Acteal: 18 years of impunity
In the chapel of Acteal, in the municipality of Chenalhó, Chiapas, there were at least 16 children, 20 women, 7 of whom were pregnant, and 9 men praying, when a group of paramilitaries entered, shooting, and killed 45 of those people. It was December 22, 1997 and the massacre lasted about seven hours.
"For 18 years no justice has been done and the wall of impunity persists, but the Civil Society Las Abejas is building, through its forums, the other justice," Pedro Faro Navarro, director of the Centre for Rights Human Fray Bartolome de las Casas (FrayBa) told La Jornada.
At one time, about 100 people, all of them indigenous, were detained in prison in Tuxtla Gutierrez accused of the massacre. Among them were eight former public safety officers sentenced to three years and then released. In 2007, ten years after the events, 18 people were convicted for possession of firearms.
Between 2009 and 2012 all the detainees were released. Mostly because the Supreme Court invalidated the evidence with which the PGR put together the case.
In 2005, FrayBa and the civil organization Las Abejas, to which the murdered Tzotzil indigenous belonged, filed the case with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights attributing responsibility for the massacre to the Mexican State.
"The massacre of Acteal is in the memory of the Mexican people, it is an act which has remained in the epidermis of the people. When we speak of Acteal, it always hurts."
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