THEY DENOUNCE PRESENCE OF NATIONAL GUARD IN ARMED ATTACKS ON ALDAMA COMMUNITIES
From the Editors
Mexico City | Desinformémonos
The Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) reported more than 40 attacks with high-caliber firearms against the Tsotsil communities of Aldama, “caused by the paramilitary group in complicity with the municipal government” of Chenalhó, in Chiapas.
In regard to the March 20 and 21 attacks, the Frayba reported: “While the armed attacks were taking place, the National Guard and State Preventive Police were on the side of Santa Martha-Miguel Utrilla, Chenalhó,” which is where the shots came from.
It said that the government’s actions to address the conflict and the attacks on Aldama communities: “have been insufficient, ineffective and simulated, since they do not guarantee the safety and integrity of the population.”
Faced with the armed attacks that have kept the population “in a context of terror,” since November 2020, the Frayba demanded that the Mexican State investigate, identify and punish the paramilitary group in Santa Martha, Chenalhó, and “put an end” to the violence against the communities in Aldama.
The complete communiqué follows:
The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center, A.C. (Frayba), has received information from the Permanent Commission of the 115 comuneros and displaced persons of Aldama, Chiapas, México that during the days of March 20 and 21, 2021, the communities of Aldama have been attacked with shots from high-caliber firearms coming from different points located in Santa Martha-Miguel Utrilla, Chenalhó municipality, in Chiapas, acts provoked by the paramilitary group in complicity with the municipal government.
The armed attacks against the Tsotsil Maya population of Aldama have not stopped since November 2020, when the Frayba registered the greatest number of attacks to date. Armed attacks have continued towards the population that lives subjected to a context of terror, where children, women and the population in general survive in a torturous environment. Government actions have been insufficient, ineffective and simulated since they do not guarantee the safety and integrity of the population.
On March 20, 2021, from 2:00 pm to 11:30 pm, residents of the Stzelejpotobtic, Coco, Juxton, Yeton, San Pedro Cotzilnam and Tabac communities received 21 attacks from firearms. There were more than 9 hours of aggression! The Stzelejpotobtic community received 11 armed attacks. Shots came from the following points: K’ante’, Pajaltoj, Tok’oy-saclum, Puente Caridad, Vale’tik, Chuch te’, El Puente and T’elemax, all in Chenalhó municipality.
On March 21, 2021, from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, residents of the Ch’ivit, Yeton, Tabak, Coco and Xuxch’en communities experienced 9 attacks with firearms. Workers from a company that were working on the Tabac-San Pedro Cotzilnam highway stretch were also under attack. While the armed attacks were taking place, the National Guardia and State Preventive Police were on the side of Santa Martha-Miguel Utrilla, Chenalhó. The attacks came from the El Ladrillo attack points, which are located inside the 60 hectares in dispute. The attacks also came from Vale’tik, T’elemax, Tojtic, Slumka and Yocventana, in Santa Martha.
The Frayba states its concern over the acts of armed aggression that the population of Aldama municipality experiences constantly. These acts are part of a persistent violence with psychological impact that the population is now experiencing and it leads to a deep fracture of the social fabric.
We urge the Mexican State to investigate, identify and punish the paramilitary group in Santa Martha, Chenalhó, and thereby put an end to the violence against Aldama communities.
We call on national and international solidarity to sign this urgent call available on the www.frayba.org.mx page and write to the Mexican authorities so that they commit to implementing more appropriate measures that guarantee the life, safety and physical and psychological integrity of the population under constant siege.
Originally Published in Spanish by Desinformemonos
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee