SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS: The dispute for 60 hectares of land between inhabitants of the municipalities of Aldama and Chenalhó, both located in the Altos de Chiapas area, has been settled through armed attacks that have left – according to the residents – more than 30 people dead and other injuries.
Indigenous people of Chiapas request 50 million pesos of compensation
Tzotzil Indians are asking for 50 million pesos to cede 32.5 hectares to the municipality of Aldama, and for the aggressions against them to cease and thus end the agrarian conflict.
The 50 million pesos were those that were agreed upon in the Chenalhó Communal Assembly to accept the proposal of the General Secretariat of Government, informed the Digna Ochoa Human Rights Committee, and announced the second agreement that is the request of 200 thousand pesos for each of the families of those who died due to the agrarian conflict, and 100 thousand pesos for damage repair for each of the 16 wounded.
The letter from the Human Rights Committee also states that they agreed to request the immediate release of their fellow detainees: Enrique López Pérez and Efraín Ruiz Álvares, and the cancellation of arrest warrants issued against the inhabitants of the communities in the Santa Martha sector.
According to the government’s proposal, it would give the inhabitants of Chenalhó an indemnity of 3 million pesos , in order to balance the difference in the distribution, which was done respecting the conformation of the different polygons where 11 communities of Aldama are located. .
The inhabitants of the municipality of Aldama accepted the proposal. They explained that several families will have to look for new lands in the municipality of Ixtapa, located in the center of the state, as proposed by the state government.
“The people of Aldama say: we already want to live in peace, we no longer want more attacks and that the children suffer. Let us accept the government’s proposal to end this conflict, ”said one of the women from Aldama.
In other words, in the memorandum of agreement that they send to the government, they ask that the difference in distribution be paid at an amount of 10 million per hectare of that land that is used for the planting of corn and coffee.
The land in dispute legally belongs to the inhabitants of Aldama, who were in physical possession of it, until they were displaced by the armed attacks. Inhabitants of Chenalhó argue that the land belongs to their municipality, according to documentation from before there was a remunicipalisation of the area.
The state government has not responded to the inhabitants of Chenalhó, who added to their request the release of two detainees: Enrique López Pérez and Efraín Ruiz Alvares, the cancellation of arrest warrants, and works such as roads and “decent housing for each one of the families of the 20 communities in the Santa Martha Sector ”, Chenalhó.
On the other hand, residents of Aldama denounced that the armed attacks against them continue, which have been carried out daily.
Frayba: risk of a massacre like Acteal
For its part, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) warned: “about the scenario of violence of great magnitude and that a massacre like that of Acteal can occur, and, therefore, in fact, difficult or impossible to repair.” According to the Frayba, “the persistent omission and complicity of the Chiapas government and of the federal government causes the escalation of violence in the Highlands region and increases the risk to the lives of the population in 13 communities in Aldama municipality, mostly women, children, adolescents, and elderly people.”
Consequently, it demands that the authorities investigate and punish“ the responsible authorities for the impunity of these events, as well as the intellectual authors.”
Yesterday morning, Magdalena residents expressed: “We denounce once again these paramilitary-style armed groups in Santa Martha Chenalhó that operate freely in that area of the Chiapas Highlands.
“We are an internal forcibly displaced people who have suffered for several years, who now live under armed attack from paramilitary groups in Santa Martha, Chenalhó municipality, where the Chenalhó paramilitaries have always been operating and remain active as of this date.”
Just this October two indigenous people have been hit by shots; one was injured just last Sunday. It is about Hugo Alfredo Pérez Hernández, who has a bullet impact at the height of the right rib. More than 3,000 indigenous people from Aldama are still displaced.
This Tuesday, October 13, the displaced community members reported: “Once again they attack the community of Xuxch’en, the calm only lasted 7 hours. This morning, the high-caliber armed attacks are returning again from the points of Oxch’om, Yoc Ventana Chenalho, and Slumka Saclum Chenalho. 9:04 AM At 2 in the morning they stopped attacking the Aldama communities and returned again ”.