Tuesday, June 25, 2024

5 police have been held hostage for a week by National Front for Socialism

For anyone in southern Mexico who has a beef — and there are more than a few — there are two effective ways of getting attention: set up a roadblock or take hostages.

In Chiapas last week, the National Front for Socialism (FNLS) did both.

It’s been a week since five police officers were taken captive by the organization in retaliation for the allegedly illegal detention and torture of its leader.

The state Attorney General’s Office said the five officers were detained at a blockade on the Ocosingo-San Cristóbal de las Casas highway near Río Florida on July 18. The roadblock was erected by setting fire to a stolen semi and other vehicles.

The FNLS said in a statement that theirs is not a criminal organization but rather a decades-old, grassroots political group. They said their leader, Javier González Díaz, was arrested on July 17 by state police, who subjected him to physical and psychological torture.

Vehicles burn at the National Front's Chiapas blockade.
Vehicles burn at the National Front’s Chiapas blockade.

State authorities said yesterday that González had been arrested in connection with a violent robbery.

The FNLS said the police officers were detained when they attempted to forcefully disperse the organization’s blockade.

“They were detained for an act of provocation: they attempted to use their weapons against some of our companions during the blockade.”

According to the group’s statement, none of the five identified themselves as police, leading the organization to believe that the officers were not acting on official orders.

In response to concern expressed by the officers’ families, the FNLS wrote that the five had not been harmed.

“The agents are in our communities. They are OK, safe and sound, and waiting for us to be able to establish a respectful and unconditional dialogue with the government of Chiapas.”

In the meantime, the Attorney General’s Office said it was investigating the organization for violent theft, property damage and terrorism.

Source: Milenio (sp), Proceso (sp)

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