(Text from our friends in Schools for Chiapas.)
The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) received information from the Permanent Commission of the 115 Community Members and Displaced Persons of Aldama, stating that today, around 2:00 p.m., Mr. Pedro Lunez Pérez, 24 years old, lost his life. This appalling and irreversible incident occurred in the community of Coco, municipality of Aldama, while Pedro Lunez was inside his house. It is the result of constant gunfire by the paramilitary group located in the territory of Santa Martha, municipality of Chenalho, which enjoys total impunity.
Since yesterday, the gunfire from the territory of Santa Martha, municipality of Chenalho, has been directed towards the inhabitants of the municipality of Aldama, Chiapas. The Permanent Commission of the 115 community members and displaced persons of Aldama, once again reported that today, at approximately 2:00 p.m., the armed aggressions began again. The unfortunate death occurred while the National Guard and state police were near the community of Coco.
At the close of this urgent action, the armed attacks by the Santa Martha paramilitary group continued. At approximately 16:29 hours, gunshots were fired from El Puente, Santa Martha Chenalhó, in the direction of the community of Juxton, municipality of Aldama. At 17:44 hours, high caliber gunfire came from the attack points of Tijera Caridad, Puente, Kante, Panteón, and Chuchte de Santa Martha Chenalhó.
The Mayan Tsotsil population living in the communities of Coco, Tabac, Xuxchen, San Pedro Cotzilnam, Chayomte, Juxton, Tselejpotobtic, Yeton, Chivit, Sepelton, Yoctontik and the Municipal Seat of Aldama, recently benefited from the granting of Precautionary Measure no. 284-18, according to Resolution 35/2021 of April 23, 2021, of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), where it considered “that the situation meets prima facie the requirements of gravity, urgency and irreparability contained in Article 25 of the Rules of Procedure of the IACHR”, requesting that the Mexican State:
A) Adopt the necessary, and culturally relevant, security measures to protect the life and personal integrity of the beneficiary families; specifically, to guarantee security within their communities, and during their displacements, with a view to preventing threats, harassment, intimidation or acts of armed violence by third parties;
B) Agree on the measures to be adopted with the beneficiaries and their representatives; and
C) Report on the actions taken to investigate the facts that gave rise to the adoption of this precautionary measure and thus prevent its repetition.
Frayba expresses its deep concern for the unfortunate incidents that took place today, once again the Tsotsil people are in mourning. It also points out that it is very serious that the Mexican State is still not implementing the precautionary measures in order to prevent armed attacks, so we urgently demand the adoption of the precautionary measures granted by the IACHR in favor of the Mayan Tsotsil population of the municipality of Aldama; We also demand an exhaustive investigation to find those responsible for the armed attacks by paramilitary groups that act under the cover of impunity, terrorizing, torturing and displacing the population and that have resulted, in addition to the loss of human lives, as the Mexican government’s failure to intervene effectively bets on the extermination of the people.
We call on national and international solidarity to sign this urgent action and write to the Mexican authorities to disarm the violence in the territory.
You can sign the petition here: denuncia Frayba. Thank you.