IACHR finalizes visit to Aldama and Chalchihuitán

The IACHR Commissioner, Esmeralda Arosemena, visits Aldama. Photo: Angeles Mariscal.

By: Chiapas Paralelo

* “We thank the solidarity of the Inter-American Commission for this visit and we hope that your visit will work and will produce a real solution to the conflict and to living in peace,” the Aldama representative said.

* The Frayba has recorded seven murders in Aldama and one more in Chalchihuitán, another 10 people who passed away due to sickness and the conditions that derive from forced displacement (mostly elderly people, girls and boys). In addition, in both municipalities there are 5005 people who are in intermittent and/or permanent forced displacement.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) represented by the Commissioner and Rapporteur for Mexico, Esmeralda Elizabeth Arosemena Bernal de Troitiño, and Tania Reneaum Panszi, Executive Secretary, as well as personnel in charge of the precautionary measures, finalized their visit to Chiapas territory for the purpose of analyzing the Mexican State’s compliance with said resolutions.

Given that, representatives of the 22 Tsotsil communities of Aldama, Chalchihuitán and Chenalhó, together with personnel fr4om the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center offered a press conference.

Silvia Santiz, representing the municipality of Aldama, recalled the implementation of precautionary measures 35/2021 by the IACHR in favor of 12 communities on April 23, 2021. In these measures, the Mexican State was required to adopt the measures necessary to protect and safeguard the life and physical integrity of the beneficiaries. However, she considered that there have been no conclusive advances in that regard.

Because of that, the population laid out its demands on the following eight points: (1) the immediate release of our compañero Cristóbal Santiz “a political prisoner,” (2) investigation, disarming, arrest and punishment of the aggressor group; investigative notebooks, (3) humanitarian aid, (4) a mixed operations base, (5) repair of the road from Cotzilnam to Xuxch’en and from Yeton to Cotzilnam, (6) hospital equipment for the wounded, injured and the general population. Ambulance. Medical attention for wounded and injured, physical and psychological rehabilitation, (7) shelter for displaced persons in the 12 communities, a new primary school for Tabac. New municipal agency for Tabac and Coco’. (8) communication radios and satellite telephones.

Those points were delivered and exposed to the three levels of government, but, Santiz mentioned that there has been no compliance, except for point 4.

The communities of Aldama, at the IACHR’s July 12 visit, expressed the situation in which they have lived for five years.

The risk that we have to life from armed aggression (…) They took a tour of our communities, visited the communities of Tabak and Coco, visited damaged houses, municipal agencies, schools, heard testimonies from children, women and elderly women regarding the situation of violence that exists, saw and heard from the voice of the people the violence, said Santiz.

In addition, during the delegation’s visit, the delegation met privately in the community of San Pedro Cotzilnam with victims of displacement, permanent, intermittently displaced, relatives of those murdered, wounded, women, girls and family members of political prisoner Cristóbal Santiz.

This visit is important, because the government has ignored and has simulated the situations in which we are living, because of which the IACHR became aware of these situations and the non-compliance with the precautionary measures, the representative concluded.

Simulation of the mechanism

For its part, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center considered that a simulation exists on the part of the Mexican State of the execution of the mechanism, thus maintaining the grace and urgent situation.

For Frayba, the IACHR representation verified the lack of investigation, disarming and punishment of armed groups that prevails in Chiapas, as well as the absence of effective measures to put an end to the aggressions with firearms, violence, and insecurity that the beneficiary communities are experiencing, keeping these acts in impunity and far from clarifying the truth and justice.

The root of the problem remains unaddressed, thereby violating the right to non-discrimination of indigenous peoples. The “humanitarian aid” offered by the Mexican State is insufficient and does not address the underlying issues faced by the displaced population, said Jorge Gómez, a lawyer for the Center.

Lastly, the Human Rights Center called on the Mexican State to comply with its international obligation to protect human rights and prevent human rights violations from continuing to be committed in the communities of Aldama and Chalchihuitán. Therefore, it’s necessary to set aside the attitude of simulation towards compliance with the precautionary measures granted by the IACHR.


Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo, Thursday, July 21, 2022, https://www.chiapasparalelo.com/noticias/chiapas/2022/07/cidh-finaliza-visita-a-aldama-y-chalchihuitan/ and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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