Women defenders of Mother Earth denounce that “organized crime has increased uncontrollably.”

We agree that organized crime has increased in an uncontrollable manner from February to September: extortion, disappearance of young men and women, constant executions with total disregard for life. The population is exposed to be subjected to the actions of organized crime.


Gathered around a traditional altar of the Cho’l people, in the Palenque region, in the state of Chiapas, women from different latitudes gathered to share the contexts of our communities and territories. We met again with joy, sharing tenderness and hope, in spite of the bleak panorama we are currently experiencing. Grateful for the welcome of our host sisters from the Cho’l-Tzeltal region, enriched by the strength of our sisters from the highlands, the coast region, the Zoque region and other visitors from our American continent, coming from Argentina, Uruguay and the United States. We find with sadness that the tentacles of organized crime are entering our community spaces, which violates our right to security, without the local, state and national authorities doing anything to protect our integrity as women. Thus we denounce various situations that are occurring in each of our regions:


Violence is experienced at all hours of the day in public and private spaces, such has become the situation that we no longer know who the crime groups are and who the authorities are. Organized crime seeks alliances with the communities offering their support in resolving land conflicts in exchange for entering their territories. The increase in tourism has generated water shortages, rising food prices and rent. There is a situation of lawlessness at the security level, at the level of exploitation and appropriation of common goods; wetlands continue to be filled and divided for the construction of housing, in addition to corruption at the level of the public budget. Insecurity for the communities, many no longer want to go to work in the fields because of the soldiers.


Violence, alcoholism and prostitution have increased in the municipalities of the region.  The mining threat has been triggered, Fortun Bay, a Canadian company owned by Wade Dawe, is sending its agents, lawyers, geologists and investigators with the intention of reactivating open-pit mining, the mining alarm returns to the region, after in 2019 the ejidatarios expelled the Linear Gold company, owned by the same Wade Dawe.


The disappearance of young people, migration, extortion, threats, murders, delinquency, and insecurity are increasing exponentially. Megaprojects take hold in the region with the inauguration of the Mayan Train.


Increased migratory flow and militarization by the national guard, on the other hand, the communities are being dispossessed for the so-called “right of way” which is nothing more than the expropriation of 20 meters of land that will give way to the tracks of the Transisthmian Train, where there are constructions of houses and fences. In addition, the CFE continues to harass and threaten to cut off electricity to electricity users who are resisting the AMI project. The threat of the gas pipeline that is part of the Transisthmian Corridor continues, as well as the presence of poultry farms that continue to contaminate the San Diego River.

Other women from Abya Yala also spoke, expressing that the women’s struggle crosses the issues of land exploitation, hydrocarbons, the real estate business, the water crisis, the defense of land and territory. In the United States, as in Mexico, Argentina and Uruguay, we are affected by the same problems and women are in a state of struggle.

We agree that organized crime has increased in an uncontrollable way from February to September: extortion, disappearance of young men and women, constant executions with total disregard for life. The population is exposed to subjection by the actions of organized crime. We reaffirm that in spite of all this, we women continue with the will to remain organized and to encourage more women and young people to follow this path for life, for Mother Earth, for freedom, in defense of our rights. We will continue to do so by continuing our next assembly with strength, joy, hope, love and much dignity.

From these mountains of the Mexican Southeast our hearts beat strongly.

 Palenque, Chiapas 15,16 y 17 de septiembre de 2023

Defensoras Nasakobajk

Red de Mujeres de la Costa en Rebeldía

Antsetik Ts´unun

Colectivo Tsijilba Bij

Mujeres de la Región Altos Tsotsil y Tseltal

Schools for Chiapas is honored to have been able to contribute to transportation for this gathering.

Original text published in Chiapas Paralelo on September 19th, 2023. https://www.chiapasparalelo.com/noticias/chiapas/2023/09/mujeres-defensora-de-la-madre-tierra-denuncian-que-el-crimen-organizado-ha-incrementado-de-una-forma-incontrolable/
Translation by Schools for Chiapas

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