Police shoot at unarmed community of Aldama, Chiapas

Tsotsil residents of Magdalena Aldama, Chiapas. Photo: Cuartoscuro.

Paramilitaries mock the rounds of the National Guard, say community members.

By Hermann Bellinghausen

This Saturday armed aggressions against the displaced Tsotsil communities in the Highlands of Chiapas took a turn when the state police joined in the shooting with armed civilians of Santa Martha, Chenalhó, who are characterized as paramilitaries.  The Permanent Commision of the 115 Displaced People of Aldama reported that “bullets are raining down on us.”

“State police elements that are deployed in Santa Martha detonated firearms in the following points: Tijera Caridad, K’ante’y Vale’tik Santa Martha at 2 in the afternoon under the pretext that ‘Aldama was attacking.’”

This was reported today (Sunday) around 16:00 hours, while participants in the official observer tour, in the community Stezelejpotobtik, witnessed these events and left.

At risk of repetition, that makes the information appear like more of the same and numbing the effect, La Jornada records here only the information received this Saturday from Aldama. Suffice to say that Friday, Thursday, and Wednesday were like this. More of the same. Until when? ask the indigenous people of the Chiapan municipality of Aldama.

At 16:18 the report was, “The high-caliber shots continue along the whole stretch of Pajaltoj Saclum River, Chenalho, up to Santa Martha and Tijera Caridad Sector that divides us. Attacking the communities of Xuxch’en, Coco’, Tabak San Pedro Cotzilnam, Yeton, Ch’ivit Stezelejpotobtik, Juxton,  and Ch’ayomte (Aldama).’” 

The shootings which have left several injured in the recent weeks, the last one very serious with both lungs punctured, started at 9 in the morning this Saturday. “In these moments the community of Coco’ is being assaulted with high-caliber weapons, the shots are coming from points in Tok’oy and Yaxaltik.” Until 16:00 the rain of bullets persisted over Stezeejpotobtik and Juxton.

Before, at 12:49 hours, shots shots coming from El Ladrillo were recorded, from within the disputed 60 hectares where armed groups on the shores of the river shot at the community of Ch’ivit. Shortly after, more shots were repeated coming from Xchuch te’, K’ante’, Templo, Puente, Tijera Caridad, and Chalontik Caridad (Chenalhó). This situation lasted several hours.

At 15:40 the State police and National Guard found themselves in the municipal seat of Aldama, because they said that Aldama was attacking, agents in Santa Martha, Chenalhó reported. Meanwhile the shots against Coco’ continued from Yaxaltik and Tok’oy Saclum. At 17:00 hours, shooting began against 5 communities of Aldama that lasted more than a half an hour. 

At 19:17 hours, the Commission of Displaced Community Members of Aldama communicated, “They are intensely attacking the community of San Pedro Cotzilnam. The shots come from T’ul Vits and Vale’tik, Santa Martha.” At dusk on Saturday the detonations continued, when National Guard and federal government observers had left.

This article was originally published in Spanish by La Jornada on October 11th, 2020. https://www.jornada.com.mx/2020/10/11/politica/007n1pol This English interpretation has been re-published by Schools for Chiapas.

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