Above Photo: La Jornada – In an assembly held on September 24, hundreds of residents of Altamirano, Chiapas, demanded forming a municipal council, thereby rejecting that Gabriela Roque Tipacamú, of the Green Party, govern the place.
By: Elio Henríquez
San Cristóbal De Las Casas, Chiapas
Ejido owners and residents of Altamirano municipality demanded that Mayor Gabriela Roque Tipacamú and her predecessor, her husband Roberto Pinto Kánter, held in the ejido’s jail for the last four days, “leave town definitively, because “they have threatened to murder four or five” representatives of the movement against them.
Leaders of the protesters, who asked to remain anonymous for fear that Gabriela Roque and Roberto Pinto might retaliate against them, said that it is not known if Roque Tipacamú took the oath of office as mayor on September 30, when the council that her husband headed concluded its functions, or on October 1, “but she has not been seen in the town.”
They assured that: “the people no longer only have the initial demand that a municipal council be formed so that the couple no longer can govern, but that the whole family leave the municipality.” They added that: “the people are very agitated and inflamed, but there has been no answer from the state government, although the local Congress also has to participate, not just the Secretary of Government.”
They emphasized that at the moment, residents of the 10 neighborhoods that make up the city of Altamirano  are in charge of providing security to the population, because the municipal police have been without leadership since September 30, when Pinto Kánter was arrested in his private domicile. They commented that the former mayor couldn’t be released “just like that, but that there has to be an agreement, with the state government’s intervention.”
They recalled that the couple has governed the municipality for nine years, “and if Roque Tipacamú stays it will be 12 years. The people got tired of them being the same as shock groups and buying votes in order to direct the destinies of the municipality.”
They added that in an assembly held Sunday night it was agreed that the Pinto Roque family must leave Altamirano, “it’s no longer that they don’t govern, because of what he has said that by leaving he’s going to carry out an operation to murder four or five.”
The opponents specified that: “the demand is that they leave and that a municipal council is formed, they can no longer be in Altamirano because they have done a lot of damage to the municipality, and because on Sunday they again threatened to move people from some rural areas. We are calm and peaceful, hoping that the state government will resolve the situation.”
The leaders pointed out that since September 29 they have blocked access to the municipal seat, allowing passage every six hours, and they don’t rule out that they will close down completely this Tuesday.
Regarding security within the municipality, they stated that 10 residents of each one of the neighborhoods carry out surveillance tasks in order to prevent crime, besides the fact that it was agreed to establish a “dry law,” with the argument that individuals could insult or attack someone after drinking alcoholic beverages. “Five people have already been arrested and accused of robbery, and were locked up in the jail and authorities of the municipal agency will judge them,” they declared.
They referred to the fact that due to the lack of authority in Altamirano the garbage has not been collected or taken to the dump that is located in the town of Santa Rosa, three kilometers from the municipal seat. “The municipal council that Pinto presided over left a garbage dump because it didn’t pay for the passage of the trucks. Perhaps tomorrow (Tuesday), with the support of dump truck transportation they will take away the garbage, but the problem is that at the access to the dump they unloaded before reaching the ravine and it’s difficult for a car to pass; you have to bring in a backhoe to clean up,” they said.
 The City of Altamirano is just a few miles down the road from Zapatista Caracol IV, located in Morelia, where the Women’s Gatherings have taken place.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee