Mexico’s indigenous Mayans demand that missing activists be found alive

San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico, Jan 28 (EFE).- Civil organizations, human rights defenders and students, all of Mayan origin, demonstrated in the city of San Cristobal de las Casas, in Mexico’s Chiapas state, to demand that activists Ricardo Lagunes and Antonio Diaz, missing for 13 days, be found alive.

Several Mayan indigenous groups, including Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Chol and Tojolabal, gathered at the Plaza de la Paz holding banners and photographs and went on to display the images of the missing activists there.

The demonstrators urged those present at the square to sign a letter calling to intensify the search for the defenders and activists. Their aim is to collect more than 15,000 signatures.

The about 100 indigenous protesters demanded that the Mexican government “intensify the search for Ricardo, join efforts with various authorities and present him alive immediately,” Julian Vasquez Guzman, a member of the organization Asesoría y Defensa Legal del Sureste, told EFE.

Also present at the demonstration was human rights activist Graciela Ozoño, who said: “We are here demanding that the State search and find human rights defenders Ricardo Lagunes and Professor Antonio because they have been assaulted and deprived of their freedom. We want there to be no more missing (people) in Mexico, because they were taken alive and we want them alive.”

They also denounced the crisis of disappearances in the country and in the southern state of Chiapas. More than 110,000 people are reported as disappeared in Mexico.

The indigenous people also demanded that the Mexican government address this situation.

Activists Lagunes and Díaz were last seen on Jan. 15 in Tecomán in the central-western Colima state.

That same day, their truck was found abandoned with bullet marks.

Family members have said that they were abducted by an armed group.

So far their whereabouts are not known, but it is presumed that their disappearance could be linked to their work in the defense of indigenous territory. EFE


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