It Is Time for Justice and Peace for Chiapas
To the defenders of democracy and peace in the world
Organized crime in Chiapas, Mexico, and the violence, aggressions, and confrontation multiply. Some facts are magnified, and others remain hidden.
The conflict involves not only organized crime, however, but multiple clashes due to issues of religious, agrarian, social, and gender conflicts, and injustices.
Weapons, drug trafficking, kidnappings, the collection of “protection” money, the existence of irregular armed forces or civilian populations forced to join highway blockades, and people who are displaced and dispossessed of their homes and belongings are rooted in the logic of the centers of power and money.
Along with and related to organized crime are economic interests, such as mining companies known to have irregular armed forces, or other groupings with interests in oil, water, or natural resources. This is all about dispossession by controlling territory.
Of course, we know that the great market for weapons, drugs, and undocumented migrants is centered in the imperial metropolis that have subjected the peoples of the United States, Latin America, and the rest of the world to neoliberal policies, coups d'état, and dictatorships.
This imperial logic and its policies of course undermine the economic and democratic advances that have been implemented in Mexico under the current administration’s Fourth Transformation.
This is clear in the media, which magnify certain events but largely silence the fact that at the origin of this violence is the entire framework imposed by more than thirty years of neoliberal governments that have been, precisely and emphatically, the main operators of criminal groups.
Even the calls from the right wing for "bullets and not hugs" that is, the use of brute force, actually means attacks against neighbors, relatives, residents who have been forced to participate in the actions of organized crime.
In Chiapas, this violence clearly encourages the selection of hardline and more openly right-wing electoral candidates, precisely the people related to organized crime. Evidently this element is also in play at the national level.
Without a doubt, however, the current government strategy is not enough.
Constitutionally speaking, public security in the state is the responsibility of the Free and Sovereign State of Chiapas. But, this state is not in a position to face the multinational powers that organized crime represents.
Added to this is the corruption of the judiciary at all levels, in all states, and undoubtedly, the self-interest and manifest incapacity of the local legislature. Plus, corruption at all levels, to a greater or lesser extent in municipalities, ejidos and local governments.
The lives of entire towns in different regions are in danger. We have displaced families, without food, missing neighbors, kidnapping threats, and kidnappings, in addition to being immersed in various political, territorial, and/or agrarian conflicts.
For us, a comprehensive Plan of Justice and Peace for Chiapas must be at the center of political action.
A.- The creation of a federal and local inter-institutional body, including both the executive and legislative branches, with the presence of rights defense organizations, prominent public figures, social fighters, and churches that must give concrete, explicit, urgent responses to the denunciations presented in the diverse points of the state.
B.- This inter-institutional and social space for Peace in Chiapas should be accompanied by international institutions and independent rights defense groups.
C.- This body’s actions should be public, explicit, and expeditious in order to deal with the serious needs in the different regions of the state.
D.-The creation of this body must be accompanied, of course, by the social and political mobilization of all democratic forces.
Various sectors of the population have requested the following:
1.- That the security forces of the state make their presence felt in the conflict zones and that they remain as long as necessary until the conditions for the exercise of rights and liberties are reestablished.
2.- The stay of the security forces should be monitored by society and rights defense organizations to prevent excesses, injustices, or failures in the fulfillment of their duty to public security.
3.- Establishment of a program and immediate actions for the emergency attention to the victims who are displaced, without food, shelter, and basic health care. This must include emergency shelters and temporary employment programs, as well as medical brigades and community kitchens.
4.- Search for and location of missing persons in all regions.
5.- Restitution of land, shops, and other property seized and invaded by organized crime.
6.- The creation of safe conditions for the return of displaced persons.
7.- Implementation of precautionary protection measures for all social fighters, activists, and residents threatened by organized crime or in the context of conflicts.
8.- Address agrarian, territorial, and ownership conflicts, abuses of authority ,and related rights violations that heighten confrontations in the context of the actions of organized crime and that are part of the ungovernability in the different municipalities and regions.
9.- To build proper channels for the exercise of justice in charge of the Judicial Power as well as the fulfillment of the legal dispositions in force and that are not being complied with.
We ask for the adherence to this plan to all democratic sectors and defenders of rights in the world.
We call for public mobilization and expression to make possible this space for real attention to the grave situation in which we find ourselves.
Finally, we say that it is necessary to articulate internationalist actions with groups and organizations from different countries, to protest against the circulation of weapons that are used by organized crime in our peoples, in favor of lifting the banking secrecy and to take all financial measures against organized crime networks and corrupt people of all kinds.
The internationalist action that we point out must be framed in the defense of the democratic rights of all peoples.
To focus our efforts, media, and analysis to build a peaceful solution to the violence that plagues our people and the towns of Chiapas.
With hope and determination,
Emiliano Zapata Proletarian Organization-Chiapas Independent Social Organizations Front (OPEZ-Fosich)
Movement of Native Peoples in Chiapas (Movimiento de Pueblos Originarios en Chiapas)
Socialist Movement for Popular Power (Movimiento Socialista de Poder Popular – MSPP)
2 October 2023