On the morning of Monday, January 10th, four blockades were installed in different parts of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas; hours later, two rival groups clashed with stones and sticks in a supermarket parking lot, where an attack with firearms was subsequently recorded.
The authorities have not yet given an official version of what happened, as the local media point out that it was an armed attack, while the mayor or the municipality police have not given information in this regard.
According to the first reports, one of the groups that clashed has ties with those who have maintained a blockade on the San Cristóbal de las Casas-Tuxtla Gutiérrez highway since the morning of this Monday, while the rival side would have taken violent measures to demand the opening of roads.
A witness to the incident said through social networks that a small group of people started a dialogue with the protesters who maintain a blockade at a point near the Soriana de San Cristóbal de las Casas, an establishment where the wounded allegedly took refuge.
After the protesters’ refusal, the discussion escalated and they received threats from the rival group, who allegedly returned with more people carrying sticks and stones, with which they attacked those who were maintaining the blockade.
Around 8 in the morning, a group of approximately 100 people, who identified themselves as members of the Coordinator of Organizations for the Environment for a Better Chiapas ( COMACH ), blocked both directions of the San Cristóbal de las Casas-Tuxtla highway. Gutiérrez, at the height of the toll booth at kilometer 46.
At the scene, the group demanded the release of Martín Pale Santiz, leader of the group, who has been imprisoned for more than three years in the Cintalapa de Figueroa prison, in Chiapas.
The group made up of indigenous people denounced that the dialogue they held with the local authorities in recent days was not satisfactory, since they do not offer them real solutions to the problem they are demanding, for which they have decided to carry out different blockades in various parts of San Cristóbal de las Houses.
Local media have reported that there were three additional roadblocks to the one already mentioned, which occurred on the San Juan Chamula-Tenejapa highways, and on the Teopisca highway, as well as on the San Cristóbal de las Casas-Tuxtla Gutiérrez highway; places in which total obstructions to traffic in both directions were sustained as a measure to pressure the authorities. The protesters demand a dialogue in which to solve their demands (Photos: Twitter / @INAMI_mx)
The protesters are demanding a dialogue with state authorities, as they assure that local representatives “always cheat or lie”, which has made them lose their trust in them.
One of the members of the group, who decided to remain anonymous, contacted local media to state that he had already received a response from the state government but assured that they will take the precaution of maintaining the blockades to ensure that dialogue is truly established.
Likewise, he assured that the blocking of all the important roads of San Cristóbal de las Casas will be only one of the measures they will take so that their requests are considered since they will take other actions if they receive a negative response from the authorities.
So far, there are no official reports of vandalism in the entity, as the organization stated that, for the moment, they do not plan to exert pressure through this measure, but if they are not listened to by the state government, things could “get out of control”, for which they demanded a prompt response to their demands.