The Only Free Day: Impunity and Voting

Screenshot taken from video. Families flee the cartel violence in Chicomuselo.

The terrible war between the drug cartels in the Border region in Chiapas has not stopped. They are not in the least concerned that the communities are afraid and threatened by the violence of the cartels that dispute our territories.

Despite the context of violence, they insist on elections, knowing that drug traffickers have no party color; they have interests in the territories, whether for mining, whether for coffee, or for the simple fact that for any activity they charge protection from people who the only thing they have is work to be able to live.

We are witnesses of the advance of criminal groups that target the population, no matter if they are women, girls or boys, and older adults. They continue to control the territories with people from the municipalities who shield the communities in alliance with the Army and the National Guard.

Now the state elections body and the INE also play in this context, supporting the candidates that terror wants to impose on us. Never in our history have the same parties preferred a political campaign to promoting peace in the region. We are people, not just an inked finger or a simple voting card.

From the various municipalities such as Frontera Comalapa, Chicomuselo, we are victims of the absence of the Mexican State, whose arrogance fails to see that thousands of Mexican men and women do not exercise the freedom that moving through the state and outside of it would give us. We are facing the violence of groups that control who passes through or can pass into the territories. Not even the Army in the worst moments would prevent us from traveling through our territories, the drug traffickers do, they control us and record us as in the worst moments of the regime that they told us would no longer exist.

We live, if we can say it, in the anxiety of knowing we are free to choose a cartel or not, since that is not part of our community life, the freedom to produce, sell, walk, celebrate, is blinded by the cartels and by the state crime of saying and pretending that nothing is happening, when our lives are in danger.

On the day that they presume to be democratic, a free day, it is already marked by the power of violence and the deaf ear of the authorities of the INE and the government of Chiapas. We are living people, not just the last place in Chiapas.

From these territories, terror is imposed, threatening, kidnapping, shooting and burning houses, we are a people threatened for living in freedom. We do not want the cartels, we do not want the violence that affects us because we cannot produce the land, we cannot live in freedom.

Ladies and gentlemen who govern us, who organize elections, the national and state political parties, the political class in general. Voting freely is a right, and as long as someone is prevented or threatened from voting as their conscience dictates, it limits Mexican democracy. We don’t do it, we know that the power that governs Mexico today is not interested in us in Chiapas and even if we don’t vote they don’t care because it seems that they prefer that the people of the cartels prevent us from staying alive.


Citizens of the municipalities of Frontera Comalapa and Chicomuselo and surrounding towns, we say ENOUGH!

Original article at Chiapas Paralelo, May 29th, 2024.
Translated by Schools for Chiapas.

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