The protesters recalled the experience they had with the military who were in that region from 1994 to 2006; it was’ “a high rate of murders, raped, pregnant and abandoned women, marriage separation, abandoned children, increased alcoholism, drug addiction, and prostitution.”
Police repressed a protest that Tseltal peasants and indigenous people from the municipality of Chilón, Chiapas, made to protest against the construction of a National Guard (GN) detachment. Three indigenous people were arrested, and several protesters were injured. The military remained guarding the area during the operation to contain the protest.
The events were recorded on Thursday morning when at least 500 peasants from various communities walked on the highway that connects to the area where the federal government intends to install one of the 16 new military detachments in Chiapas.
The Tseltales were at the height of the Crucero Temó, in the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido. They were carrying a canvas with the legend “ no to the National Guard ” in front of them, when state police officers got in their way, snatched the canvas from them, and began to beat them.
Behind the police were elements of the GN reinforcing the operation to contain the peasants and indigenous people, who, faced with the operation, withdrew without confronting each other.
However, the uniformed men beat several of them who were at the front and arrested Juan Hernández Morales, José Luis Gutiérrez, and Cesar Hernández Feliciano, whose whereabouts are unknown.
Before they were repressed, the protesters explained that they “emphatically” oppose the installation of the National Guard in that municipality, due to the experience they had with the military who were in that region from 1994 to 2006; It was “a high rate of murders, raped, pregnant and abandoned women, separation of marriages, abandoned children, increase in alcoholism, drug addiction and prostitution, as well as the spread of organized crime and insecurity,” read a member of the march moments before the manifestation.
The inhabitants of the region explained that for the current construction of the GN barracks, the government manipulated some peasants to take possession of four hectares of common land, “without consulting the inhabitants of the municipality.”
“We demand that the federal, state and municipal governments install effective measures to reverse the installation of this military base in the municipality of Chilón; as well as respect for the rights and culture of the original peoples of Chiapas and Mexico ”, they demanded.
After the repression they suffered, the peasants and indigenous people decided to remain in a sit-in in the area, to demand the release of the three detainees and the cancellation of the construction of the GN barracks on their lands.
The federal government is currently building 16 new barracks in the municipalities of Tonalá, Suchiate, Huehuetán, three in Las Margaritas, Comalapa, Chilón, Bochil, Palenque and San Cristóbal de Las Casas.