Pantelhó, Chiapas: New Armed Group Appears, They Claim They’re Going After Los Machetes

“Sol Prendido” for Borderland Beat

A new armed group broke into the highlands of Chiapas and are “all around Pantelhó”, they say that if the government does not intervene to stop the “criminal actions” of Los Machetes, they will take justice into their own hands with weapons.

In a video a hooded man with his rifle slung over his shoulder reads a communiqué with some 200 people behind him, some men are armed and women are seen in the civilian contingent.

In their message, they said that “the people of Pantelhó are suffering the absurd attacks of El Machete, running over innocent people, decent people, children of God, who are being run over, women and girls who have been imprisoned for more than 48 hours.

“We are deciding to confront different groups. We are going to tell the government either it acts in defense of these people who are bathed in blood, broken, beaten, raped women, if it does not act – the government – we will give it little time, otherwise we will take action under the circumstances that El Machete, a bloodthirsty group, is forcing us. A truly criminal group that goes around kidnapping and disappearing innocent people,” says the spokesman for the group, who does not identify himself by name.

They accused Daniel Lopez, alias Comandante Machete, of “charging quotas and collecting money” in the municipality of Pantelho. For this reason, they warned: “The strong hand of the government is required or we will act accordingly to rescue our dear innocent countrymen.

And if there is no reason and no way to solve the problem as soon as possible, the weapons will speak for them.

“If the government does not act severely against this murderous criminal group that has killed more than 21 people, 30 or more, because they have grabbed peasants and disappeared them,” they said.

They said that El Machete went from being a political group to a criminal group that is now disputing the plaza among themselves.

“They are murderers,” says the video, which cuts off at 3 minutes and 31 seconds.

El Machete broke out on June 7, 2021 to rebel against a political and armed group that controlled the municipality from the municipal seat and the City Hall, which for more than a decade had kept the population under siege.

Now they are accused of disappearing 21 people directly and of maintaining terror in the municipality.

Two days ago, last Thursday, an armed group antagonistic to Los Machetes ambushed them and four people were killed instantly, a woman who turned out to be the wife of Commander Machete, Daniel Lopez, and three municipal police officers who belong to the same armed group.

Video translation is as follows:

We find ourselves in the surroundings of Pantelhó, our beloved town. Which is currently suffering consequences, the absurd attacks of El Machete. They are running over innocent people, decent people, evangelical people, people who are children of God. Which are being run over. Women and girls have even been imprisoned for more than 48 hours.

The people are being overrun and we have decided to confront  the different groups. We are going to inform the government. Either it acts in defense of the citizens who have been shot to death, broken, beaten, and the women raped. If it doesn’t act we will give them very little time to respond. Otherwise, we will take action under the circumstances that El Machete is forcing us.  

They are a bloodthirsty group, a truly criminal group that is kidnapping and disappearing innocent civilians. They blame the innocent people of Pantelhó for the circumstance that we are living in. Because they are looking for their enemies by robbing houses, stealing land, stealing many things from the houses that they break into at night. This is all being done under the power of the municipal police of Pantelhó. Which in turn is commanded by Mr. Daniel López aka Comandante Machete.

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