From Europe they demand a stop to the violence in Aldama


Above Photo: “We are a people who live under a rain of shots from the armed groups of a paramilitary nature.” Courtesy: Luis Enrique Aguilar

From: Yessica Morales, Editorial Staff

In 2018, the attacks with high-caliber firearms intensified. At that time, 2, 036 people were forcibly displaced into the mountains by an armed group, which attacked them at different points, from the towns of Yok Ventana and Saclum to the Santa Martha Sector, affecting 10 locations.

European organizations demanded a stop to the violence and paramilitary threats in the Magdalena communities in Aldama, as well as unconditional freedom for Cristóbal Santiz Jiménez, an indigenous Maya Tsotsil man, community defender and a representative of the Permanent Commission of 115 Comuneros and Displaced. He was arrested on March 14, 2020, by officials of the Specialized Police of the State Attorney General (FGE) while he was leaving his job in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

In that sense, the communities live “under a rain of shots from armed groups of a paramilitary nature in Santa Martha, municipality of Chenalhó, The Voice of the People organization denounced last October 2021. Likewise, they pointed out that the violence responds to a territorial conflict over 60 hectares (roughly, 148 acres), inside of which lived 7 families who in 2016 were evicted and threatened at gunpoint.

In addition, the paramilitary armed group that operates in Chenalhó was activated in 2016. In 1997, the Agrarian Court had resolved possession in favor of the 115 Aldama comuneros (community members), an agreement that was not respected.


Above photo of Aldama by Isaín Mandujano

Since the beginning of 2020 and 2021 armed attacks have been increasing. This has affected 12 communities and around 5,000 people. In the month of October of last year, those attacks continued daily, even with intervention from authorities of the three levels of government.

It seems to be that it’s a war to which no one pays attention. On Sunday, October 10, a group of people belonging to the Santa Martha sector of Chenalhó, gave an ultimatum to the state government to solve this problem, the organization said.

Nevertheless, by the middle of the month there had already been 203 attacks directed at 9 Magdalena communities: Xuxch’en, Coco’, Tabac, San Pedro Cotzilnam, Yeton, Ch’ivit, Stzelejpotobtik, Juxton and the municipal seat. They were direct attacks on the houses where there are now bullet casings, broken sheet metal roofs, cars and machines with bullet impacts.

Precautionary Measures

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) showed its willingness to visit Mexico, specifically Aldama, Chalchihuitán and Chenalhó municipalities, for the purpose of verifying the situation of the beneficiaries of the precautionary measures granted through Resolution 15/2018 on February 24, 2018 (MC-882-17) and Resolution 35/2021 on April 23, 2021 (MC-284-18), the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (FRAYBA) announced.

For 3 years, 9 months and 20 days, the IACHR has asked the Mexican State to adopt precautionary measures to guaranty the lives and personal integrity of the inhabitants of 9 border communities in Chalchihuitán and one in Chenalhó. In the same area, the measures were once again granted de nuevo to the inhabitants of 12 communities in Aldama municipality, adjacent to Santa Martha community, Chenalhó municipality, in the face of the constant attacks of a paramilitary-style armed group.

Foto-1-15-2 2

The forced displacement of the Magdalena population began in May 2016, caused by attacks from paramilitary-style armed civilian groups coming from Manuel Utrilla, Santa Martha, Chenalhó municipality. Courtesy: Luis Enrique Aguilar.

The IACHR has shown that to date the ministerial investigations don’t have elements that permit indicating that the disarming and disarticulation of people belonging to the armed groups that operate in the affected areas have been achieved, despite the actions implemented, such as the arms exchange program and las de intelligence activities, which allow the cycles of violence to persist, including shootings and attacks with firearms that threaten people’s lives.

Therefore, the Commission lamented the deaths caused as a result of the acts of violence in the communities of these municipalities. However, given the risk factors that remain in the areas, it decided to maintain the precautionary measures in favor of 22 indigenous communities, requiring the Mexican State to adopt urgent security measures to protect the life and personal integrity of the residents.

Signing Organizations:

Asambea de Solidaridad con México. País Valencià, Estado Español
Asociación Entreiguales València, Estado Español

Ass. Cafè Rebeldía-Infoespai Catalunya

Saforaui País Valencià

Campaign for Psychiatric Abolition (CPA) England, London

Canopia Coop. V. Almedíjar, España

Caravana obrim fronteres Valencia España

Casa Nicaragua Bélgica, Liège

CEDSALA (Centro de Documentación y Solidaridad con América Latina y África) València (Estado Español)

Citizens Summons Alemania, Bonn

Ciudades Invisibles – Universidad del mar Egeo Grecia

Colectivo Acción Solidaria Austria, Viena

Colectivo Armadillo Finlandia

Comité de Solidaridad México Salzburgo Austria, Salzburgo

Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT) Estado Español


D-Zona República Checa – Praga

Ermuko komite internazionalistak Ermua País Vasco

Gira por la Vida Viena Austria, Viena

Global Women Against Deportations, UK

Global Women’s Strike (GWS), UK

Groupe écosocialiste de solidaritéS Ginebra Suiza

Grupo CafeZ Bélgica, Liège

Grupo Scout 105 Bentaya Islas Canarias – España

Jornal MAPA Portugal

Kaffe Libertad Kollektiv Hamburgo, Alemania

KOMUN.ORG Estado Espanyol

La milpa orto collettivo italia

La Roue Libre Suiza

Landworkers Alliance Cymru Gales, Reino Unido

Legal Action for Women, UK

Libero mondo italia

London Mexico Solidarity Londres – Reino Unido

Mut Vitz 13 Marseille Francia

Payday men’s network, UK

Perifèries del Mon País Valencià

Queer Strike, UK

Rede de Apoio Mútuo do Porto Porto, Portugal

Single Mothers’ Self-Defence, UK

Solidaridad directa con Chiapas Suiza

Spazio Vitale Odv italia

Taller Ahuehuete Estado Español

Tatawelo italia

Taula per Méxic Catalunya

TxiapasEKIN Euskal Herria

Women of Colour GWS, UK

Yoga Knowhow España-Netherlands-Suiza-Internacional


Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo, January 3, 2022

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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