Indigenous Prosecutor Executed; He Investigated Cases of Violence in Pantelhó

By Isaín Mandujano

Tonight, August 10th, gunmen on a motorcycle shot to death the Indigenous Justice Prosecutor in the Highlands Region of Chiapas, Gregorio Pérez Gómez, who was in charge of the investigations of the Pantelhó Case.

Shortly before 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, municipal and state police mobilized following a report of a shooting in the vicinity of the Mercado Popular del Sur in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

Upon arriving at the scene, the uniformed officers found a VW Golf vehicle with several bullet holes in the driver’s side window. And inside the vehicle  was a person with no vital signs.

They immediately notified the forensic services, who upon opening the car found that it was the Prosecutor of Indigenous Justice, Gregorio Pérez Gómez.

Witnesses who saw the execution report that a couple of men on a motorcycle approached the vehicle and fired several shots at close range. They fled but abandoned the motorcycle on a street in the neighborhood of 5 de Marzo. Very close to the incident. There the homicide suspects were lost track of.

In response to this, the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) and all of the District and Subject Matter Prosecutors “deeply regretted and strongly condemned the violent death to which the Indigenous Justice Prosecutor Gregorio Perez Gomez was subjected today.”

It assumes the firm commitment to investigate to the fullest extent in such a way that this crime will not go unpunished, said the FGE in its official missive.

It adds that the Prosecutor of Indigenous Justice, Gregorio Pérez Gómez “was in charge of the investigations of the violent events that occurred in the municipality of Pantelhó.”

The State Attorney General’s Office emphatically rejects this crime and condemns any act of violence against the officials in charge of procuring justice. It reiterates its firm commitment that there will be no impunity after the commission of this reprehensible act in the state of Chiapas, said the Attorney General’s Office.

What happened in Pantelhó?

Self-defense groups El Machete Photo: Isaín Mandujano

In Pantelhó, in the face of governmental negligence, residents took possession of the municipal presidency, and searched and burned houses of presumed members of organized crime. The Diocese of San Cristobal appointed a commission to mediate between the inhabitants and the government.

They waited more than 10 days for the authorities to act against their aggressors; but not only did they not act, but people identified as participating in illicit activities, who had fled the town after the self-defense group “El Machete” went public, began to return to the town in the highlands of Chiapas. Faced with this scenario, they decided to take justice into their own hands.

Not a single ministerial proceeding was carried out in town, or in any of the houses that had been secured. According to the people of Pantelhó, there was inaction on the part of the authorities. In addition to this inaction, last Friday, July 23, the government of Chiapas promoted the return of displaced persons, and among them, arms and drug dealers and relatives of municipal government officials, also accused of being part of organized crime groups, returned to the municipal seat.

They had left after the self-defense groups “El Machete” tried to enter the town and expel them on July 7, following the murder of the former president of Las Abejas de Acteal, Simón Pedro.

This article was published in ChiapasParalelo on August 10, 2021.
Re-published with English interpretation by Schools for Chiapas.

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