Chiapas motorcycle gang demands release of leader

Dozens of "Scooters" (Motonetos) closed the Chiapa de Corzo - San Cristóbal Highway to demand the release of Pablo N.
Dozens of “Scooters” (Motonetos) closed the Chiapa de Corzo to San Cristóbal Highway to demand the release of Pablo N, alleged leader of the Los Vans gang.

From the Correspondents

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas – Supporters of Pablo N, alleged leader of the Los Vans motorcycle gang, which operates in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, and former director of the Sentiments of the Nation organization in the Chiapas Highlands, blocked the Chiapa de Corzo – San Cristóbal highway for six hours yesterday to demand the release of Pablo N, who was arrested and accused of murder.

The so-called “Scooters” (motonetos), armed youth who travel on motorcycles, [1] positioned themselves yesterday shortly before nine o’clock in the morning at kilometer 46 of the toll road, one kilometer from this city, and placed stones on the road.

State and municipal police arrived to ask the protestors to march because they were committing a crime, but they paid no attention. Police remained in the area, while drivers had to use alternate routes to drive to San Cristóbal de Las Casas or Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

A man who identified himself as Cecilio López gave a press conference, in which he demanded that the state government dialogue with followers of Pablo N. “If the government had given us a dialogue table or sent for us, we would not be here; But since they have not taken us into account, and rather turned a blind eye, that’s why we move,” he said.

A commission of the dissidents traveled to Tuxtla Gutierrez to talk with officials of the Government Secretariat. At press time, state authorities had not reported on the matter.

Pablo N, leader of the organization Raíces Fuertes de El Pinar, was arrested last Thursday night in San Cristóbal, accused of the homicide of Mateo N, perpetrated on February 3, 2021. A judge imposed preventive prison in El Amate, located in Cintalapa municipality.

On October 29, from the Cuxtitali El Pinar ejido, they ask for negotiations to find a solution. Photo: Erick Pineda.

The night of October 27, when Pablo N was apprehended, his sympathizers toured San Cristóbal on their motorcycles firing shots.

Meanwhile, in a communication, inhabitants of the Cuxtitali El Pinar ejido, in the municipality of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, assured that Pablo N’s allies who demonstrated yesterday usurp functions in their community.

“They appointed themselves (inhabitants and ejido authorities) with false minutes of a general assembly that never took place. The majority of the population of this ejido does not support illegality or violence. We do not demand the release of Pablo Pérez; To the contrary, we demand the investigation and punishment corresponding to any person who acts outside the law,” they said.

The ejido members demanded that law, order, “security and tranquility” be restored in their municipality, and that the armed groups that have caused a lot of damage to the population of San Cristóbal because of the constant crimes they commit (threats, violence, use of firearms, invasions, ecocides, kidnappings) be dismantled.”

They warned that they will not allow more illegality or violence in the Cuxtitali ejido. “We are going to carry out the actions that are necessary to guarantee our right to live safely and in peace,” they said.


[1] The “Motonetos” (Scooters) create terror in San Cristóbal by shooting off high-powered weapons to gain dominance over public spaces, as they did in San Cristóbal’s Northern Market.

Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada, Tuesday, November 1, 2022, and Re-Published with English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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