The Mexican state of Chiapas became famous throughout the world with the armed uprising in 1994 of the Zapatista Army of Subcomandante Marcos. Almost 30 years later, human rights defenders denounce an increase in criminal violence with the complicity of the State. And to talk about this reality, we spoke in this edition of Escala in Paris with Rosa Rodriguez, a member of the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center for 25 years.
“Weapons have increased throughout the territory. Today there are territories that are isolated by armed groups where they are shooting day and night,” denounces Rosa Rodriguez, who has just finished a tour of northern Spain and Paris to talk about the disastrous situation of violence in your State.
‘Chiapas. A disaster between criminal violence and the complicity of the State’ is the title of the report that has just been published by the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center. In it they denounce the violence of the armed groups, but also that counterinsurgency and the complicity of the Mexican State, which has increased in recent years.
“Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has a speech that seems to live in another place. He says that torture no longer exists in Mexico and we document cases of torture on a daily basis; he says that human rights organizations should not exist because the Mexican State does not violate rights human rights and, nevertheless, it is something that we have on a day-to-day basis. I think the situation is getting out of hand due to the permissibility towards armed groups”, explains the human rights activist.
Rosa Rodriguez assures that the situation is worse now than a few years ago due to the increase in organized crime. “It’s not just drugs anymore, it’s also human trafficking, extortion and control of territories. For them, migrants are merchandise, we find that there are many disappearances of migrants,” she says. Chiapas is a transit point for migrants from southern Mexico trying to reach the US border.
Thousands displaced by organized crime
According to data from the report, there have been 16,755 people displaced in Chiapas since 2010, data that does not include recent displacements, since, in recent weeks, 3,000 people had to leave their homes.
“Now we very clearly have a territorial dispute, between these cartels that are seeking to gain ground. On May 22, a group entered the municipality of Frontera Comalapa, which is next to Guatemala. They told us that they had entered to recruit men, they took some and said that there were around 60 dead and 3,000 displaced due to this situation,” he tells us.
We took the opportunity to ask him about Subcomandante Marcos, who since leaving the EZLN spokesman almost 10 years ago, in 2014, has not given much news. “He continues to work on strengthening autonomy for indigenous communities,” concludes Rosa Rodriguez.
Source: France 24