More than 100 thousand minors are affected by criminal groups in Chiapas: REDIAS

The Network for the Rights of Children and Adolescents in Chiapas (REDIAS) warned that 2023 was one of the most violent years for this sector of the population in the state, as a consequence of the dispute between criminal groups; they said that there are an estimated more than 100 thousand children in situations of displacement, forced recruitment, disappearance or murder.

The alliance of civil society organizations that works to promote and defend the rights of girls, boys and adolescents, detailed that there is an increase in besieged communities “by a wave of unparalleled violence in the region (…) daily life has been disrupted with situations such as blockades that prevent leaving or reaching other communities, closure of businesses, suspension of classes, loss of crops that have not been harvested, food shortages, increase in food prices, among others”.

They highlighted that even when there are no official data that allow understanding the magnitude of the violence that the population faces, 2023 was the most violent year for children and adolescents in the state.

They detailed that, for example, in May of that year, communities such as Lajerío and Candelaria in Frontera Comalapa had to move due to the violence of criminal groups. Since then, different communities along the mountain region have joined the territories suffocated by the fight between groups that dispute control of the border.

For the month of August, Motozintla and Chicomuselo were also victims of blockades, besieged communities and with it, scarcity and increase in food prices. In September, teachers from school zone 025 published a statement in which they declared the suspension of classes because there were no conditions to guarantee security, which left the population of the municipalities of Amatenango de la Frontera, Bejucal, Bella Vista, Chicomuselo, El Porvenir, Frontera Comalapa, La Grandeza, Honduras de la Sierra, Las Margaritas, Mazapa, Motozintla and Siltepec without this service.

“If we consider the total population of 3 to 17 years old in these municipalities and estimate, at least 70% attendance at school according to official data, we would be talking about 108,560 girls, boys and adolescents affected by the suspension”.

REDIAS explained that this situation of violence is also experienced in the jungle region; for example, in Ocosingo criminal groups carry out activities such as illegal logging, arms trafficking and human trafficking.

“In the communities of Lacanjá Chansayab, Nueva Palestina, Santo Domingo and San Javier, we estimate that 9,098 girls, boys and adolescents are being affected by the prevailing violence in these territories”.

For November of that 2023, residents of the municipality of Maravilla Tenejapa suffered situations of burning houses, detonations of firearms and forced displacement due to their fear of violence, particularly in 13 communities where 2,883 girls, boys and adolescents live.

“So far in January 2024, the situation has not improved. To the disputes between criminal groups, are added aggressions by the Army against residents under the accusation that they open the way to organized crime. In this way, towns in the municipalities of El Porvenir, Siltepec and Socoltenango have been threatened by the soldiers and attacked with tear gas. In this context, families have been leaving their homes”.

Other places where situations of armed violence are experienced are the municipalities of Pantelhó, Chenalhó, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Altamirano, Tila and Ocozocoautla. In sum, REDIAS details, more than 100 thousand girls, boys and adolescents have been trapped in that context.

“For all the above, we make an urgent call to the federal, state government and the international community to recognize and stop this war against the peoples of Chiapas. We join the calls and actions of solidarity with the communities that have been affected and invite all society to demand an end to the violence and persist in creating alternatives for peace building”.

This Tuesday, in the so-called Plaza de la Paz in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, members of organizations and children and adolescents made graffiti with slogans such as “Stop the war in Chiapas”, “Peace for Chiapas”, among other messages.

Source: Aristegui Noticias