EZLN bases of support are in forced displacement


Photo from Frayba Human Rights Center.

Organizations and civil society collectives denounce escalation of generalized violence provoked in the Highlands (los Altos) of Chiapas. Faced with the indifference and inability at all levels of government, the situation becomes more acute and the armed actions of paramilitary groups are permitted. The development of violence is linked to partisan interests in collusion with the State, without forgetting the presence of organized crime in the zone.

Around 7 o’clock at night on November 7, almost the entire population of Chavajebal, El Bosque municipio, began a forced displacement. This happened after the series of events reported below.

Last October 24, four people from this community were ambushed while returning from the municipal capital of El Bosque by car. The ambush resulted in result left two people dead, Miguel Pérez López, the Ejido Commissioner, and comunero Carmelino de Jesús Ruiz Álvarez; one person injured, Manuel Ruiz Jiménez, a municipal agent; and Andrés Méndez Hernández was injured and remained unconscious for 4 days. The two survivors are from the Alianza (Alliance) group, linked to the Morena political party.

In the absence of investigation by the government agencies that are supposed to administer justice in Chiapas, the Alliance group detained 18 members of the PRI and 3 civilian members of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) in a community jail.

On November 7, 2018, when approximately 300 people were participating in a community meeting, they heard a detonation and then bursts of gunfire. A woman was injured and a man was killed. The gathering dispersed to seek shelter.

Faced with rumors of armed aggressions, during that night 1,764 people forcedly displaced themselves, looking for paths to the municipal capital, other communities and towards the mountain, among them, all the community’s Zapatista support bases (civilian EZLN members) forcedly displaced into the mountains. Some 50 PRI members locked themselves in their houses but also displaced later. The Morena and PRI partisans mostly gathered in the municipal capital of El Bosque.

The municipal and state governments only provided humanitarian aid in the municipal capital, leaving vulnerable the rest of the people displaced and dispersed in the mountain and in other communities in different municipios. In communities like Tierra Caliente the population itself offered them food, shelter and protection.

No one se dares to return to Chavajebal for fear of aggressions from armed groups that have acted in the region. They abandoned their houses and the animals are starting to die due to a lack of food. It is also the season to harvest the coffee, at risk of being lost, which could cause famine for the next year if the problem is not resolved soon.

The administration of conflicts by the State in the Altos region has resulted in human rights violations against the population of original peoples, in neighboring municipios like Chalchihuitán, Chenalhó, Aldama, Simojovel and Bochil, among others, close to autonomous Zapatista territories. Because of the risk of continued deepening and expanding of generalized violence, the resolution of the problem must be based on dialogue and not on militarization.

Therefore, organizations and collectives of civil society urge: 1) Implementing conditions for dialogue between the parties; 2) Adopting effective measures for guarantying the life and personal integrity of the displaced population personal of the Chavajebal community; 3) Urgently implementing the necessary and pertinent precautionary measures for the purpose of respecting, guarantying and protecting the life and integrity of the families from the Chavajebal community, municipio of El Bosque, upon their return; 4) Guaranty free and social peace in their communities; 5) Generating an independent, autonomous, efficient research process, for truth and justice linked to the criminal acts related to the murders that happened on October 24 and November 7, 2018 in the community of Chavajebal, municipio of El Bosque.

Those organizations and collectives that signed the Urgent Action are listed on the following Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center A.C (Frayba) website:


[1] Chavajebal is also known by its Spanish spelling, Chavajeval, and for the massacre that took place there and in the neighbor community of Unión Progreso on June 10, 1998.


Originally Published in Spanish by Pozol Colectivo

Saturday, November 17, 2018


Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



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