El Nacimiento: They won in the raffle for the presidential plane, now an armed group wants to collect it

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Sale of tickets for the presidential plane raffle, in August 2020.
Sale of tickets for the presidential plane raffle, in August 2020.Andrea Murcia (CUARTOSCURO)

A total of 28 families from the El Nacimiento community in Chiapas have had to leave their territory because, according to what they denounce, an armed group demands the money they won a year ago with the raffle for the presidential plane. Parents and students of the José María Morelos y Pavón school, who received 20 million pesos (about $ 930,000) when their ticket won a year ago, had to move after receiving threats. According to the accusation of the families, a group called Los Petules demands the money for the purchase of weapons.

“We do not agree with that. We want to improve our peoples, ”the spokesperson for the families, Melesio López Gómez, told local media, who has not responded to this newspaper. A week ago, about 60 people demonstrated in San Cristóbal de las Casas, according to local media, and according to the latest information released, they had moved from there. “There are no shelters where we can take refuge, they continue to threaten us, they are looking for us,” said López Gómez. “They took all of our belongings. It is urgent that the authorities disarm them, in addition to the fact that no police are taking care of us, ”added López Gómez.

According to the families’ version, the group that threatens them is called Los Petules and is of a paramilitary nature. In 2009, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) had indicated that the members of this organization “disturb public order, destroy crops and coffee plantations, harass, threaten adolescent girls with rape, deforest trees, pollute the environment. water, they carry out assaults in the region ”. “We have suffered attacks, we were shot and threatened with death,” said the spokesman. The authorities of Ocosingo, the municipal seat to which the El Nacimiento community belongs, affirm that they do not have “any data” on that organization and that “the veracity of that armed group has not been verified.”

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People travel by public transport in the municipality of Ocosingo, Chiapas.
People travel by public transport in the municipality of Ocosingo, Chiapas.Nayeli Cruz

The Government delegate, Iván Alberto López Cruz, has also indicated that they do not have any “office issued by the Indigenous Prosecutor’s Office” nor are they aware of any displaced persons in the municipality. But the families, who are now scattered throughout the territory, insist that they did ask the government for protection. “The Public Ministry and the Government Secretariat are already aware, we are displaced,” said the spokesman.

Derky Wilner Pérez, a journalist for a portal called Ocosingo’s Diary, explains that for now it is not possible to “give an exact version” of what is happening in the municipality. “In Chiapas, when a resource of this type lands, it is customary to distribute the money in the community, instead of the work being done.” “This is what may be happening. They do not agree ”, suggests Pérez. Another source who has worked in the area for many years and prefers not to be identified adds that “the problem of El Nacimiento is quite complex.” “The ORCAO is involved [la Organización Regional de Cafeticultores de Ocosingo] and the FNLS [Frente Nacional de Lucha por el Socialismo], who are in controversy with the EZLN [Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional]”, He points out.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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