Indigenous Tzotzil of Chiapas. Indigenous Tzotzil of Chiapas.

Another faceoff by Tzotzil communities

Years-old territorial conflict flares up in Chiapas

A longstanding territorial conflict between Tzotzil communities in Chiapas escalated last night but there has been no word on casualties.

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Reports began emerging late last night from the municipalities of Chenalhó and Chalchihuitán that there was rifle fire in the communities of Yabteclum, Polhó, Majompepentic and Yibeljoj.

Chenalhó native Roberto Pacencia told the human rights advocacy group Ku’untik that he had spoken by phone at about 10:30pm with his sister, who lives in the border between the two warring municipalities, and could hear gunfire in the background.

Paciencia said he understood that some houses had been set on fire.

Other reports said residents from at least two of the communities have fled their homes.

Ku’untik director Diego Cadenas called on authorities to implement measures to ensure the safety of residents of the communities in the two indigenous municipalities.

But apparently authorities outside the area have been unable to reach their counterparts in either Chenalhó or Chalchihuitán and get a report on last night’s events.

Chenalhó

A dispute over territorial boundaries has fueled confrontation between the two municipalities for years.

On Wednesday, a truck driver was attacked with firearms in Chalchihuatán, where a home was set on fire.

A resident of that municipality was killed last month after being attacked by a group of armed men from Chenalhó.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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