Armed Gang Violence Forces Thousands To Evacuate Town In Mexico

(Photo by CARL DE SOUZA/AFP via Getty Images)

Mariane Angela Entertainment And News Reporter
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Over 4,000 residents were forced to evacuate a Mexican town due to armed gang violence, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador confirmed Monday, ABC News reported.

Obrador confirmed that the government has established camps to aid approximately 4,200 displaced residents from the town of Tila in Chiapas, following violent attacks last week by armed groups. This incident marks one of the largest mass displacements in the region since 1997, according to ABC News.

Residents described being trapped in their homes for days as armed assailants shot at them and set buildings on fire, the outlet reported. The army and state police arrived and enabled these residents to evacuate, many carrying minimal possessions or just the clothes on their backs, according to ABC.

The Digna Ochoa Human Rights Center identified the perpetrators as the “Autonomos” or Autonomous Ones, a group with links to drug trafficking ABC News reported. The group has also been accused of extorting residents and setting up roadblocks in the area. (RELATED: Woman Mayor Assassinated In Mexico Following Sheinbaum’s Presidential Victory)

At least two individuals were killed in the gang violence, and 17 buildings were destroyed, state prosecutors said, according to ABC. Despite these reports, Obrador noted that the situation has somewhat stabilized and that food supplies are flowing to displacement camps, the outlet noted. He also expressed a desire to start negotiations with the parties involved to secure the displaced residents’ safe return.

This violent episode is part of a broader pattern of conflict in Chiapas, a region historically plagued by drug cartel battles, land disputes and political tensions. Chiapas, which borders Guatemala, is also a critical corridor for smuggling both drugs and migrants, according to ABC News.