AMERICA/MEXICO - The Court rules on Chiapas: peace on the horizon, humanitarian emergency remains

Thursday, 14 December 2017 politics   legality   violence   peace  

San Cristobal de las Casas (Agenzia Fides) - Peace is much closer in Chiapas. Yesterday afternoon the Agricultural Court issued a final decision on the process for the conflict of territorial boundaries between the municipalities of Chenalhó and Chalchihuitán, favoring Chenalhó. After the Court's ruling, the municipalities ratified the peace agreement for a solution to the conflict, starting work to restore the transit of vehicles in the area. The conflict had triggered a wave of widespread violence, provoked by an armed group that sowed terror in these municipalities and caused the forcible displacement of thousands of people. The dispute arose in 1974, because the historical and natural boundaries marked by the river that divides the two cities had not been respected.
In recent times the situation of displaced persons has become increasingly serious and the Church has raised the alarm with regards to the humanitarian emergency (see Fides 30/11 and 20/11 2017). According to information gathered by Agenzia Fides, in the last days six inhabitants of the municipality of Chalchihuitán died of hunger and cold. These are mainly displaced children and old people, some of whom have diabetes, who are in very poor living condition, with lack of food, medicines and warm clothes. The situation has worsened due to the blockage of the road connecting Chalchihuitán to Las Limas, which had interrupted supplies.
"We ask in the name of humanity and in the name of God: enough with the death of innocents in Chalchihuitán, they are children of God, they are human beings, they have the right to live, we raise our voice and remember the fifth commandment: "Do not kill": it is the heartfelt appeal launched, through Agenzia Fides, by Fr. Marcelo Perez Perez, native priest, diocesan coordinator of the social pastoral care of the diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas. Girls, boys and teenagers live in inhuman conditions, wearing the clothes with which they were forced to leave their homes, inadequate to protect themselves from the low temperatures of this period. Caritas has launched several appeals to collect "medicines, food, blankets, winter clothes", urging "a fair and timely resolution to this situation", but the area remains difficult to reach. The hope is that peace soon returns in the area. (LG) (Agenzia Fides, 14/12/2017)