A cartel turf war in southern Mexico forced thousands of villagers to flee their homes as rival criminal organizations fight for control of the border with Guatemala. The cartels force young men to join their ranks. Activists claim as many as 60 were killed in days and explosives are used in the once peaceful state of Chiapas.
The violence began last week when gunmen with factions of the Sinaloa Cartel clashed with gunmen from Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG) in a series of large-scale shootouts in multiple rural communities of Chiapas. According to Mexico’s Proceso, at least three thousand individuals from dozens of smaller communities in the Chiapas jungle area fled from the violence. A local human rights organization called Digna Chavez claims that the gunmen have been using drones with “c-4” high-powered weapons and are believed to have used explosives indiscriminately against the homes of villagers.
“No authority until now has done anything, leaving the people in absolute abandonment and to their luck,” Proceso quotes from a statement by the Digna Chavez Human Rights organization.
Mexico’s Aristegui Noticias claimed that the exodus is also linked to cartel gunmen going home to home and forcing able-bodied men at gunpoint to join their ranks. The news outlet claimed the violence spread throughout the state of Chiapas spanning over 100 miles from the border with Guatemala to the border with the state of Veracruz.
The once peaceful state of Chiapas has seen a dramatic rise in violence since 2021 when various crime groups allied with either the Sinaloa or CJNG began to fight for control of the region’s smuggling routes into Mexico. Since then violence has continued in an on an off fashion until the most recent and dramatic rise in violence last week.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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