In the quaint town of San Gregorio Chamic, Frontera Comalapa, Chiapas, a scene that could have been ripped right out of a Hollywood movie played out. Only, this was no movie. This was reality – stark and in broad daylight.
Imagine this: a caravan of armed men, speculated to be from the notorious Sinaloa Cartel, driving into town in a proud parade of pickup trucks. Their path? The road connecting to the municipal capital, which also borders Guatemala. Their attire? Hooded figures donning high-powered weapons and bulletproof vests. Their soundtrack? Cheers and shouts of “Pure Sinaloa!” from the local populace.
That's right. This surreal display of cartel power was not met with panic, but rather, with jubilant applause.
But why such a reception? A resident painted a clearer picture: the caravan was the Sinaloa Cartel's way of showing off their reinforcements. And this dramatic entrance was met with exhilaration because of the region's complex cartel dynamics. For many, it's a demonstration of strength against their rivals, the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG).
Now, for those thinking this might be some odd local tradition, another local was quick to clarify: this brazen daylight parade is a first for the region.
So, what's the official stance on this? Not encouraging. The Diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas issued a dire warning, urging government intervention against the spiraling criminal violence. Their words paint a grim portrait of a region under siege, torn apart by criminal elements and possibly abetted by silent authorities.
Grupo REFORMA's findings further amplify this narrative. Multiple municipalities in the region, including Frontera Comalapa, have transformed into operational dens for the competing cartels. This tug-of-war between the Sinaloa Cartel and CJNG impacts everything: from migration and roads to basic goods and drug trafficking.
The everyday impact? The local president, Alejandro Merida, delivered his Grito speech to an empty plaza due to prevailing insecurity. In Motozintla, tragedy struck with the execution of four individuals, presumably by the Jalisco Cartel. Families, fearing for their safety, are fleeing their homes. Basic amenities like electricity and internet are disrupted, leaving residents in dread.
Damaris Ramos's desperate plea on social media underscores the urgency: “My mom and sisters are there, there's no food, gas, or transport. We don’t see the Army. This has to stop.”
So, as roadways remain blocked and armed groups patrol the streets, San Gregorio Chamic isn't just facing a turf war—it's witnessing a broader battle for its very soul. Yet, amidst this chaos, it's crucial to remember the genuine victims: innocent citizens caught in the crossfire, shaken, and desperate for a return to normalcy.