Mapastepec Massacre

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1998 Mapastepec Massacre
Part of the Mara War and the Creeperian Conflicts
Exhumation Site in Čančari valley.jpg
Exhumed mass grave of victims of the Mapastepec Massacre, 2007.
LocationMapastepec, Zapatista, Creeperopolis
DateJuly 2, 1998-July 3, 1998
(1 day)
TargetMara Salvatrucha members and civilians
Attack type
Mass execution, mass murder, mass rape, mass arson, mass abduction
PerpetratorsCreeperian Catholic Protection Army
MotiveAnti-Mara sentiment, revenge for lynching of ECCP member

The 1998 Mapastepec Massacre was a mass execution, mass murder, mass rape, and mass arson of Mara Salvatrucha members and civilians of the village of Mapastepec, Zapatista, on July 2-3, 1998. The massacre was committed by the Creeperian Catholic Protection Army.


The village of Mapastepec was located in Mara controlled territory in the department of Zapatista along the shores of Lake Zapatista and the banks of the Zapatista River. The village was complaint with the Mara occupation and the gang used the village as a sort of base of operations in northeastern Zapatista. Due to the village's compliance with the gang, it was constantly threatened by death squad attacks, but nothing was ever committed.

In June 1998, a man with affiliations to the death squad known as the Creeperian Catholic Protection Army was lynched by the villagers of Mapastepec. The villagers attached a sign to the man reading "No death squads are welcome in Creeperopolis. Mara Salvatrucha is our protection from death." The event angered the leader of the Creeperian Catholic Protection Army, José Koné Ochelo. In anger, he ordered the immediate destruction of the village.


Exhumed mass grave of victims of the Mapastepec Massacre, 2007.

On the night of July 2 and 3, 1998, soldiers of the Creeperian Catholic Protection Army, several of whom were children, arrived at the village of Mapastepec and began burning homes, stores, and public buildings, sparing only the church. Men were shot in the head at point blank range, women were raped then shot point blank in the head, and children were either bayonetted to death or abducted as child soldiers. Those who took refuge in the church were rushed out at gunpoint to prevent the spillage of blood in the House of God. Those who refused where forcibly dragged out. Men were executed by a firing squad, women were raped and shot point blank, children were abducted as child soldiers, and those who resisted were drowned in the lake with heavy stones tied to their legs and arms. The entire village was burned to the ground except for the church. The soldiers of the Creeperian Catholic Protection Army withdrew into the jungles of Zapatista before dawn and returned to Santa Ana, the home department of the death squad.


In the end, 8,184 were killed and 195 children were reported to have been abducted by the Creeperian Catholic Protection Army as child soldiers. The Creeperian government denounced the massacre and Mara Salvatrucha was enraged.

International Reactions

Laurent Tulossa condemned the attack and claimed that the Creeperian government was complacent in the massacre.


In 2007, the Creeperian government exhumed the mass graves of thousands of the victims. The government stated that 4,185 bodies were recovered with very few being identifiable. The government stated that no effort will be made to recover drowned victims as it would be logistically difficult and that there is likely little remaining of the victims were were drowned.

See Also