‘CJNG’ detains and interrogates religious group in Chiapas

Elio Henríquez, correspondent

March of Pueblo Creyente. Photo: Abejas de Acteal

San Cristóbal De Las Casas, Chiapas. After having stated that violence and insecurity in our towns is a time bomb, the Pueblo Creyente organization of the municipality of Chicomuselo, Chiapas, denounced that pastoral agents and servants of the local parish were detained by members of the group El Maíz, social base of the Jalisco Cartel New Generation (CJNG).

In a communiqué, they reported that yesterday dozens of collaborators of the parish of San Pedro and San Pablo, based in Chicomuselo, were detained and interrogated when they were returning from their assembly at the Chachahual neighborhood turnoff, on the highway that connects Chicomuselo with La Concordia, where El Maíz has one of the many checkpoints to control the town.

It explained that “when they left the turnoff to the Nueva Morelia ejido they encountered a group of men who told them to go slowly because they would be stopped at the checkpoint. Our sisters and brothers were detained for approximately half an hour and interrogated: who they were, where they came from, what they did and where they were going. Some were asked for identification.”

It detailed that “one of the people who detained them radioed that he would speak to his boss; they told them that they had detained the trucks with people, that there were children, women and men, that two vehicles were missing and that two others had already passed them by.”

Minutes later “some cabs and vans arrived with men from El Maíz, who took photographs and videos of the units with the sisters and brothers on board. In a while longer they let them pass,”but “we are concerned for their safety and that of all the people who continue to be violated in all manners.”

The Pueblo Creyente (Believing People) stressed that the State’s negligence and complicity with criminal groups puts the entire population at risk. Those of us who are still in the town live in uncertainty; many have decided to migrate, but they are leaving all their hard earned belongings behind.

The communiqué stated: “We suffer violations of our human and collective rights; we live under constant threats, intimidation, harassment, dispossession of our natural and material goods, forced migration, persecution, detentions, disappearances and murders without any response so far from the State, which is complicit in so much injustice.”

Businessman murdered

Daniel Balcázar, 32, businessman and manager of the Búnker Élite Club nightclub, was shot to death early Sunday morning in the city of Tapachula, on the border with Guatemala, according to security sources.

Dedicated to the nightclub and bar business, Balcázar had previously been in charge of La Casa de las Bandas; both establishments are known for presenting norteño and corrido bands.

Police reports indicated that Balcázar was leaving the Cafeto bar and restaurant plaza, in the southwest of the city, when he was intercepted by armed men in two pick-up trucks; his body took three bullets, according to Chiapas prosecutors who arrived at the scene of the crime.

Original text published in La Jornada on December 4th, 2023. English translation by Schools for Chiapas.

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