The 11 executed and burned in Nueva Morelia were innocent: Diocese of SCLC

Family massacred in Nuevo Morelia

The Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas asserted that each and every one of the 11 people cruelly murdered on May 12 in the community of Nueva Morelia, municipality of Chicomuselo, had nothing to do with organized crime and that, “these women and men resisted leaving their homes despite the violence, threats and harassment from criminal groups to join their ranks.”

The bishop of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez, his auxiliary bishop Luis Manuel Lopez Alfaro and other members of that Catholic structure pointed out in a missive “Our dead have faces, names and their hearts continue beating in the womb of mother earth,” and that the 11 executed were all innocent.

The 11 were Alfonso, 73, Teresita de Jesús, 28, Dolores, 56, Rosalinda, 57, Yojari Belén, 18, Ignacio, 52, Isidra, 54, Urbano, 42, Brandi, 15, Joel, 49, and Azael, 31.

They indicated that all of them “were resisting the violence of the criminal groups that are disputing the area and were cruelly and mercilessly murdered in their homes.

They pointed out that “organized crime entered the community of Nueva Morelia around 5:30 in the afternoon and went directly to the homes of the people who were still in the community, killing 11 people: 6 men and 5 women, 4 of them in different houses and 7 members of an entire family gathered in their home after Sunday celebration; after killing them they set fire to the house and the bodies of two of our sisters were completely burned,” said the Catholic leaders.

They pointed out that “these women and men resisted leaving their homes despite the violence, threats and harassment from criminal groups to join their ranks, their resistance to be free and in support of life, peace and justice, the resistance against all those signs of death that lacerate life and human dignity, the same peaceful resistance of Jesus that led him to death on the cross, has led these brothers and sisters of ours to shed their blood for the life of the people.”

In the pastoral letter they mention that the people in Chiapas continue to suffer, “because we are in the midst of a war that has no end and they are taking us as a people to put us as cannon fodder and human barrier, many communities have been left empty by the threats, murders and disappearances.”

“We honor our murdered brothers and sisters and the believing people who are pilgrims in these sacred lands that have been ravaged by the violence generated by the control of the territory and the latent interest to continue with the mining exploitation by criminal groups operating in total impunity. And despite the constant denouncements, communiqués and demands for peace, they continue to cause death, disappearances, forced displacement, threats and harassment of civil society, and victims of this failed system of government which has allowed these criminal groups to advance and position themselves in the towns,” says the Catholic missive.

Today our diocesan Church and our land are once again stained by the blood of our martyrs, women and men who resist violence, who seek and build paths of peace and justice through peaceful means.

And that in the face of so much injustice “the Church cannot and should not remain silent, therefore we urgently call on the relevant authorities to look at these communities and peoples and act in accordance with the law.”

They denounced the murders that have remained in complete impunity, the hundreds of disappeared that are added to the long list of the invisible, as well as “the omission of the State in the face of the criminal groups that have destabilized the life of the people.

And they detailed other grievances: The dispossession of material and natural goods of which our communities and peoples are being victims. The kidnapping of communities and towns by criminal groups, forcing them to join their ranks and forcing them to stay in their homes, threats, harassment, intimidation and persecution of civil society, pressure and social control by criminal groups. The presence of armed people in our communities. Control of territory. The looting and mining exploitation that has led to the murder of innocent people who care for and defend mother earth.”

They also denounced that there is an electoral process manipulated by organized crime.

They blamed the three levels of government for the recent murders perpetrated against families in the ejido of Nueva Morelia, Chicomuselo, for their omission in the face of the reality that has been denounced.

“The lack of action by the authorities is inconceivable, given the presence of the army, national guard and state police in the region,” they said.

They demanded in the letter justice for the 11 murdered in the ejido Nueva Morelia, Chicomuselo on May 12, 2024, two murders of civilians on January 4, 2024 in the same community of Nueva Morelia and 2 more murders on January 16, 2024 on the border of the dam.

They demanded from the government the safe, free and unconditional return of the displaced communities.

Among other demands, they asked the federal and state governments for “the immediate disarmament of these criminal groups. The recovery of the territory so that our peoples can be subjects of their history.Urgent attention to the demands for peace of our peoples. The reestablishment of social order without putting civil society in resistance to these criminal groups at risk.

Original article by Isaín Mandujano was published in Chiapas Paralelo on May 17th, 2024.
Translation by Schools for Chiapas.

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