Guerrero: Victims from the Mountain region carry out “Hunger Pilgrimage” due to lack of governmental support

February 13, 2014

Movilización de damnificados de la Montaña de Guerrero (@CENCOS)

Mobilization of victims from the Mountain region Guerrero (@CENCOS)

On 4 February, more than a thousand indigenous persons from 13 municipalities of the Mountain region of Guerrero state carried out a march in Tlapa de Comomfort, as organized by the Council of Victimized Communities of the Mountain of Guerrero; the action was named the “Hunger Pilgrimage.”  Protestors demanded that the state and federal governments provide them resources given that thousands of people still go without any support after the tropical storms Ingrid and Manuel which struck the region last September.  They noted furthermore that at least 20 communities still must be resettled.  Victims also blockaded the Tlapa-Marquelia and Tlapa-Chilpancingo highways to demand the distribution of domestic goods while residents of the Costa Grande region of the state blockaded the federal highway between Acapulco and Zihuatanejo to demand aid.

In an Urgent Action, the Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” (TDT) called on President Enrique Peña Nieto and Rosario Robles Berlanga, head of the Ministry for Social Development (Sedesol), to return to dialogue with the Council of Victimized Communities of the Mountain of Guerrero “so that measures be taken to avert the food crisis foreseen for March and April.”  The federal government calculates that it will provide 30 billion pesos for public works, according to the president’s office.

Robles Berlanga claimed to be calm amidst the protests being carried out by victims, noting that those who did not meet the requirements for aid did not receive it.  For his part, Governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero clarified that the distribution of goods has now ended, such that it is illegitimate for some persons to invoke some political program which has never before been seen in the state.

For more information (in Spanish):

Más de dos mil indígenas de Guerrero participan en ‘Peregrinación del hambre’ (La Jornada, 4 de febrero de 2014)

Alertan sobre “crisis alimentaria” en la Montaña de Guerrero (Proceso, 4 de febrero de 2014)

Damnificados en Guerrero amenazan con bloqueos (El Universal, 4 de febrero de 2014)

Robles, tranquila ante protestas de damnificados (El Universal, 4 de febrero de 2014)

AU Red TdT “Delicada situación en la región de la montaña en Guerrero”(Red TdT, 4 de febrero de 2014)

Declaratoria de los integrantes del Consejo de Comunidades afectadas de la región Montaña del estado de Guerrero (4 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Victims of storms migrate to survive (12 November 2013)

Guerrero: The situation continues to be dramatic for storm victims in Guerrero (4 October 2013)

Guerrero: Deaths and victims of tropical storm Manuel (4 October 2013)


Guerrero: Humanitarian crisis caused by tropical storm Manuel continues in the Mountain

October 5, 2013

llano_de_tepehuaja_5_20130925_1620499130

Llano de Tepehuaje, Metlatónoc municipality. Photo @Tlachinollan

In the region of the Mountain, thousands of indigenous persons have abandoned at least 48 communities due to hazards and the loss of 80% of the crops that were devastated by the severe rainsfalls brought by tropical storm Manuel, noted Javier Guerrero, subsecretary for Social Development.  During a meeting carried out in the Catholic House, which has become a shelter of sorts in Tlapa de Comonfort for more than 160 displaced indigenous persons, Guerrero reported that the federal highways Tlapa-Marquelia and Tlapa-Metlatónoc, the two principal routes that connect the poorest municipalities of the country, have been destroyed.  The residents of different communities such as Tilapa and Santa Cruz del Rincón report that the highway has simply disappeared.

A 30 September communique from the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights mentions that “in accordance with the Secretary for Social Development (SEDESOL), there are 48 communities that continue to lack access by aerial and terrestrial routes, though this statistic could increase considering that in the municipalities of Acatepec, Metlatónoc, and Cochoapa it is practically impossible to maintain constant communication.  Attention by means of air is insufficient and the criteria for the definition of routes for helicopters lack transparency.”  Of the 700 indigenous communities located in the Mountain region of Guerrero, to date there has been had contact with only about 100, claims Tlachinollan.  The official statistics speak of 33 dead, according to the report released on 26 September by Civil Protection, but the testimonies collected by Tlachinollan mention at least 42 dead, without taking into account the disappeared.

On 23 September, indigenous peoples of the Mountain formed the Council of Authorities Affected by the Storm, which will be the voice of the people.  Abel Barrera, director of Tlachinollan, indicates that the members of the Council will insist that they not be excluded from decision-making processes.  In his view, what usually happens is that the mayors meet behind closed doors with the Army and State authorities and make decisions behind the backs of the displaced, with the result that aid and resources are mobilized without consulting local residents.

For more information (in Spanish):

En la Montaña, miles de desplazados y 80% de cultivos arrasados: Sedesol (Proceso, 29 de septiembre de 2013)

Crece el aislamiento en comunidades de la Montaña (La Jornada, 29 de septiembre de 2013)

Después del diluvio (La Jornada, 30 de septiembre de 2013)

Continúa crisis humanitaria en La Montaña (Tlachinollan, 30 de septiembre de 2013)

Fotogalería de Tlachinollan

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: The situation continues to be dramatic for storm victims in Guerrero (4 October 2013)

Guerrero: Deaths and victims of tropical storm Manuel (4 October 2013)