Camp of people displaced in Chiapas. Camp of people displaced by violence in territorial dispute.

5,000 displaced people forgotten in Chiapas; authorities did nothing to help

At least eight people died in what the Catholic church called 'a humanitarian crisis'

Authorities at all three levels of government failed to help more than 5,000 people who were displaced from two municipalities in Chiapas due to violence, according to the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH).

In a new report, the CNDH said that due to a lack of assistance, 5,266 people from several communities in the municipalities of Chalchihuitán and Chenalhó were forced to live in 11 different camps where their human rights were violated because they didn’t have access to health care and humanitarian assistance and their personal safety was placed at risk.

The people fled their homes in October 2017 after a longstanding territorial dispute flared up and a community leader was slain.

Conditions in the camps where the displaced indigenous Tzotzil people took refuge were precarious, the CNDH said, and municipal, state and federal governments did nothing to remedy the situation.

People slept on the ground in cold conditions at makeshift camps that lacked basic facilities and necessities such as toilets and clean drinking water.

At least four children and four elderly people died in the camps due to cold and hunger and a human rights center and the Catholic Church called the situation a humanitarian crisis.

In its report, the CNDH called on the state government of new Chiapas Governor Rutilio Escandón Cadenas, the Executive Commission for Attention to Victims (CEAV) and municipal authorities to pay compensation to the displaced persons and for the federal Attorney General’s office (PGR) to conduct a full investigation into the displacement and the violence that preceded it.

It also called on authorities to carry out a census to determine the exact number of people who were forced to flee their homes and to determine their current situation.

Late last year, almost 500 people who remained displaced from their communities marched to Chiapas state capital Tuxtla Gutiérrez to seek a solution to their situation from authorities.

Source: Reforma (sp) 

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