Pueblo Creyente in Simojovel reject dialogue with Gomez brothers
The Pueblo Creyente (Community of Faith) in Simojovel, Chiapas, held a march for the first anniversary of “the magna via crucis pilgrimage” of Lent, which they held in March 2015. Through a statement, they described the struggle they are carrying out since October 2013 following the murder of one of their members, as “to continue to live in peace.”
They publicly rejected the invitation for dialogue from the Gomez brothers (Juan and Ramiro Gomez Dominguez), who are identified as political caciques in Simojovel, as well as being involved in the illegal sale of alcohol and weapons. The Gomez brothers oppose Father Marcelo, the parish priest of Simojovel, who has endured harassment, threats and attempted ambushes. It should be noted that Juan Gomez was mayor of Simojovel and was imprisoned in 2015 for carrying firearms for exclusive army use by the army and movement of drugs. His brother Ramiro had an arrest order and in January 2016 both cases were dismissed by the Attorney General of the State’s Office, which, according to Chiapas Paralelo “could only have happened through a process of political negotiation.” According to the statement, the Gomez brothers are campaigning for the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (Partido Verde Ecologista de México – PVEM). Furthermore, they mentioned that a member of Community of Faith was kidnapped and interrogated to obtain information about the people who support Marcelo. Another member who was blamed for Juan Gomez’s imprisonment received threats and high calibre firearm shots have started again in the neighbourhoods.
They also denounced the existence of an armed group known as Los Diablos [The Devils] in Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacan, who have killed three members of the same family and caused the displacement of a further 14 people “because they fear for their lives.” The Community of Faith highlighted that “it isn’t Father Marcelo who has denounced the Gomez, we ratify that it is Community of Faith who have raised their voices against all that is happening, we are Community of Faith who pointed out that the Gomez brothers have done a lot of damage in Simojovel.” For this reason, they decided to reject the proposed dialogue “because we have nothing to talk about, they have resorted to this because they have no other way to clean up their image, they ask for dialogue so that when they carry out their perverse intentions against our parish priest and members of Community of Faith, they can say: ‘It wasn’t us.’”