Chicomuselo: a snapshot of the war against the people

We publish an unofficial translation of an article of Periódico Mural:

On October 12th, 2023, more than ten thousand residents from different agrarian communities marched towards the center of Chicomuselo, an indigenous municipality located in the border region of Chiapas.

Upon reaching the “arco de los siete jaguares” the speakers from the different populations took a position against the reactionary war that is spreading through the territory of Chiapas where two drug cartels are fighting for territorial control under the complacent gaze of the federal government, who again and again has minimized the situation.

“The people are already tired of seeing how the groups that seek to control our territory impose themselves with total impunity,” the residents said on that occasion. Days after that march, the remote high-school Professor José Artemio López Aguilar, who was one of the coordinators of the protest, was murdered. An armed commando entered to his home, subduing him and his entire family; the professor was tortured and executed in front of his wife and children.

Today the eyes of the country are focused again on that municipality after last Tuesday, January 16th, 2024, elements of the SEDENA [Secretariat of National Defense; Translator’s note] and the National Guard [NG; translator’s note] attacked residents who were protecting their community from the constant attacks of the criminal groups with armed forces with high-powered weapons and official vehicles.

According to the population, elements of the 101st Infantry Battalion of the Mexican army together with NG troops entered violently, tearing down fences and pillars that the farmers had placed. With insults and threats documented on social networks and the media, the commanding officer of the military troops, Colonel Solís Serna, told one of the residents: “I have you located, you bastard.”

The army began the aggression with tear gas and baton blows; The residents answered with stones, sticks and machetes. But it turns out that the Mexican army is a lethal force like all military formations (including the NG) and its elements are not trained to carry out public security tasks, so gunshots against the farmers immediately began.

The balance: two people from Ejido murdered, one who was hit by a military vehicle and the other riddled with multiple impacts from a firearm used exclusively by the army. One of those massacred seems to be precisely the peasant whom the Colonel threatened. More than 10 civilian trucks and motorcycles were completely destroyed and looted by military troops (the spoils of war).

Now the president of the republic assures that the population of Chicomuselo and its rancherías support crime. In his morning conference, the bureaucrat AMLO has disqualified the agrarian communities that are organized, since, according to him, the defense of the autonomy and territory of the people who do not allow the entry of the army and the national guard is “because they are protecting criminals.”

But who in this country can ignore that the army is stained with the blood of the people?

Only in contemporary history events like October 2, 1968; June 10, 1971; the long years of the dirty war against the guerrilla and popular movements; the counterinsurgency and the war of extermination against the EZLN and the EPR; Acteal; Aguas Blancas; Atenco; Oaxaca; Ayotzinapa; Tlatlaya, among a long and endless etcetera to which Chicomuselo is added today, speak for themselves.

Now after the events, the State and federal governments have ordered that the ministerial proceedings be delayed. At the time of going to press, neither the prosecutor’s office nor the expert services had carried out their first investigations at the scene.

Since last January 1, residents of dozens of towns in the municipality of Chicomuselo denounced the presence of armed groups that were shooting at the population. On January 4, in the Ejido of Nueva Morelia, an armed confrontation between two drug cartels occurred that lasted more than 7 hours and where at least 20 people died, between two inhabitants of the community who were not part of the armed groups. For several weeks these criminal groups have been enlisting, taking young people and men to fight in some mercenary army, this has generated the mass displacement of hundreds of people. There are no classes in any of the communities, the schools are closed due to the fear of parents, children and teachers. The State and Republic prosecutor’s office has been aware of all this and has stated ” thanks to the coordination with the authorities of the three levels of government, tranquility prevails and the safety of the residents is guaranteed in the municipality of “Chicomuselo” .

Who protects the criminals… the peoples or AMLO?

An important fact is the following: for years the people of Chicomuselo has rejected the imposition of a mining mega-project of Canadian capital, which led to the murder of activist Mariano Abarca in 2009, after which the mine work was closed. Subsequently, in 2018, the government of the republic installed a military base in the population with which it has sought to intimidate the peasants who have maintained their opposition to the dispossession and contamination of their territory. Since the presence of the army has not been enough to subdue the peasants, now criminal and paramilitary groups are generating greater violence.

The militarization of the Chicomuselo territory and the presence of criminal and paramilitary groups is a snapshot of the war against the people and has only one objective: the reopening of the mining mega-project and the dispossession of the communities’ territory.

Many regions of the country are like this and due to this it is totally logical that the people organize themselves and reject the entry of criminal and paramilitary groups into their territories. It is absolutely necessary that the people defend their autonomy and self-determination, also rejecting the entry of the army, the national guard and the police of the old State that do not protect the people.

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