Daily Life of Girls, Boys and Adolescents in Chiapas under Siege: REDIAS

Daily life of girls, boys and adolescents in Chiapas has been under siege: REDIAS

The Network for the Rights of Children and Adolescents in Chiapas (REDIAS) considered it an unprecedented month for organizations dedicated to these populations, because during the period from May 13th to June 14th, 14 murders of girls, boys and adolescents in six municipalities were documented.

The Network called an urgent press conference in the face of unprecedented violence against girls, boys and adolescents in the state. Jennifer Haza, member of the network and director of Melel Xojobal, explained the concern of children’s rights organizations regarding the overwhelming situation of attacks on children and adolescents, as well as the omission of the authorities given these facts.

Haza reported that in the period from May 13th to June, ten murders and four cases of injuries were documented in the context of criminal violence. However, in the early hours of the 14th there was news of a new incident in which four children and adolescents were murdered.

For his part, Oscar González, member of the Network and member of the Network and Melel Xojobal, explained that since 2021 Chiapas finds itself in a struggle on the part of criminal groups in dispute for this key territory for the traffic of arms, drugs and people.

Among them, he recalled the forced displacement in Frontera Comalapa; the constant sieges and confrontations by criminal groups in municipalities of the Sierra Mariscal such as Motozintla and Chicomuselo; the massive suspension of classes in the region due to violence during the period from September to December; complaints from communities in Lacanja Chansayab and Frontera Corozal due to the growth of organized crime in the region; the forced displacement of communities in Maravilla Tenejapa in November.

Similarly the siege of communities in Bella Vista, La Grandeza and Amatenango de la Frontera during the end of the year; the forced displacement of communities in La Concordia, Chicomuselo and Socoltenango in the month of January and a long list of grievances against the civilian population in Chiapas.

‘’All spheres of the lives of girls, boys and adolescents have been disrupted: daily life has been besieged by violence’’, he said.

For her part, Violeta Galicia, coordinator of REDIAS, reported that in the period from May 13th to June 14th, 2024, 14 murders of girls, boys and adolescents and 7 cases in which they have been injured in contexts of criminal violence were documented.

She pointed out that in the week of May 13th to 19th alone, four murders were documented in Chicomuselo and La Concordia and there were four cases of adolescents injured by gunshot wounds in Rincón Chamula and San Cristóbal. The following week, on May 26th, during a confrontation between criminal groups, a 16-year-old teenager was murdered and 500 people left their homes in Pantelhó.

Meanwhile, in Simojovel, on May 28th, a girl was injured in her home. Subsequently, during the week of June 3rd to 11th, five murders were recorded: in the context of the crisis in Tila, one teenager was murdered and more than four thousand people have been forcibly displaced.

Later, two girls and adolescents were murdered during an arson attack at their home in Oxchuc. Finally, on the 9th, two teenagers aged 16 and 17 were reported missing in Villaflores. On the 11th, their bodies were found with signs of torture. Added to these events are the lives taken of two children and two adolescents in the early hours of June 14th during an armed attack on their home in the Guadalupe neighborhood in Pantelhó.

For all of the above, Galicia specified that this is an unprecedented month in terms of the lethality and brutality of violence towards this population:

‘’ We have no record of similar situations in terms of the quantity and brutality of the violence committed towards this sector in Chiapas,’’ she pointed out.

From May 13th to June 14th, the recorded figures for homicides of children and adolescents throughout 2023 have been exceeded and 67% of the homicides of children and adolescents recorded throughout 2024 are concentrated in these five weeks.

Original article by Andrés Domínguez in Chiapas Paralelo, June 20th, 2024.
Translated by Schools for Chiapas.

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