Narco Blockades, Disappearances, Checkpoints and Forced Displacement Continue in La Sierra and Border

Monster and military vehicles crisscross the streets of Comalapa
Photo: Isaín Mandujano

Isaín Mandujano

The tension over the dispute and control of the territory by organized crime groups does not subside in the Border and Sierra Madre region of Chiapas, people continue to disappear, clashes leave ghost towns and drug violence almost extinguished the devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe this season, since on Tuesday the 12th there were no processions or caravans of pilgrims in the area.

On Tuesday 12th in the afternoon, groups of armed men blocked a stretch of road near El Jocote, a few kilometers from the border between Mexico and Guatemala.

The men used six cargo trucks with which they obstructed traffic of all types of vehicles for several hours. The men identified themselves as alleged members of MAÍZ, an organization considered an branch of an organized crime group that operates from the municipal seat of Frontera Comalapa.

There, in El Jocote, there was tension because members of the MAÍZ almost collided with elements of the Mexican Army that has a permanent military detachment at that point.

At the same time as that incident, very close to that stretch, around 2 p.m. an armed commando unit set up a checkpoint between Chamic and Sabinal and removed a 40-year-old woman named Brenda Elvira Yok Martínez from a public transportation unit, whom the members of MAÍZ tried to free unsuccessfully.

Relatives of the woman filed a complaint with the State Attorney General’s Office, which issued an official search file in the Alba Protocol system.

Between Chicomuselo, Siltepec and Bellavista, confrontations or “topones”, according to the jargon of organized crime, continue to occur. Every day, residents heard detonations of high-caliber firearms.

Alleged members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel have taken the town of Nuevo Pacayal as the center of these clashes, which caused all the residents of that community to abandon their homes and now it is just a ghost town.

Members of the MAÍZ organization maintain a roadblock at the Chicomuselo exit towards Siltepec.

From Amatenango de la Frontera to Nuevo Amatenango, the roads are already a desert, all the people fled, it looks like a ghost town, vehicles are no longer used to travel from one town to another in that region.

‘’Monster’’ and military vehicles cross the streets of these towns and on the highways. Few dare to travel by public transport or motorcycle.

From Motozintla to Frontera Comalapa the Catholic faith seems to have come to an end, since no caravan of Guadeloupean torchbearers was observed.

Around five caravans of pilgrims were seen today from Huixtla to Motozintla or Siltepec, there was no procession from Comalapa to Chicomuselo, not to mention La Concordia –  narcoviolence in the region has swallowed up the Catholic faith.

As in Chamic, municipality of La Trinitaria, in Nueva Morelia, municipality of Frontera Comalapa, there is another checkpoint with armed people. And just like everyone else, people who pass by have their cell phones checked, they ask for their voter ID, and they photograph cars in which individuals are traveling.

“They check more than the military. Here one cannot say that he is a merchant or carrying merchandise because they charge us protection money,” said one local.

In addition to Chicomuselo, Bella Vista and Siltepec, in the municipality of La Grandeza, drug violence has been present for several months.

In La Grandeza, the inhabitants from the town chased out members of the Mexican Army and only the members of the Navy were allowed to settle there.

Residents of La Grandeza, Siltepec, Chicomuselo, hear the gunshots, the bursts of fire, it is in Pacayal, the residents say, a community in the municipality of Bellavita, where the population has begun to leave their houses abandoned and those who remain only pray to God that nothing happens to them.

*Improvised armored vehicles.

Original article at
Translated by Schools for Chiapas.

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