In response to the Massacre at Niños Héroes, we demand that the Mexican State investigate responsibility

Photo: Frayba
  • Of particular concern is the killing of civilians in the crossfire between the National Guard and an armed group.
  • We demand an investigation into the responsibility of the National Guard in these events.

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center is aware of the massacre that occurred on March 31 of this year in the town of Niños Héroes, in the municipality of La Concordia, where, according to testimonies, around 25 people were killed in the context of a confrontation between the National Guard (GN) and an armed group. In these events, civilians who were waiting for the transport known as Chalán to cross La Angostura dam were wounded and killed, and were trapped in the crossfire.

According to what was documented by this Human Rights Center, between 10:00 and 12:00 hours, approximately 40 people, including women, children and adolescents, as well as elderly people, began to gather on the banks of the La Angostura dam to take the transport that would cross, along with their vehicles, from the community of Niños Héroes to Ignacio Zaragoza.

During their wait, the National Guard arrived at the place in pursuit of the armed group, causing a strong confrontation between both parties, placing the population in the middle of the crossfire, violating the right to life and integrity due to the disproportionate use of force.

According to testimonies, approximately 25 people were killed in the crossfire, including several civilians, and countless others were wounded. The circulation of videos recorded by the Federal Forces themselves, in which it is said that the people killed were shot in the head, is a cause for concern. Given the facts, it is possible that these were shots fired in the head, that is to say that they could be extrajudicial executions.

From Frayba and other voices of civil society, we have insisted on the need for a non-militarized intervention in the face of the increase of armed groups. What has been expressed corroborates the inability of these bodies to intervene with full respect for the population, and to guarantee their lives and physical and psychological integrity.

We strongly urge the Mexican State to investigate this massacre and to identify the responsibility of the National Guard in the excessive use of force, murder of civilians and probable extrajudicial executions. The investigations should also consider the lack of diligent prevention by the National Guard with respect to the unfortunate events.

We insist on the need to rethink the security strategy in the region, guaranteeing the life and human rights of the population; in addition to providing comprehensive attention to the victims of this massacre.

Bulletin published by Frayba on April 2nd, 2024.
Translation by Schools for Chiapas.

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