By the Editorial Staff
The Mexico Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights of (UN-HR) lamented the loss of human lives “as a consequence de los continuous attacks of armed groups” against the indigenous civilian population in the Highlands of Chiapas.
In a communiqué released this Friday, it condemned the attack last Monday, April 2 against displaced indigenous Tsotsils, natives of the Cotsilnam community, in the municipality of Aldama, which resulted in three people dead: one adult and two minor children.
“It is unacceptable that armed groups continue to operate outside the law. The death of these three indigenous people, derived from the attack is regrettable. The situation of insecurity that many indigenous communities experience is deplorable and requires an immediate and adequate response that ensures the disarmament of these groups, investigation of the acts of violence and that guarantees access to justice, the fight against impunity and comprehensive reparation to the victims,” declared Jan Jarab, representative of the UN-HR in Mexico.
He added: “It is equally urgent that the authorities, at all levels, provide comprehensive attention to the situation of forced displacement of which various communities in the Highlands of Chiapas are victims, in order to guarantee the security of the displaced persons, the immediate and culturally appropriate humanitarian aid, as well as the generation of all conditions necessary to guarantee a safe return to their homes, and also providing them with protection.”
The UN-HR emphasized that last February 27, the same armed group that allegedly operates out of the Manuel Utrilla ejido, in Chenalhó, would have attacked the communities of Tabak, Koko’, Cotsilnam, Stselej Potop, Xuxchen, Puente, Yoctontik, Sepelton and the municipal capital of Aldama, and would have forced the displacement of 145 families of Tsotsil origin into other communities within the state of Chiapas.
Also, he added, those attacks would be forcing communities of the Aldama municipality to displace to other parts of the state of Chiapas, where the humanitarian assistance that they would be receiving is unknown, as well as the security protection and guarantees.
Similarly, he recalled the recent forced displacement of thousands of people from the municipality of Chalchihuitán, also caused by the attacks of armed groups from Chenalhó, in November and December 2017, which resulted in the death of several people, and one part of the affected community, he said, remains displaced due to a lack of security.
The UN-HR reiterated the urgency of achieving a lasting solution that puts the structural problems that have given rise to the internal forced displacement at the center, beginning with the resolution of the conflicts that confront these communities in particular.
In that regard, it pointed out, the authorities must recognize the internal forced displacement and address it from a human rights perspective, with the support and mediation of the relevant civil society organizations and ensure the non repetition of the facts, for which the application of legislation on the internal forced displacement of Chiapas is indispensable in accordance with the Guiding Principles of Internal Displacements.
Finally, it expressed its solidarity with all forcibly displaced people, and in particular with the family members of those that were murdered.
Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso
Friday, April 6, 2018
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee