By: Elio Henríquez
San Cristóbal De Las Casas, Chiapas
This Friday, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) reported that paramilitaries fired off shots that wounded a 13-year old teenager from Aldama municipality in her eye and shoulder.
The Permanent Commission of the 115 Comuneros Displaced from Aldama pointed out that María Luciana Lunes Pérez was shot at approximately 1:30 pm in Koko, her community. They stated that she was immediately transported to the Cultures Hospital, located in San Cristóbal, where her condition was reported as delicate.
They said that the shots came from a place known as Nech’én, belonging to the Santa Martha ejido, Chenalhó municipality, located in the Chiapas Highlands.
The Frayba, meanwhile, said that according to testimony, starting around 12:40 am on Friday, “attacks from Chenalhó paramilitary groups against the Tabak, San Pedro Cotsilnam and Koko communities intensified; the shooting with high-caliber weapons persisted until 2pm.”
The Permanent Commission of the 115 Comuneros Displaced from Aldama reported that: “the teenager María Luciana Lunes Pérez received a bullet impact in one eye and another in the shoulder, while she was working on her loom, in her house, in Koko community.”
Frayba, over which Bishop Raúl Vera López presides, assured that it has documented that: “in the last three days (July 15, 16 and 17) there were at least 28 armed attacks, of a total of 71 during in the first part of this month and 307 since March 2018.”
In an “urgent action,” Frayba expressed that “given the risk to the life, security and integrity of the population, the Frayba made 167 interventions to different state and national government bodies from March 22, 2018 to date, without having an effective response to the demand to stop the armed attacks”.
The Frayba demanded that the Mexican State: “provide and guarantee access to timely, adequate, comprehensive and urgent access to medical care to María Luciana Lunes Pérez, who is” hospitalized; adopt effective measures to protect the life and personal integrity of the population of Aldama communities.”
They demand disarming the paramilitary groups
At the same time, it demanded: “disarming and disarticulating the civilian armed groups of a paramilitary cut from Chenalhó that act without punishment under the permissiveness of the Chiapas government ” and “investigate and sanction a the material and intellectual people responsible for violence in the Highlands region and by acquiescence Chiapas government officials.”
Aldama and Santa Martha have been confronted for more than 40 years due to a dispute over 60 hectares (approximately 148 acres), which has left around 25 deaths on both sides and several injured. Both towns have been participating for several weeks in a dialogue table with state authorities to try to find a solution to the dispute, after Santa Martha proposed to Aldama dividing the [disputed] lands into equal parts to put an end to the conflict.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Saturday, July 18, 2020
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee