At least 3 killed in indigenous community in southern Mexico
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Officials in a southern Mexican state say violence has left at least three people dead and 14 injured in the indigenous municipality of Oxchuc, where social and church groups have denounced the presence of armed groups.
The Chiapas government said in a statement Thursday that there was a confrontation between a group allied with the current mayor of Oxchuc and another allied with its former substitute mayor.
It said three people were shot dead and 11 people injured. The Chiapas public prosecutor’s office later raised the number of injured to 14 and the Fray Bartolome de las Casas human rights center warned of 20 missing people.
While authorities spoke of a confrontation in the municipality, the human rights center said residents began hearing shots on Wednesday and the shooting continued into Thursday. Residents said they thought the gunmen were people from outside the municipality who had “training and large-caliber weapons.”
The violence took place in a part of Chiapas where irregular armed groups, apparently linked to local authorities, have proliferated for more than two decades. The area was the scene of the 1997 massacre of 45 indigenous villagers in Acteal, which involved land and political conflicts.
On Thursday night, the government said that measures have been taken to ensure the safety of the population and that the area is protected by state police and military personnel.