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

July 22, 2015


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)

Chiapas: strikes and denunciations from several prisons of the state

February 8, 2012

El Amate (

On 11 January, dozens of prisoners being held in the state prison El Amate in Cintalapa carried out a protest inside the CERSS 14 toward the end of demanding better conditions for those incarcerated there, including better quality of food, medical services, and respectful treatment of their visitors.  In accordance with information from the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights (Limeddh), all those protesting dressed in white, concentrating themselves in the “plaza” of the prison, and carried out a one-day hunger strike.

Two days later, those held in CERSS 17 in Playas de Catazaja also carried out a hunger strike and a peaceful sit-in to demand better conditions.  They demand the sacking of the director due to the prison conditions under which prevail harassment and sexual violence against families who visit.  They detail that “We undertook a peaceful hunger-strike because we are afraid that the director will transfer us, and the demand we have is that he be removed from office.  Beyond this, he violates our rights and oversees that the revision of those who visit us be drastic: they review them, disrobe them, and touch them all over.  Moreover 5 or 6 days ago, there was a group of prisoners who are Maras Salvatruchas no. 18; they beat 3 comrades, and half of the population was restricted to one area.  The director now wants to introduce this to the interior.”

For more information (in Spanish):

– Denuncia La Voz del Amate la grave situación de prisioneros indígenas considerados políticos (La Jornada, 13 January 2012)

– Presos del Amate se manifiestan en contra de condiciones deplorables en prisión (Boletín de prensa de la Limeddh, 13 January 2012

– En Huelga Presos en Playas Catazaja: denuncian hostigamiento y violencia sexual (denuncia pública, 13 January 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: End of hunger strike (14 November 2011)

Chiapas: Two more prisoners join the hunger strike; concentration of family-members at sit-in (4 November 2011)

Chiapas: National and international support for Patishtán and the prisoners fasting and on hunger strike (26 October 2011)

Chiapas: Prisoners fasting and on hunger strike (4 October 2011)

Chiapas: The Peace Network visits prisoners from San Sebastián Bachajón

March 8, 2011

On 27 February, representatives from several civil organizations that comprise the Peace Network visited prisoners from the Other Campaign in San Sebastián Bachajón who have been imprisoned in the State Center of Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced no. 17, in the municipality of Playas de Catazajá.  In the interview with the prisoners that lasted about an hour, the imprisoned discussed their situation within the prison and claimed to have been arrested for having defended their land and territory, once again expressing their innocence as regards the crimes of which they have been accused.  They denounced that on four occasions state-government officials visited them in prison offering their liberty in exchange for accepting proposals for dialogue.  In a communiqué, the Peace Network reported on the visit and expressed its concern for “the lack of will and/or capacity of the state government to intervene in existing conflicts, avoid contributing to them, or indeed finding short-term ‘solutions’ that, in failing, are followed by repression against groups that conflict with their politics.”

In other news, several organizations and persons national and international have called for acts of solidarity to be had on 7 and 8 March to demand the release of the prisoners.

For more information (in Spanish):

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: detentions vis-a-vis blockade of road Tonala-Pijijiapan during action of the Other Campaign (26 February 2011)

Chiapas: Caravan of women to San Sebastian Bachajón (25 February 2011)

Chiapas: Agua Azul, new happenings and denunciations (17 February 2011)

Chiapas: update in the Agua Azul case (14 February 2011)

Chiapas: roadblocks and detention of militants in Mitzitón (10 February 2011)

Chiapas: confrontation over control point at Agua Azul leaves one dead and several injured (7 February 2011)