IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures in Favor of Defenders Ricardo Arturo Lagunes Gasca and Antonio Díaz Valencia in Mexico

January 26, 2023

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 1/2023 on January 22, 2023, to grant precautionary measures in favor of Ricardo Arturo Lagunes Gasca and Antonio Díaz Valencia in Mexico, in the belief that they face a serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to their rights since they remain missing.

The request for these precautionary measures said that the whereabouts and fate of Ricardo Arturo Lagunes Gasca and Antonio Díaz Valencia were unknown since they last made telephone contact with their families on January 15, 2023. Hours later, the vehicle they were travelling in was found abandoned and with signs of violence. Both men had reportedly just taken part in a community meeting in Aquila. Ricardo Lagunes Gasca was reportedly providing legal support to the community, while Antonio Díaz Valencia is a community leader from the area.

The State said it was investigating these events and searching for the two men in the last place where they were seen, and that it was conducting examinations and interviews, among other procedures. The State was also coordinating the efforts of local and federal institutions to establish the whereabouts and condition of Ricardo Lagunes and Antonio Díaz.

The Commission welcomed the action taken and the information provided by the State, which show that no substantial details of the whereabouts and fate of Lagunes and Díaz are currently known. After assessing the request for these precautionary measures, the Commission considered that the proposed beneficiaries are in imminent danger.

Therefore, in keeping with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission asks Mexico to take the following action:

  1. Step up its efforts to establish the whereabouts and condition of Ricardo Arturo Lagunes Gasca and Antonio Díaz Valencia, in order to protect their rights to life and personal integrity
  2. Report on any actions adopted to investigate the alleged events that gave rise to the adoption of these precautionary measures, in order to prevent such events from happening again in the future

The fact that these precautionary measures have been granted and their adoption by the State do not entail a prejudgment on a potential petition that may be filed before the inter-American system to allege violations of rights protected by the applicable instruments.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 008/23

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