Mexico to build public works in reparation for 1997 Chiapas massacre


A woman, ex-rebel of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), reads a statement in the framework of the “First International Meeting of Women Fighters” celebrated in the area of Tzotz Choj, near Ocosingo, Chiapas state, Mexico on March 8, 2018.
Women from 27 Mexican states and 34 countries are expected to attend the event which takes place from March 8 to 10 to commemorate the International Women’s Day. (VICTORIA RAZO/AFP via Getty Images)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican government said Thursday it will build as many as 20 public works projects in an area of southern Chiapas state that was the scene of the 1997 massacre of 45 Indigenous villagers.

The Interior Department said the projects will be part of a plan to provide reparations for relatives and survivors of the massacre in the hamlet of Acteal. The reparation agreement is to be announced on Sept. 3.

FILE – In this Dec. 25, 1997 file photo, family members carry coffins of victims killed in a massacre in Acteal, in the remote highlands of the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas. The Mexican government said Thursday, July 23, 2020, that it will build as many as 20 public works projects in the area that was the scene of the 1997 massacre of 45 indigenous villagers. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel, File)
Members of the Mexican Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), a far-left libertarian-socialist political and militant group, celebrate the 26th anniversary of their first uprising against the Mexican government (January 1, 1994), at the autonomous community of Caracol de Morelia near Altamirano, Chiapas State, Mexico, on December 31, 2019. (Photo by ISAAC GUZMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Land and political conflicts were involved in the massacre, in which pro-government villagers armed with guns and machetes slaughtered the 45 men, women and children on Dec. 22, 1997.

At the time, Chiapas was deeply divided between supporters of the Zapatista rebels — fighting for greater autonomy and respect for Indigenous groups — and backers of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which had ruled Mexico for almost seven decades at the time.

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