The Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas denounced “the social decomposition that is increasing due to the generalised violence” in the villages of different municipalities of Chiapas, as well as “the strong impunity” that prevails on the part of the authorities and “the violence that is overflowing from crime cells.
In addition, he accused the insecurity and “violence by crime cells”, the criminalisation of human rights defenders by the political-legal system, the lack of access to full justice, the infiltration of people in acts of worship and in meetings of civil servants, the fabrication of crimes and “the lack of interest in the reconstruction of the social fabric by the competent authorities”.
The Diocese of San Cristóbal pointed out that in the indigenous communities of the state, there is “structural and institutionalised violence” with the presence of armed groups and organised crime, which is added to “the dispute over territory that is increasingly deteriorating the social fabric”, the “excessive” exploitation of natural resources, “manipulation and the stripping of the dignity” of the people, among other forms of violence against communities, women and defenders.
For this reason, it demanded that the Mexican government cease the persecution, repression, intimidation and threats against the lives of those who, from their communities, “fight for the construction of a more supportive and fraternal-social world”, as well as recalling that it is the responsibility of the state to guarantee the lives of the people.
The full communiqué follows:
To the Three Levels of Government
To National and International Civil Society
To Human Rights Defenders
To the Free and Alternative Media
To the National and International Media
To the Believers of other Religious Denominations
To the Believing People of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas
To the Men and Women of Good Will.
THE PEOPLE OF SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS, IN THE FACE OF A SOCIAL DECOMPOSITION THAT IS ON THE INCREASE DUE TO THE GENERALISED VIOLENCE IN THE STATE.
“Peace is a cry that deserves to be heard” (Pope Francis, 25 October 2022).
As Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas we reaffirm that we continue with our commitment in our pastoral work of accompanying the suffering and struggles of the people in the care and defence of Good Living, of justice, of Mother Earth and of the Territory from our diocesan options.
At this time, we have heard loudly as a cry in the wilderness of the situation of structural and institutionalised violence with the presence of organised crime, and the proliferation of armed groups, some of them acting as shock groups. The dispute over territory is deteriorating the social fabric, the excessive exploitation of natural resources (reactivation of mining extraction; illegal sale of wood, stone material, petrol, etc.), the manipulation and dispossession of natural resources, and the destruction of the social fabric. ) the manipulation and plundering of the dignity of our peoples, the psychological warfare Feminicides, the detriment of community force, the criminalisation of struggles and non-violent resistance, as well as the pastoral activities of our diocese that invite to a full consciousness of the dignity of daughters and sons of God, subjects of rights.
In July 2022, we publicly expressed our word through a communiqué entitled: IN VIOLENCE INCREASING IN CHIAPAS AND THE PERSECUTION OF PEOPLE DEFENDING LIFE:
We recall some words expressed on that occasion:
“By doing the work of accompanying the suffering of the people and seeking true life for them, the interests of people and groups that only seek maximum profit at any cost, regardless of the suffering of the poorest, are affected. The implementation of the strategies of the economic-political system that governs us has been very clear when a community organises itself to defend its land and territory, to take care of its community government by uses and customs, when it denounces the injustices that are sometimes committed by the same authorities of the communities, municipalities, etc. It seems that this is the reason for the reaction of persecution, intimidation, threats and imprisonment”.
We are preoccupied by the social decomposition which is increasing due to the generalised violence in the towns of the municipalities of: Chicomuselo, Comalapa, Trinitaria, Comitán, Comitán, Margaritas, Maravilla Tenejapa, Zamora Pico de Oro, Palenque, Salto de Agua, Tila, Yajalón, Chilón, Ocosingo, Altamirano, Chanal, Oxchuc, Huixtán, Tenejapa, Chamula, Chenalhó, Pantelhó, Simojovel, Chalchihuitán, San Cristóbal, Teopisca, Carranza, Las Rosas, Socoltenango, among other municipalities in the Province of Chiapas. This reality of insecurity is exacerbated in some sectors of the population threatened by organised crime groups in order to make inroads into the handling and commercialisation of firearms that are the exclusive use of the Mexican army. This situation puts the inhabitants at high risk, since these groups are fighting for territorial control.
We also denounce the strong impunity that prevails in the state of Chiapas, the increase in insecurity and violence caused by crime cells, the political-legal system that criminalises human rights defenders, the lack of access to full justice, the infiltration of people in acts of worship and in meetings of civil servants, the fabrication of crimes, the lack of interest in the reconstruction of the social fabric on the part of the competent authorities.
We demand that the Mexican Government guarantee the lives of the people who live and travel through the State of Chiapas and it is the responsibility of the State to ensure the safety and protection of human rights defenders, to respect and care for Mother Earth, the Territory, to ensure the life and integrity of nuns, priests and servants of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, whose ministerial exercise in a context of violence makes them vulnerable within the Chiapas entity.
As the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas we call for an end to the persecution, repression, intimidation and threats against the lives of our sisters and brothers who struggle for the construction of a more fraternal and fraternal-soral world.
Because a world without violence is possible!
Building Peace in our villages and communities!
Given in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas; April 04 2023.
Holy Tuesday in the Celebration of Oleos.
Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez Luis Manuel Lopez Alfaro
Bishop of San Cristóbal de Las Casas Auxiliary Bishop
María Reyes Arias Sarao Carolina Lara Rodríguez
Secretary-Chancellor Vicar of Pastoral Care
Miguel Ángel Montoya Moreno
Vicar of Justice and Peace
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, President of Mexico.
C.c. Lic. Rutilio Cruz Escandón Cadenas, Governor of Chiapas.
C.c. Juan José Zepeda Bermúdez, State Human Rights Commission.
María Rosario Piedra Ibarra, National Human Rights Commission-Mexico.
C.c. Mons. Fabio Martínez Castilla, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Tuxtla.
José Luis Mendoza Corzo, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Tuxtla.
Jaime Calderón Calderón, Bishop of the Diocese of Tapachula.