cash, and beat the journalist Juan Orel, during his coverage of an incident in the Boulevard of the Federations in the Comitán municipality. The incident in question occurred when the reporter was covering an attack by the masked men against a group of PRI militants. Another case of aggression took place in Tila. The Committee on Human Rights Digna Ochoa made public that residents of the Tila municipality denounced that “there prevails in the Tila municipality a climate of generalized terror among the population, provoked by the presence of armed groups that serve the PRI and PVEM.” Beyond this, the communique from the Digna Ochoa Committee mentions that “among the residents there exists a fear that the electoral process will end with a massacre, given that, to date, the Chiapas state government led by Manuel Velasco Coello has been totally absent in terms of guaranteeing the right to life, integrity, and personal security of the people of the Tila municipality.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Grupo de choque ligado al PVEM agrede y roba equipo de reportero (Chiapas Paralelo, 17 de julio de 2015)

Se confrontan PRI y Verde en Comitán (Chiapas Paralelo, 17 de julio de 2015)

Conflictos entre PRI y PVEM marcan elecciones en Chiapas (Red Política, 8 de julio de 2015)

Comunicado Comité de Derechos Humanos de Base de Chiapas Digna Ochoa (15 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce confrontation between PVEM and PRI, with 4 injured (21 July 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce attempt at usurpation (21 January 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila receive threats following march to commemorate 80th anniversary of the ejido (26 October 2014)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce new attempt to loot land (22 January 2014)

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Chiapas: Mobilization of 56 communities in Tapachula against mines and dams

December 17, 2013

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On 10 December, 56 communities, ejidos, and organizations from the Tapachula, Motozintla, Huehuetán, Cacahoatán, Mazapa, Comalapa, Chicomuselo, and Tuzantán municipalities marched in Tapachula to declare their lands free of mining and dam megaprojects.  They demanded that the three levels of government respect their decision and demanded that they be provided with information regarding the advances and intentions on the part of any firm or governmental institution to intervene in the region to begin mining operations.

Through the Declaration on Rivers and Lands Free of Dams and Mining Exploitation in the Southern Madre Sierra and Coastal Plan of Chiapas, the groups affirmed that “we declare our rivers and lands free of mining exploitation and hydroelectric dams, and we declare the corresponding authorities responsible for whatever conflict arises due to the continuation of intentions to impose these looting projects.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Declaración de ríos y territorios libres de represas y explotación minera de la sierra madre y llanura costera de Chiapas (10 de diciembre de 2013)

Municipios de Chiapas se manifiestan contra represas y mineras (Chiapas Paralelo, 11 de diciembre de 2013)

56 comunidades de 17 municipios de Chiapas se declaran libres de minería y represas (Centro de Medios Libres, 10 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: International socio-environmental seminar, the Open Veins of Contemporary Chiapas (12 November 2013)