Chiapas Fears Organized Crime, and Military Intervention

By Irma A. Velásquez Nimatuj

Ascendant cartel power on the Mexico-Guatemala border is alarming Indigenous communities, but so is the prospect of militarization.

SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS, MEXICO — Cartels are taking unprecedented control over daily life in Indigenous communities on the Mexico-Guatemala border. Amid increasing violence, many affected communities view the cartels as an existential threat—but also fear the prospect of a militarized international response. The 956-kilometer frontier has long been strategic terrain for drug, arms and human trafficking groups. Locals see militarization as a mere Band-Aid solution in lieu of serious investment that responds to local priorities. Chiapas is the poorest state in Mexico, and the...

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