In the last few months the José María Morelos y Pavón Human Rights Center – an organization accompanied by PBI – has noted on several occasions the persistent problem of forced displacement in Guerrero, especially in the communities of Chilapa de Álvarez and Zitlala.

According to the Center´s director, Manuel Olivares Hernández, in the space of three months approximately 800 indigenous Nahua families have fled from the communities of Tepozcuautla, Ahuihuiyuco, Lodo Grande y Tetitlan de la Lima due to threats from organized crime.

Many displaced families returned to their communities where they continue to live with a lack of basic services and complete insecurity. One event that lead to increasing concern about the vulnerability and high risk faced by displaced people who decided to return to their communities is the recent killing of Benigno Marabel Tlatempa, and the serious injury of Salomón Lara Tlatempa, both of which took place on 12 July in Zitlala.

Both Mr. Benigno as well as Mr. Salomon belong to the community of Quetzalcoatlán de las Palmas, where 78 people were displaced in January 2016 after six people from the community were killed. In March of the same year, several displaced families began to return to Quetzalcoatlán after being granted precautionary measures by the CODDEHUM for the safety of the community.

With the recent attacks against members of the community, the Morelos Center has stated that people have been forced to leave the community and the security perimeter that was granted, given that their basic needs such as food are not met, the exposing them to these same risks.

It is important to highlight that forced displacement is not new in Guerrero, nor in Mexico. The Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH) estimates that between 2009 and January 2017, a total of 310,527 people have been displaced in Mexico due to violence or conflicts due to territory, religion or politics.