‘We are fearful’: Indigenous Mexicans dread new military buildup on ancestral land

‘We are fearful’: Indigenous Mexicans dread new military buildup on ancestral land

As the Tzeltal people resist huge infrastructure projects across Chiapas state, the new national guard barracks springing up are alarming many

Micaela* always stops to kiss a cross at the base of three hills, a lush swath of land in the indigenous ejido of San Sebastián Bachajón, Chiapas. Her ejido, meaning communal land, is shared among more than 5,000 Tzeltal inhabitants. But soon, they will also have to share it with Mexico’s national guard.

The national guard has built 165 barracks in Mexico since it was created only two years ago by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to replace the federal police, which he said was corrupt. Micaela’s community is leading the first lawsuit against one of 500 or so barracks planned across the country.

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