They protest due to the increase in assaults and kidnappings in northern Chiapas

This report is from a corner of Chiapas not usually associated with protests and marches. It evidences the extent to which organized crime has spread throughout Chiapas and the effect it has on peoples and communities.

Zoque and Tsotsil peoples unite in a large peace march. Photo: Chiapas Paralelo


By: Elio Henríquez, Correspondent

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas

Hundreds of residents from at least eight municipalities located in the northern area of the state, marched this Friday in Rayón, to demand peace and security and peace, because they assure that assaults and kidnappings have increased in the region.

The protest called Caravan for Unity and Peace against insecurity, was called by Franciscan priests and friars; residents de Rayón, Jitotol, Pueblo Nuevo, Rincón Chamula, Tapilula, Ixtacomitán, Chapultenango and Solosuchiapa [municipalities] participated.

Several priests, among the protestors

The protestors, among them several priests, left from a point known as the Mirador de Rayón and after walking three kilometers they reached the central park, where they held a rally.

Those in attendance carried signs with slogans such as: “United for Peace,” “Peace, justice and respect,” “Justice and peace in the world,” “No more violence and corruption,” “Peaceful March” and “we demand peace. No more extorsions from federal and state police. No more violence.”

A banner at the March for Security, Peace and Justice reads: “If there is no justice for the people, may there be no peace for the government.” Photo: Chiapas Paralelo

The organizers expressed that: “the Franciscan zone is worried about the increase in assaults and kidnappings, which cause a grave climate of insecurity.”

During the rally, some speakers insisted that it’s necessary for the authorities to intervene to stop the insecurity that prevails in the state’s northern area.

“Today we are gathered together in Rayón, not only because this municipality suffers attacks from organized crime. Any of the communities in our area that want us to meet again to show strength and to demand that there be justice so that we can have security, we’re going to hear it,” said one of the friars.

He specified that due to the dynamic of the religious order, “there could be changes of some of us to other places, but that’s no reason to be indifferent to the situation we’re experiencing, we will support from where we are and we will be attentive and we will be in solidarity with what the people are walking.”

Representatives of different groups and organizations also attended the march, among them the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada, Saturday, May 21, 2022, and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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