Chiapas: New Blood, Old Wars

Carlos Santos Cid provides an analysis of the current context in Chiapas which includes the increasing presence of organized crime, the process of remilitarization, and the links between these and megaprojects, such as the Mayan Train. He examines the historical background since the Zapatista uprising and the counterinsurgency low-scale war using paramilitaries. He pulls these threads together and gives some hope as to a way forward. ”We believe that the strongest option is from below: communities have the possibility through peaceful alternatives to shield themselves, understanding that this war for control is not only an armed one, it is also cultural. We must rebuild and strengthen the social fabric.”

Data on Violence against Zapatista Communities

Since the uprising of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) on January 1, 1994, thousands of hectares of land usurped by landowners were recovered by their legitimate owners: the original peoples. From there, the 1994 War began, and has continued with a counterinsurgency strategy, designed and implemented in an integral manner through different ways in order to wear down and disarticulate the Zapatista families, communities and peoples. The government of AMLO and the “Fourth Transformation” continues the counterinsurgency model; human rights continue to be violated, using a supposed electoral legitimacy to do the same criminal work of the previous governments of the PRI, PAN and PRD, thus dispossessing the land and common goods to convert them into merchandise.

La Santa Muerte in Chiapas

The cult of death is currently stalking Chiapas. This phenomenon is evident from the increase of violent crime in the state and the parallel devotion to the figure of La Santa Muerte.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights and Forced Disappearance

After nearly 25 years of impunity, the family of disappeared Zapatista Antonio González Mendez and Frayba bring a historical case against the Mexican state for the context of counterinsurgency that still reigns terror today. As Magdalena Gomez points out, it is not just about the case of one person, but about the essential precedent of recognizing the truth of the State’s role in these crimes.

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