Members of FrayBa Arbitrarily Detained

Featured image: JC Capanegra @no_monos

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center, A.C. (Frayba) has information that two of its members were kidnapped while on their way to the city of Palenque, Chiapas. (Frayba), has information that two of its members were kidnapped while on their way to the city of Palenque, Chiapas, but their whereabouts are unclear.

On April 12, 2021, at approximately 7:00 a.m., human rights defenders Lázaro Sánchez Gutiérrez and Victórico Gálvez Pérez left Frayba’s offices aboard a white Hillux van bound for the municipality of Palenque, Chiapas. Their objective was to hold a work meeting with members of the organization Pueblos Autónomos por la Defensa de los Usos y Costumbres (PADUC) and relatives of prisoners.

Around 9:00 p.m. that same day, Frayba received information that the human rights defender Lázaro Sánchez Gutiérrez had made a call to his relatives from an unknown number indicating that he and his companion Victórico Gálvez were well, that they were in the town of San Felipe, near Kuxulja, municipality of Ocosingo, and that one of his relatives should bring a certain amount of money in a private vehicle at 8:00 a.m. this morning, April 13.

It is important to emphasize that from the first moment the state and federal authorities have been aware of the facts, but so far they have not given clear information about the situation.

In view of these unfortunate events, Frayba expresses its concern and strongly condemns these acts of intimidation, aggression and kidnapping of Mr. Lázaro Sánchez Gutiérrez and Mr. Victórico Gálvez Pérez. We do fail to mention that these acts occur in an environment of criminalization of human rights defenders in Mexico and accusations against the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center. We urgently call on the Mexican State to carry out an exhaustive and impartial investigation into the arbitrary deprivation of liberty of Lázaro Sánchez and Victórico Gálvez, in order to guarantee the life, liberty, security and integrity of our compañeros.

We call on national and international solidarity to sign this urgent action available at www.frayba.org.mx and to write to the Mexican authorities so that they commit to implement security measures for the exercise of the right to defend human rights.

Please sign the petition at the bottom of this page. https://frayba.org.mx/privacion-arbitraria-de-la-libertad-a-integrantes-del-frayba/

This is a communique of Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center published on April 13th, 2021. This English translation has been re-published by Schools for Chiapas.