jcesardelapaz _pixabay

GPPAC calls attention to the acute situation of violence in Chiapas and strategies for prevention of violence against the civilian population in Mexico

Click here to read the statement in Spanish.

We, the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), a global network of civil society organisations dedicated to conflict prevention and peacebuilding, and the North American Alliance for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC NA), express our concern about the escalation of armed violence in Chiapas, Mexico and, in an acute manner, in the border region with Guatemala. This violence entails high levels of insecurity and a strong impact on the life and well-being of the civilian population and places defenders of human rights and land and territory in a vulnerable situation.

Since 2021, the state of Chiapas has been affected by a territorial dispute between organised crime groups. In general, men, women, girls, boys, adolescents, and elders live in fear and terror due to the threats they have received from armed groups.

In addition to the high impact on the civilian population due to acts of violence, information received from the border area of Chiapas with Guatemala shows cases of murder, torture and disappearance of community leaders, human rights defenders, volunteers of the Catholic Church, community authorities and public officials.

Furthermore, the criminal activity of armed groups, which are dedicated to drug-, weapon-, and human trafficking, is increasingly linked to the control that these groups exercise over political and public officials at the national level. In many cases, violence is either ignored without investigation and accountability or supported by police and municipal authorities.

We express deep concern at the normalization of violent conflict that is observed both in Chiapas and in the border area with Guatemala. The situation downplays the dire effects of the violence and affects the entire social fabric of the country.

Therefore, as the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), we request:

  • Public recognition by the federal government of the increase in violence in the state of Chiapas and, specifically, the non-international armed conflict that has affected the border region with Guatemala since 2021.
  • A coordinated and integrated response implemented by all the competent institutional entities to provide humanitarian attention to both the civilian population that remains in the areas affected by the violence as well as to those forcibly displaced.
  • The guarantee of the protection of the civilian population against violence via a pertinent action by the government.
  • Increased government's non-military efforts rooted in dialogue to prevent and address armed violence both in Chiapas and in the border area with Guatemala.
  • Increased cooperation with multilateral agencies, international organizations, and federal and state authorities to guarantee the rights and safety of indigenous peoples, human rights defenders, journalists, and any person in Mexico are upheld and protected.
  • Impartial investigations by prosecutors, with a guarantee of protection in case of threats and that perpetrators are brought to justice.
  • Action by part of the national government to prevent the structural discrimination of indigenous communities, and recognition and respect for their rights in law and in practice.
  • Strict compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights.

As in all communities around the world, people in Chiapas, as well as in the rest of the country, aspire to live in conditions of peace and without fear. The security and well-being of communities in Mexico depend on preventing structural violence and calling for inclusive efforts to address armed violence. We implore the international community to recognise the serious situation in Chiapas, which, like the rest of the country, is experiencing a situation of prolonged armed conflict.


Share this article on