By: Isaín Mandujano
*Members of the Pueblo Creyente (Believing People) organization and other civil organizations that have accompanied them were present at the event, from which they also sent a greeting to the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN, Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional) and to all the legitimate self-defense groups here in Mexico.
In an event closed to the press, the El Machete Self-Defense group celebrated the first anniversary of its foundation and ratified its armed struggle until all traces of the cacicazgo (chiefdom or political bossism) in Pantelhó have been banished.
Although they irrupted publicly on July 7, 2021, Los Machetes said that they elected May 8 as the day to celebrate their foundation, because it was on that date that a compañero of theirs, Enrique Pérez Pérez, and his son were murdered when they were working their land together.
Upon celebrating the first anniversary of the armed uprising, Los Machetes said that: “on a day like today drug traffickers from Pantelhó and Los Capotes -an armed civilian group- murdered Compañero Enrique Pérez Pérez while he was at work together with his son.”
While celebrating the first anniversary of the armed uprising, Los Machetes said that: “on a day like today drug traffickers from Pantelhó and Los Capotes -an armed civilian group- murdered Compañero Enrique Pérez Pérez while he was at work together with his son.”
As a result of this crime, the El Machete Self-Defense group was created to confront the armed group’s assassins that Dayli de los Santos Herrera headed in that municipality and that from the municipal seat of Pantelhó “imposed terror on more than 100 rural communities.”
The Self-Defense group also recalled the murder of the activist and human rights defender Simón Pedro Pérez López on July 5, 2021, executed on a street in the municipality of Simojovel when he was with his son.
Another of the crimes that they attribute to the armed group that used to operate in Pantelhó with Dayli de los Santos Herrera at the head, was that of Mario Santiz López, “who was murdered in his home, but not only that one but also many more that were murdered, more than 20 years, they were murdering campesino compañeros in different communities of Pantelhó and other municipalities.”
We, as El Machete Peoples’ Self-Defense Forces, are going to work with the people and for the people, not with the drug traffickers. We know that in this country it’s getting worse and many people are entering here, most are drug traffickers, that’s why we’re going to be here to defend the people, Comandante Machete said.
Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo, Monday, May 9, 2022, https://www.chiapasparalelo.com/noticias/chiapas/2022/05/el-machete-celebra-primer-aniversario-de-su-lucha-contra-el-cacicazgo-en-pantelho/ Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee