Indigenous people of Pantelhó, Chiapas, will not participate in 2024 elections

Ángeles Máriscal

Thousands of residents representing the 86 communities and 18 neighborhoods of Pantelhó, a Tsolsil municipality in the highlands of Chiapas, held an assembly where they agreed not to participate in the electoral process on July 2, and to demand that the authorities recognize their municipal council.

In this municipality the population formed in July 2021 a self-defense group called El Machete, to expel the government of the then municipal president Raquel Trujillo, from the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), who was accused of belonging to organized crime groups. This person was finally removed from office by the local Congress and accused by the Attorney General’s Office of Chiapas of the crime of homicide.

After the mayor’s expulsion, a municipal council was formed in the municipality, which has functioned in the midst of attacks by armed groups that have left dozens of people dead.

For this reason, this Friday they held an assembly in which the representatives of the neighborhoods and communities. In the meeting that lasted several hours, they stated: “Regarding the upcoming elections for June 2 of this year where our different authorities will be elected at the federal, state and municipal levels, we state that this municipality of Pantelhó, by agreement of the 86 communities, will not accept elections of any political nature. We oppose in its totality and will opt for a Municipal Council elected by uses and customs,” they stated as an agreement.

They also pointed out that “the people of Pantelhó clarify that they do not agree nor will they accept the popular elections, since the municipality is not in the best conditions to carry out elections, an example of this are the recent violent events where two innocent minors were murdered.”

They recounted the armed attacks they have suffered, explaining that they are still under aggression “from the cartel, from the Herreras and their groups that are also in Chenalhó (a neighboring municipality).”

“We don’t want voting, we don’t want voting, we don’t want voting,” the Tsotsiles of Pantelhó pointed out.

Original text published in Chiapas Paralelo on March 23rd, 2024.
Translation by Schools for Chiapas.

*Just two weeks ago, residents of the Municipality of Chilón also announced that they will not participate in the upcoming elections.

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