Communities, barrios and “Machetes” disavow the Pantelhó mayor in front of the government palace

El Machete Banner

The above banner reads: “Austroberto Herrera, Dayli De Los Santos and their hit men murdered all these people.” Photo: Isaín Mandujano

By: Isaín Mandujano

Raquel Trujillo Morales left Pantelhó after the irruption of the “Los Machetes” Self-Defense group. However, he proclaimed himself constitutional president from a hotel in the Chiapas capital last October 1.

More than 1500 residents of the 86 communities and 18 barrios of Pantelhó,  as well as members of the “El Machete” Self-Defense group arrived in the state capital to demand that Governor Rutilio Escandón Cadenas and local legislators not recognize Raquel Trujillo Morales as mayor of that municipality, and at the same time, that they accelerate the process of official recognition of the municipal council that they have elected.

Dozens of farm trucks left Pantelhó in the early morning. At noon, they parked around the national palace, and then the 86 municipal agents together with representatives of the 18 neighborhoods (barrios) took out their signs to demand justice for their dead. They placed blame for the deaths on the sicarios (hit men) of “Los Herrera,” who were expelled from the municipal seat last July 7 when El Machete irrupted publicly.

A group of women arrived in order to be present and to exhibit images of those who they blame for having lived between murders and disappearances for more than ten years. They pointed to Austreberto Herrera Abarca and his son Dayli de los Santos Herrera, both prisoners, of having created an armed group.

An indigenous woman publicly denounced the disappearance of her husband Juan Gómez Santiz. She hasn’t heard from him to this day. She blamed Raquel Trujillo Morales, with whom her husband had differences when he was the municipal trustee and his wife was the mayor. She asserted that Trujillo Morales’ victory was the result of buying votes, threats and intimidation.

The municipal agents and representatives demanded that the state government and the Congress recognize Pedro Cortés López as president of the municipal council, since he was elected in a full assembly. They asked the FGE (Attorney General’s Office) and the State’s Judicial Power not to release Dayli de los Santos Herrera or his father, Austreberto Herrera.

Meanwhile, in back of the government palace, several families from Pantelhó were guarded in their protest because they were demanding the live appearance of 21 people who the El Machete Self-Defense group [allegedly] retained last July 26 and, as of this date, they have not heard from. [1]

[1] Los Machetes Self-Defense group has consistently denied that it retained, currently has under its control, or knows the whereabouts of the 21 people alleged to be missing.


Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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