More than 3, 300 on the verge of famine in Chiapas, Frayba warns

Frayba press conference – From left to right: Pedro Faro, Marco Pérez and the actress Ofelia Medina of FISANIM.

 By: Isaín Mandujano


The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) warned that more than 3,000 indigenous Tzotzils in a situation of forced displacement and members of other communities in the Highlands (Los Altos) of Chiapas, are at risk of suffering one of the most serious famines that has been experienced in the area.

That’s why the Frayba called upon the federal government to implement an Emergency Food Plan for Original Peoples.

The Frayba said that there are 3, 304 people in a situation of forced displacement, who belong to the municipalities of Chenalhó, –members of Las Abejas of Acteal– [1] Chalchihuitán and Aldama.

These people, it indicated, are living in overcrowded conditions in borrowed, rented houses and in critical situations, and when armed violence is activated they take refuge in the mountains.

It added that several of the families had their houses burned, destroyed and/or shot up, without access to their work cultivating the land and without being able to sow and harvest their corn, beans, fruits and vegetables. As of today, they have no possibility of going anywhere to work; they have not been able to go harvest their coffee, one of the sources of economic income to provide for their sustenance during the year. In all three cases, the omission of the Mexican State prevails, as well as the lack of compliance with the United Nation’s Guiding Principles on Internal Displacements.

On Tuesday, Pedro Faro, Director of the Frayba, made an urgent call to the International Red Cross to have a presence in Chiapas and give care to these more than 3 thousand people displaced from their communities of origin.

Likewise, he urged that the State Council for Comprehensive Attention to the Internal Displacement of People in Chiapas attend to the situation comprehensively and according to the UN’s guiding principles and guidelines related to Covid-19.

Given this grave situation, Pedro Faro demanded that the federal and state governments act with due diligence to urgently implement the following precautionary measures.

He said that food is a constitutional right, repeatedly violated in the indigenous population and seriously violated in the displaced. This non-compliance produces grave damage to the health of the entire population and especially in young children: “the implementation of an emergency food plan is urgent,” he emphasized.

Faro demanded that the Essential Guidelines be attended to in a timely and effective manner and that the Essential Guidelines For Incorporating the Human Rights Perspective into the attention to the Covid-19 pandemic, which includes what the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, special procedures, treaty bodies and other UN mechanisms and networks with respect to human rights elements in the matter, take into account in attention to the Covid-19 crisis and its consequences.

He asked that the violence in these territories caused by armed civilian groups with a paramilitary cut that come from decades of impunity be deactivated.

Faro asked national and international civil society to show solidarity with actions to combat the food emergency and malnutrition in this specific territory that suffers systematic violence within the context of forced displacement by contributing your donation to the Trust for the Health of the Indigenous children of Mexico (Fideicomiso para la Salud de los Niños Indígenas de México, FISANIM). Donations can be made in Scotiabank. Account Number: 00107853564 Clave interbancaria: 044180001078535644.

[1] Las Abejas is a member of the National Indigenous Congress (Congreso Nacional Indígena, CNI) and an adherent to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle. They live in resistance to the government.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee


2 Comments on “More than 3, 300 on the verge of famine in Chiapas, Frayba warns

  1. Pingback: Zapatista News & Analysis | Blog of Zapatista Support Group Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand

  2. Pingback: Zapatista News & Analysis, June 2020 – Transnational Solidarity Network

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