Armed group releases Frayba human rights defenders
By: Chiapas Paralelo
The human rights defenders from the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba), Lázaro Sánchez Gutiérrez and Victórico Gálvez Pérez, were released early this morning, after being kidnapped for more than 40 hours.
The work that the Frayba carries out in the Ocosingo area where they were kidnapped, is to make visible the situation of harassment, kidnapping, torture, dispossession of lands and of water sources that armed groups of people carry out against communities in the region.
In November 2020, the communities denounced the actions of those who held the Frayba defenders hostage: “a few meters from where previously burned and looted our cooperative store in Cuxuljá (…) around 3:30 pm, 20 paramilitaries kidnapped and beat up our compañero support base Félix López Hernández.”
On that occasion they presented evidence of the actions their aggressors carry out, bullet casings, some of a heavy caliber, which were left on the floor after the attack, which also included the theft and burning of the installations of the New Dawn of the Rainbow Commercial Center, owned by support bases of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) and located at the site known as the Cuxuljá crossroads, Lucio Cabañas Autonomous Zapatista Municipality, inside the official municipality of Ocosingo.
In January of this year, also through Frayba, the communities that form the EZLN’s support bases in Ocosingo again denounced that for the next three days the Regional Organization of Ocosingo Coffee Growers (ORCAO) attacked them with shots from firearms.
The attacks were directed at Moisés Gandhi community, which is in Lucio Cabañas autonomous Zapatista municipality, Caracol 10 “Flourishing the Rebel Seed” Cabañas. There were “around 170 large-caliber shots and 80 shots from small-caliber weapons,” they explained on that occasion.
This same group was the one that intercepted and kidnapped Lázaro Sánchez Gutiérrez and Victórico Gálvez Pérez last April 12, when they were crossing through the Ocosingo region.
The Chiapas government has not reported the result of the investigation into the kidnapping of the two defenders, nor into the denunciations of prior attacks.
Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee