CHIAPAS, Mexico (EP) – A complaint filed Oct. 29 by the Rutherford Institute of Latin America asked the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to intervene on behalf of the Chamula Indians, who face persecution by local and regional authorities in the Mexican state of Chiapas because of their evangelical Christian beliefs.
“It is shocking that at this point in history and in a country like Mexico this type of violence and persistent persecution would take place on the basis of religious beliefs,” said Pedro Moreno, director of the Rutherford Institute of Latin America.
Since August, 78 families and 394 individuals from 17 communities have been expelled by local authorities. Those expelled have been forced to become refugees in neighboring states.
Since that time, the district attorney in San Cristobal De Las Casas has received 48 complaints reporting illegal imprisonment, thefts, rapes and murder attempts against the Chamula Indians. Only 18 of these 48 complaints are currently being handled.
According to Moreno, acts of persecution against the Chamula Indians has been ongoing for 15 years. The Chamula Indians appealed to authorities, ranging from local officials to the Mexican government, for help.
“The suffering of the Chamula Indians has gone on far too long and we believe it can be stopped, especially since solutions have been found in other regions of Mexico,” said Moreno.