San Cristóbal de las Casas.- During almost five hours shot, burned vehicles, blocked streets, took control of a part of San Cristóbal de las Casas and, until the rain started, or they got fed up, they left without any authority showing up in the affected area. A hundred armed men sowed terror in the city.
The local population took refuge in hotels, shops, businesses, schools, in their homes; They desperately called the emergency numbers asking for help, because student boys and girls were trapped inside the schools.
”A group of people, girls, adults and men, are sheltering at the Villa Vanesa hotel, whom I thank enormously for letting us pass. We have been here since approximately 1:40 p.m., and at no time have we seen the National Guard, militia and municipal police They have been conspicuous by their absence. This is the peace that the municipal president presumes so much. It is now 3:23 p.m. and the detonations continue, some are very close, please do not leave the house, ”he explained on the platform. Facebook an inhabitant of San Cristóbal; We showed photographs of people covering themselves at ground level.
Outside, a few meters from that and other hotels in the tourist city, on the road that connects San Cristobal de Las Casas with San Juan Chamula, the armed men went through two trailers.
Covered face, bulletproof vest, long weapons; some with a corpulence different from the physiognomy of the people of this region, moved nervously, stopped cars, burned vehicles, tires, searched, shot.
They were joined by young men on motorcycles, with their faces uncovered, known for their youth and the impunity with which, on a daily basis, they go through the streets shooting, as if they were playing a game.
They parked some of their vehicles – white vans, tinted windows – in the parking lot of a Walmart store. Inside the place, people at that time of day were shopping, they threw themselves on the floor, covered themselves with the shelves, and remained there for hours.
This place was their second stop, the first being the North Market, where they also shot, more to persuade than to kill; at the moment there is not, officially, reports that someone has died, but on Facebook The image of a young man was shared who, they say, died from a stray bullet when he was inside the market.
They made a sign: “CORUTO, OUT administrator CHABEZ PIXOL”, along with a phallic symbol. “Pixol”, penis in tsotsil, was the offense for whoever now has the administration of that sales center that has five large warehouses for the food and flower trade.
The dispute over the markets of San Cristóbal de Las Casas is not new, what is new, residents say, is the variety of illegal products that are now being sold. In the streets near the Mercado del Norte there are also plenty of places to sell stolen cars that are offered without any shame; also drugs, weapons, clandestinely cut wood. Migrant smuggling is another business that has proliferated in the region.
It is an area of streets with impoverished neighborhoods and people in the same circumstances, founded by indigenous people who came to the city decades ago, looking for opportunities and work. Now bulletproof vans circulate, brothels abound almost on a par with churches and schools.
In that area of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, more than four hours of terror were experienced. “Go arrest them, go arrest them, I need to go get my son,” a father shouted at police officers who were standing before the shooting zone, trying to divert traffic.
“It started to rain, we are seeing if we can go out now,” a young woman texted her boyfriend, later telling him that the shots were heard again, now almost at the door of the university study center where they were.
The armed men left as they arrived, amid impunity. At almost five in the afternoon, military and police began to arrive at the scene, covered in raincoats to protect themselves from the rain. They fanned out through the streets, found nothing.
In a statement, the Secretary of Public Security of the state of Chiapas, reported: elements of the inter-institutional group made up of Sedena, National Guard, Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection and Municipal Police They carry out vigilance and presence patrols in the area, as well as in streets and avenues of the city, with the aim of safeguarding the integrity and heritage of citizens and visitors.
It adds that “after the events that occurred this Tuesday, allegedly derived from a social conflict in the North Popular Market of this city (…) Experts and agents of the Public Ministry also arrived at the scene of the events in order to initiate the corresponding investigations and determine responsibilities, under the premise that no criminal conduct goes unpunished.”
And it ends with the phrase: the Government of Chiapas endorses its firm commitment to Chiapas to strengthen the rule of law and guarantee security throughout the state territory, urging social organizations to conduct themselves legally and peacefully to find solution to your demands.