NGOs denounce “violence and terror” on the Chiapas border by organized crime

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Entire communities incommunicado due to roadblocks and roads, suspension of school classes, power cuts, burning of vehicles, installation of a narcomanta and armed confrontations

Human rights organizations demanded that the government and the corresponding authorities intervene urgently to stop the violence and “terror” that are being experienced in the border region of Chiapas.

Groups such as the National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations All Rights for All (Red TDT), the Guatemala-Mexico Migration and Gender Cross-Border Coordination Table (MTMG) and the Southern Border Monitoring Collective, warned that it is particularly serious what happens in the municipalities of Frontera Comalapa, Chicomuselo, La Trinitaria and Amatenango de la Frontera.

In these areas, they said in a statement, “there are entire communities incommunicado” due to roadblocks and roads, suspension of classes in schools, power outages “that isolate the population”, burning vehicles, installation of a narcomanta and armed clashes.

These populations also suffer threats of home invasion to check cell phones, kidnappings, forced recruitment of men “to integrate them into their lines and death to those who oppose any resistance.”

The NGOs pointed out that the conflicts for “territorial control between different organized crime groups” on the Chiapas border, which have been going on for two years, brought “devastating consequences” for the residents.

They listed that these consequences are: robberies, extortion, removal of trading posts and dispossession of other livelihoods, kidnappings, forced disappearances, forced recruitment, death threats, forced displacement, femicides and murders.

These attacks have now become part of community daily life, “living terror as a mechanism of control of the population and its territories, by these criminal groups.”

Given this reality of “violence by organized crime groups,” human rights organizations demanded that the safety and integrity of the population of Frontera Comalapa, Chicomuselo, Amatenango de la Frontera, and La Trinitaria be guaranteed.

They contextualized “the physical assault and kidnapping” suffered in Chicomuselo on Thursday, for several hours, by the defender Milton Morales Zunún, who was found alive.

The Social Movement for Land (MST), to which the activist belongs, pointed out that he was deprived of his liberty by an armed group when he was traveling between Frontera Comalapa and Chicomuselo

That day, he recalled, Morales Zunún was looking for a route to go to Tuxtla Gutiérrez along the La Concordia highway, due to the closure of the border highway that derives “from the violence of criminal groups that have collapsed that region.”

Previously, “Milton had been pressured and threatened” in mid-2022 by this criminal group to stop opposing the mining operations in the region.

Milton’s deprivation of liberty is added to the attack on Isabel Recinos Trigueros “who was kidnapped, tortured and seriously injured” on December 30.

The Social Movement for Land affirmed that through threats and violence against the Nueva Morelia de Chicomuselo ejido, on May 19 machinery and cargo transport from the BlackFire and/or Barita mining company from Chiapas entered, “guarded by armed hitmen with total impunity “.

These actions, he specified, occurred when the violence in the Border and Sierra has become generalized, especially in Frontera Comalapa, “due to the dispute between criminal groups” that “seriously hurt the population” who has become “their victims and cannon fodder, imposing on them the right to land and today the forced recruitment for the armed confrontation”.

Source: El Universal