La Montaña is home to 80% of the Guerrero indigenous people. They are marginalized and poor, and have scant access to basic services like education and healthcare. Military and paramilitary servicemen and narcos take the population hostage. Homicide is the primary cause of mortality. Defenders of indigenous rights are persecuted.
La Montaña is a mountainous region in the State of Guerrero in southern Mexico, which is home to many indigenous communities. This cut-off region is plagued by endemic violence and the people, caught in a stranglehold between army, paramilitaries, guerrillas and drug traffickers, try to maintain a traditional way of life. However, those who don’t emigrate to the north of the country or to the United States often don’t have any other choice but to join the guerrillas or one of the plantations controlled by traffickers. The region’s isolated position makes access to a certain number of basic services (healthcare, education…) very difficult. Moreover, the fear of seeing the region rise up in rebellion, like in Chiapas, has fuelled a repressive politics that has resulted in a considerable army presence in the region. Far from taking measures to guarantee people’s access to the essential services to which all citizens are entitled, the authorities use the legal system in an abusive way to hinder the action of those men and women who work hard on behalf of the communities and dare to denounce the breaches of human rights. Threats, intimidations and murders are a frequent occurrence and impunity is widespread.