AMERICA/MEXICO - "Social peace and the security of many people are being put at risk" denounces Msg. Arizmendi

Tuesday, 4 October 2016 politics   indigenous   bishops   local churches  

San Cristobal de las Casas (Agenzia Fides) - Last week, the Electoral Court of the State of Chiapas decreed the legitimacy of the role regarding two women elected mayors of Chenalhó and Oxchuc. Since the elections a year ago, the population itself had prevented them from settling in their office and had expelled them from their communities because accused of electoral fraud. His Exc. Mgr. Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, Bishop of the diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas, after Mass last Sunday, said that in this way "social peace and the security of many people are being put at risk".
Mgr. Arizmendi recalled that the population, a large indigenous majority, used the show of hands system for a long time to elect their leaders, today mayors, chosen on the basis of some initiatives carried out to the benefit of the community. The democratic system imposed elections, but they are easily manipulated through vote-buying. "The party system has contaminated the indigenous people and has divided them. The choice is no longer a consensus of the majority, but it is done with counting and manipulation of votes", said the Bishop.
Mgr. Arizmendi has warned of an escalation of the conflict. "We do not want more deaths in this area", he told the local press, to attract the attention of authorities and look for other solutions to the problem. It is not the first time that the Bishop denounces "social destabilization" that puts "indigenous against indigenous, the poor against the poor". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 04/10/2016)