It increases by more than 2000% reports of drug trafficking in some municipalities.
Chiapas. Increase in drug trafficking and consumption, an increase in homicides and disappearances, regions with curfews imposed by armed people, and constant armed attacks on entire communities; in Chiapas the presence of organized crime skyrocketed, a situation that has raised alerts in organizations and citizens who demand the action of State institutions.
The National Citizen Observatory reported that according to the investigation folders registered by the State Attorney General’s Office and compiled by the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System, the crime of drug dealing has remained in 2022 “with a pattern of sustained and widespread growth in Chiapas”.
In April alone, the organization pointed out in its most recent report where it analyzes security and justice statistics, in Chiapas 14 daily complaints of the crime of drug dealing were reported , which represents, according to the Observatory, an increase of 400 percent in just a month; adds that there are municipalities with an increase in this crime of up to 2000 percent in the same period.
Another piece of information is provided by the Network for the Rights of Children and Adolescents in Chiapas (REDIAS), which works to improve the conditions of children. He refers to San Cristóbal de Las Casas as one of the epicenters of organized crime actions; In that city, on August 11, 2021, the prosecutor for Indigenous Justice, Gregorio Pérez Gómez, was assassinated; and several more people have died as a result of the shots fired by members of criminal groups.
REDIAS, also with data from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System, details that in 2021 there were 14 Homicides with firearms towards children and adolescents in Chiapas, and five so far this year: on February 26, a 16-year-old adolescent was killed with a firearm from a motorcycle in San Cristóbal de las Casas, on February 28, an 8-year-old girl died as a victim of a crossfire in Ocozocuautla, on May 22, the homicide of a 14-year-old adolescent occurred in Marqués de Comillas. Added to this is the fact that in the first four months of the year 112 people under the age of 18 disappeared in Chiapas.
The organization refers to the situation in the indigenous area of Los Altos, where armed violence has impacted community life; From January to April 2022 alone, there were 1,113 armed attacks on communities in Aldama; On March 26, a 9-year-old girl was hit by bullets in that municipality.
Another case is that of girls and boys who are orphaned when their parents die due to armed actions, such as the one that happened on February 19, 2022, when a mother of four children was murdered in the center of San Cristóbal de las Casas.
A fact that adds to the region is that on June 8, Rubén Valdez Díaz, mayor of Teopisca, a municipality located 30 kilometers from the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, was executed by armed men who shot him in the head. , when he boarded his vehicle outside his home; Trafficking in people and weapons has increased in this region.
Peasants, human rights organizations and religious groups are on alert
The rural organization National Front for the Struggle for Socialism (FNLS), in a statement issued this June, refers: that organized crime, drug trafficking and social breakdown are putting at risk the physical and psychological integrity of members of the movement popular and of the people in general, especially in the region of Venustiano Carranza, Teopisca, Socoltenango, Comitán de Domínguez and the municipalities of the Mexico-Guatemala border, where the drug trafficking business grows openly, seeks to expand and take root in these regions.
They detail that “the presence of agents outside the immediate environment, armored cars, intimidating checkpoints and recruitment proposals with payments that exceed four weekly minimum wages (…) sow terror in the towns.”
Within the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, priests and parishioners have joined in denouncing the impact that the advance of organized crime is having in the state of Chiapas. In a statement, the Faithful People of the Diocese denounced that “insecurity, violence and territorial disputes caused by organized crime (…) bring very strong consequences for our municipalities and our peoples, such as narco-politics, drug addiction in the ejidos, the increase in canteens, theft of cars and motorcycles, murders”.
In Chicomuselo, one of the municipalities in the border area with Guatemala, where armed groups have clashed, placed checkpoints where they check people passing through, and imposed curfews, the priest Matías Rodríguez Jiménez, the local parish priest, denounced the harassment from criminal groups: five motorcyclists followed me, rammed the vehicle I was riding in and told me “we know who you are and what you do. Be careful”.
The kidnapping and disappearance of people has become constant in that region; however, in most cases the relatives have not filed complaints. Matilde (N), from Pueblo Creyente, denounced at a meeting of parishioners that last April that when she was traveling in a public transportation van, “some armed men stopped us, they took the women down, not me, I think because I was an older person. They took them (three women), their families cannot find them, we have not heard from them again, but there is fear of denouncing”.
The situation and calls for help from the population to civil society organizations summoned human rights defenders, who met in this entity on June 1 and 2.
In a statement at the end of the meeting, they pointed out “the serious panorama of insecurity and violence that exists in the state of Chiapas, in a complex context where organized crime and armed groups linked to the political, agrarian and economic chiefdom, (which) they act against the civilian population with the acquiescence of authorities of the three levels of government.”
After several days of analysis, the Civil Service for Peace (Ziviler Friedensdienst) of Bread for the World (Brot für die Welt) of Germany, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center, Aluna Psychosocial Accompaniment, the University of the Earth Oaxaca, Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue and Oaxaca Equity, CODIGO DH, as well as Serapaz, argued that it is ” impunity that protects and encourages the actions of criminal and business groups that dispute the control of territories, resources, and markets.”
Community organization is activated
The organizations that met highlighted that “despite the generalized violence, the communities are still standing, building paths of peace and alternatives to strengthen their autonomy and defend their territory.”
For their part, religious organizations linked to the Diocese of San Cristóbal also made a statement where they stated: as Believer People we commit ourselves to joint responsibility in the search for community security. Therefore, we will also urgently try to articulate ourselves more between areas, instances, groups and organizations, in the search for the Common Good.
In the northern part of the state, peoples of indigenous origin also determined to reinforce measures that could stop the advance of organized crime groups; Last May, people from the municipalities of Jitotol, Pueblo Nuevo, Rincón Chamula, Tapilula, Ixhuatán, Solosuchiapa, Ixtacomitán and Chapultenango demonstrated openly in a peaceful marc. The same was done by inhabitants of the indigenous zone of the jungle zone.
During the rallies, their pronouncements have been called: “we ask the municipal authorities to reflect on the role they are playing in the fight against violence; because the pact must be with the people and not with organized crime.”
However, the organizations that met on June 1 and 2 maintained: “we highlight the responsibility of the Mexican State in these offenses, whether by commission, omission or acquiescence (…) we urge the Mexican State to guarantee access to justice and truth and to combat the co-optation of authorities from the different levels of government by networks of criminal-political-economic interests. It is essential that it makes explicit, beyond discourse, actions aimed at building peace”.
For their part, authorities of the federal and state governments, who hold “security tables” every week, have not issued any particular pronouncements on the crisis that organizations and citizens are warning about.