On October 1, a group of hooded activists armed with machetes and long knives irrupted in the main square of Bochil, Chiapas, to interrupt the inauguration ceremony of the elected mayor, Gildardo Zenteno Moreno. The activists disarmed a group of policemen and started shooting, wounding three people in the process. The assailants reportedly identified themselves as followers of the former municipal candidate Francelia Gomez, from the Morena party, who lost the election against Zenteno Moreno. On October 2, 200 Chiapas state policemen arrived to Bochil to take control of the situation and guarantee Moreno’s investiture in office. The previous mayor of Bochil, Sergio Antonio Zenteno Albores, was killed in December 2017 by unidentified assailants.
The incident comes against the backdrop of significant tension in the state, where the inauguration ceremonies of the 124 elected mayors were slated to take place on October 1. According to official reports, a task force composed by state police and military elements was dispatched to Chiapas to prevent incidents during the transition process in some municipalities, given grievances related to the perceived lack of legitimacy of some of the new authorities. In other municipalities, state employees are demanding compensation for delayed payments of salaries. These developments will further undermine overall security in Chiapas, which remains one of Mexico’s most violent states. In Bochil, these circumstances prompted citizens to form a vigilante group patrolling the streets.